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At the Rink: Lightning at Flames

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Right wing Jiri Hudler will not play because of a lower-body injury when the Calgary Flames play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday (9 p.m. ET; SUN, SNW).

Hudler did not practice Monday and was limited to 5:26 of ice time in the 4-0 win at the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday.

"I didn't talk to our medical staff yet, so I don't have any medical reports to give," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "Obviously [Hudler] is not skating, so he won't be in tonight's game."

Hudler finished eighth in the NHL in scoring and established career highs in goals (31), assists (45) and points (76), and won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 2014-15. He's tied for fourth in scoring for Calgary (18-18-2) this season with 20 points in 35 games, but has one goal in his past 24 games.

Forward Mason Raymond will skate in Hudler's place on a line with Sam Bennett and Markus Granlund. Raymond has been a healthy scratch the past three games.

"You just need to go about it and go out there and play," Raymond said. "I've been scratched more than I wanted to be. Even to say that word is something I didn't want in my vocabulary. It is what it is and that's the way it is going forward. For myself I need to go in and play well, that's the way it is in today's NHL. You're fighting for jobs all the time and I've got to go out there and have a solid hockey game."

The Lightning (19-16-4), who are 2-1-1 in the past four games, open a four-game Western Conference road trip.

"Taking where we're sitting in the standings and the fact we finally have our health back, and now you're playing teams from the West … you're not looking at these as four-point games, they're two point games where teams aren't picking up points on you; you've got to win these," Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. "It doesn't matter that we're playing on the road. You have to go out there and, as we tell our team all the time, count the amount of games you're playing on the road and you better come back with more points than games played. That's our mindset and it starts tonight."

The Lightning are sixth in the Atlantic Division with 42 points in 39 games.

"Every point matters right now," said forward Tyler Johnson, who will play in his 200th NHL game. "The Eastern Conference is really tight right now. This is a big road trip for us. We had a homestand that we weren't overly impressed with ourselves. Now we're on the road. We've got to get as many points as we can. We need to get on a roll.

"Anything can happen when you have as many games as we have left, but at the same time, you look at statistics throughout the years. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get in (to the playoffs). You have to be building points now and put that emphasis on the playoffs."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Killorn - Valtteri Filppula - Steven Stamkos

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

J.T. Brown - Cedric Paquette - Ryan Callahan

Vladislav Namestnikov - Brian Boyle - Jonathan Marchessault

Anton Stralman - Victor Hedman

Jason Garrison - Braydon Coburn

Andrej Sustr - Nikita Nesterov

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Injured: Joel Vermin (hand surgery)

Scratched: Matthew Carle, Erik Condra


Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Joe Colborne

Sam Bennett - Markus Granlund - Mason Raymond

Micheal Ferland - Mikael Backlund - David Jones

Lance Bouma - Matt Stajan - Josh Jooris

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Dougie Hamilton

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Karri Ramo

Jonas Hiller

Injured: Michael Frolik (upper body), Jiri Hudler (lower body)

Scratched: Deryk Engelland, Brandon Bollig

Status report: Condra will be a scratch for the third straight game. Bishop is expected to start for the Lightning. Ramo will start his 10th straight game for the Flames.

Who's hot: Kucherov has nine assists and 12 points during an eight-game point streak. Filpulla and Stralman each have four points in the past three games. … Giordano has four goals and nine points in his past seven games. Gaudreau was named the NHL's First Star for the month of December after scoring 12 goals and 18 points in 13 games.

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