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At the Rink: Flames at Blues

by Louie Korac

ST. LOUIS -- Dealing with the adversity card early in the season, the Calgary Flames are looking at some adjustments ahead of their Saturday night matchup against the St. Louis Blues (7 p.m. ET, SN360).

The Flames are expected to be without forwards Jiri Hudler (illness) and David Jones (lower body).

Flames coach Bob Hartley confirmed that Hudler, who is second on the Flames in scoring with three points (two goals), got sick overnight and called the right wing "very, very doubtful." Jones, who played Thursday in a 5-2 victory against the Edmonton Oilers, stepped onto the ice at the morning skate initially but was quick to come off.

"He started to get sick in the middle of the night," Hartley said of Hudler. "With a 6 o'clock (local) game, I would be very surprised to see Jiri in the lineup. We're not ruling him out, but chances are that him and [Jones are out]."

Devin Setoguchi, signed as a free agent this summer, will make his Flames debut, and Brian McGrattan will also come into the lineup.

"[McGrattan] knows his job," Hartley said. "With [Setoguchi], it's his first game with us. It's important that he shows us what he's got. We can't ask him to do something that we don't know. We're asking him to play your game. Come in with your best effort. It's a matter of earning a jersey. Tonight he gets it. We had told [Setoguchi] that most likely, he would play tonight. Obviously with Jiri's sickness and Jones' injury, he's definitely in. But I told him two days ago that most likely he would be playing here against the Blues."

Flames veteran defenseman Dennis Wideman, who was a healthy scratch against the Oilers after playing in the season opener against the Vancouver Canucks, will replace Raphael Diaz in the lineup.

"It was six years ago," Wideman said of his last benching. "No one wants to not play. Obviously not happy about it.

"It's obviously frustrating. Nobody wants to sit out. For me, it hasn't happened very often, so it's extra frustrating. I'm going to come in and try to play. I'll just try to keep it short and try to get going."

Hartley said Wideman's performance in the 4-2 loss to the Canucks had nothing to do with him being a healthy scratch.

"[Wideman] did OK in his first game," Hartley said. "I thought that [Diaz] gave us a good game in Edmonton, but right now, we have seven healthy 'D's. It's not easy, but sometimes for a coaching staff, it makes your job easier with injuries. We don't want injuries. We know that we're going to get our fair share. Right now, it's a matter of keeping everyone on their toes. It's a matter of getting everyone in. It's early in the season. We want to make sure that everyone can show us what they're capable of. The more this season progresses, we're going to get a better picture."

For the Blues, one change in their lineup from an opening-night 3-2 loss at home against the New York Rangers will see forward Chris Porter replace Maxim Lapierre.

"I'm going to bring energy, physicality to the game," Porter said. "I thought the guys the second half of the game really picked that up, so I'll try and just step in and make it as seamless as possible."

The Blues, who practiced Friday without Paul Stastny (quad contusion) and Patrik Berglund (upper body), are expected to get the veteran forwards back in the lineup Saturday night after each took part in the morning skate.

But according to Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, "I wouldn't read our lineup into anything right now. We're kind of moment to moment with a few guys here."

Here are the projected lineups:


Curtis Glencross - Mikael Backlund - Lance Bouma

Johnny Gaudreau - Joe Colborne - Mason Raymond

Paul Byron - Sean Monahan - Devin Setoguchi

Brandon Bollig - Matt Stajan - Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Deryk Engelland

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Jonas Hiller

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Jiri Hudler, Raphael Diaz

Injured: Corey Potter (shoulder), Sam Bennett (shoulder), David Jones (lower body)


Patrik Berglund - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Alexander Steen - Paul Stastny - Joakim Lindstrom

Jaden Schwartz - Jori Lehtera - Vladimir Tarasenko

Steve Ott - Chris Porter - Ryan Reaves

Ian Cole - Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester - Kevin Shattenkirk

Barret Jackman - Jordan Leopold

Brian Elliott

Jake Allen

Scratched: Maxim Lapierre, Magnus Paajarvi

Injured: Carl Gunnarsson (hip)

Status report: Backes needs one assist to give him 200 in his career. … Giordano needs one point for 200 in his career. … Russell and Wideman have each spent a stint in a Blues uniform. Russell played for Hitchcock in St. Louis and with the Columbus Blue Jackets. … Bouwmeester, who will play in his 719th consecutive game, spent three-plus seasons with the Flames from 2009-2013. Leopold spent parts of four seasons with the Flames that spanned two stints.

Who's hot: Colborne's four points are tied for first in the NHL. Raymond and Hudler are tied for fourth in the League with three points each. Raymond is tied for the League lead with three goals. … Elliott has a career 1.80 goals-against average and .922 save percentage in eight games against the Flames to go with a 4-3-0 record. … Hiller has a 9-4-1 career record against the Blues.

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