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At the Rink: Flames at Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley is selling the final game of their five-game road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes as an important one. With a 3-1-0 record so far, he wants his players to understand what is at stake.

"It's in our hand whether we're going to be OK or we're going to be very good," Hartley said. "You don't celebrate anything at 3-2; we did our job. If we're 4-1, that's very good. There's a huge difference."

The Flames will finish the trip with the NHL's First Star of the Week in defenseman Mark Giordano. He had two goals and five assists in three games, including an assist on an overtime goal against the Washington Capitals on Nov. 4.

"I felt like things were going well, obviously, and I put up some numbers," said Giordano, who leads NHL defenseman with 18 points. "It's nice to get recognized. It feels good, but it's not a huge deal in the big scheme of things, as far as our team and wins and losses."

The Flames have recalled forward Max Reinhart from the Adirondack Flames of the American Hockey League. He will take the place of Sven Baertschi, who is out of the lineup with a virus. Reinhart has a goal and four assists in 19 NHL games over the previous two seasons.

"He's a smart centerman," said Hartley, who will pair him on a line with Paul Byron and Devin Setoguchi. "He can create plays. He has speed when he has a shooter with him, so it has the potential to be a pretty solid line."

The Flames coach made it clear what Reinhart must do to leave an impression.

"It's all about speed and hunger," the coach said. "That's all we're selling to those guys. If you want to be in the lineup and you want to have a role, you need to be quick and hungry. It's about being aggressive and disciplined, but playing the game at a high pace. We want player with gears. Whatever gear you have, we always want an extra one."

The Hurricanes might make a small tweak to their defensive corps.

With two veteran defensemen questionable for Monday night, Michal Jordan has been recalled from the Charlotte Checkers. John-Michael Liles left the game Saturday night against the Washington Capitals, and Tim Gleason has a minor upper-body injury. Liles and Gleason skated Monday morning. Carolina coach Bill Peters said they would be evaluated after the morning skate before a decision is made.

Defenseman Brett Bellemore is out for the game with an upper-body injury.

"I think we're going to get him back quick," Peters said. "I don't think it's anything that's going to be very long."

The Hurricanes have a score to settle from their previous meeting in Calgary. Carolina lost 5-0 with several key players out of the lineup.

"We didn't compete very well," said Peters, whose team is enjoying a 4-0-1 stretch. "We didn't give ourselves a chance. We didn't have the puck a whole bunch. So let's see how our game has changed."

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny Gaudreau - Markus Granlund - Jiri Hudler

Curtis Glencross - Sean Monahan - David Jones

Paul Byron - Max Reinhart - Devin Setoguchi

Brandon Bollig - Lance Bouma - Josh Jooris

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Ladislav Smid - Deryk Engelland

Jonas Hiller

Karri Ramo

Scratches: Brian McGrattan, Raphael Diaz

Injuries: Mason Raymond (shoulder), Mikael Backlund (upper body), Joe Colborne (upper body), Matt Stajan (lower body), Michael Ferland (upper body), Sven Baertschi (illness).


Jeff Skinner - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm

Jiri Tlusty - Victor Rask - Chris Terry

Zach Boychuk - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Tim Gleason - Jay Harrison

Ron Hainsey - John-Michael Liles

Cam Ward

Anton Khudobin

Scratches: Brad Malone

Injuries: Jordan Staal (broken leg), Brett Bellemore (upper body)

Status report: The Flames placed Ferland on injured reserve Monday.

Who's hot: Lindholm has five goals and seven points in the past five games. Ward has won his past four starts. … Brodie is third among NHL defensemen in scoring with four goals and 10 points.

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