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At the Rink: Flames at Panthers

by Alain Poupart

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Center Dave Bolland will return to the lineup for the slumping Florida Panthers when they face the Calgary Flames at BB&T?Center on Tuesday.

Bolland missed the past two games with a hand injury he sustained in a 3-2 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks last Wednesday.

That game started a three-game road trip that finished with three-goal losses to the San Jose Sharks (5-2) and the Los Angeles Kings (4-1). The Panthers have lost their past five overall (0-3-2) as they begin a stretch of seven out of eight games at home. The one road game will be against the Tampa Bay Lightning; the Panthers will not leave the state of Florida until Nov. 29 when they face the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

"These games are really important for us to get back in it and find our confidence back,"???center Nick Bjugstad said. "I???think we have it in us, so it's important to win here at home."

Florida is 5-0-0 when scoring three or more goals, 0-6-3 with two goals or less.

Florida has scored seven goals during its current losing streak.

"We had a good start, but somehow lately the game slipped away,"???said Jaromir Jagr, who doesn't have a point in three games since returning from a lower-body injury. "We had a tough road trip and we have to make sure we play our best game today at home because we've got a big stretch. We've got to make up those points we lost on the road."

There were a lot of goals last season when the Flames and Panthers played, and each team won on the other's home ice.

Calgary won 6-4 at Florida in November; Florida returned the favor 6-5 in January.

"We'll take whatever comes as long as we win the game,"???Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "Those were a couple of wild games against them, lots of goals scored and not much defense played. But they were fun games and they were interesting games. But as a coach, you don't like those games. And the goalies didn't like them, either, I???don't think."

The Flames (5-9-1) have been going in the opposite direction as the Panthers, winning three of their past four after starting the season 2-8-1.

Calgary begins a four-game road trip after consecutive home victories against the Philadelphia Flyers (2-1) and the Pittsburgh Penguins (5-2).

"Obviously the victories are the result and they're great, but I???look at our last maybe four games and chances against are going down, chances for are going up,"???Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "It seems that our forwards and our D-men are back playing together. Instead of having three forwards and two D's on the ice, we have a unit of five. You look at our forecheck, you look at our backcheck, it seems there's a rhythm between our forwards and our D-men, and that's the key."

Forward Micheal Ferland will be back in the lineup for the Flames after missing eight games because of a knee injury. He will skate on a line with Derek Grant and Josh Jooris.

"We know [Ferland], bang and crash and has a great shot,"???Hartley said. "But he's still a young man, so obviously there's still lots to learn. He's a heart-and-soul guy. He works hard every shift. So on the forecheck, in front of the net, he's going to be a big presence for us."

On the eve of Veterans Day, it will be Military Appreciation Night at BB&T???Center. Panthers players will wear military warmup jerseys with patches representing all five branches of the military. Retired U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond T. Odierno addressed Panthers players after the morning skate and will honored during the game.

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Michael Frolik - Mikael Backlund - Sam Bennett

Joe Colborne - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Micheal Ferland - Derek Grant - Josh Jooris

Mark Giordano - TJ?????????Brodie

Kris Russell - Dougie Hamilton

Deryk Engelland - Dennis Wideman

Karri Ramo

Joni Ortio

Injured:?????????Lance Bouma (broken fibula), Jonas Hiller (lower body)

Scratched: Ladislav Smid, Mason Raymond, Brandon Bollig


Jonathan Huberdeau - Nick Bjugstad - Jaromir Jagr

Jussi Jokinen - Vincent Trocheck - Reilly Smith

Brandon Pirri - Dave Bolland - Rocco Grimaldi

Quinton Howden - Derek MacKenzie - Garrett Wilson

Brian Campbell - Aaron Ekblad

Willie Mitchell - Erik Gudbranson

Dmitry Kulikov - Alex Petrovic

Roberto Luongo

Al Montoya

Injured: Aleksander Barkov (hand)

Scratched:?????????Steven Kampfer, Shawn Thornton

Status report: Barkov will miss his eighth game with a hand injury he sustained while blocking a shot against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 22, but Gallant said he's making good progress and could return soon. "He's seeing the doctor tonight and they'll probably do some X-rays or some kind of a scan and they'll know a lot more tonight, but everything looks good,"???????????????????????????Gallant said. "He says he feels real good, so it's probably a lot closer." ... Frolik took part in morning skate after missing practice Monday because of illness and is expected to play. ... Ramo, who was recalled from Stockton of the American Hockey League???????????????????????????on Oct. 29 after being placed on waivers, will make his fifth consecutive start.

Who's hot: Frolik has three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. ... Gaudreau has three goals and two assists during a three-game point streak. ... Florida's 36 percent (9-for-25)???????????????????????????success rate on the power play at home is the best in the NHL.

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