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Blues' Bouwmeester downplays return to Calgary

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- Jay Bouwmeester's 800th career NHL game will have an added twist to it.

It will mark his return to Calgary.

Bouwmeester, who played 279 games during parts of four seasons with the Calgary Flames, is returning to the city for the first time since being traded to the St. Louis Blues in advance of the the 2012-13 trade deadline.

The 30-year-old didn't tip his hand to the significance of the game, which doubles as his 671st consecutive game.

"I've kind of done it before with Florida," Bouwmeester said. "Once you've been through it, it kind of is what it is. It's nice to see a lot of people, familiar faces, guys that work for the team, that sort of thing. It's been three years and a bit here. You make a lot of friendships."

One of those friendships is with Flames coach Bob Hartley.

Bouwmeester spent 33 games playing for Hartley's watch, but the two forged a friendship and still stay in touch.

"I was pleasantly surprised with what he would bring to a team and who he is as a person," Hartley said. "Last year after the trade we kept texting for a while and we all know that [Bouwmeester] is not a great talker so to get a few texts from him is quite an accomplishment. He's a great guy and a world-class player so it's great to see him with the Blues and doing very well."

While Bouwmeester will skate against his former team, Kris Russell won't have that option.

Russell and Curtis Glencross sustained lower-body injuries against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Glencross already has been placed on injured reserve but the team has yet to update the status of either.

Russell spent the past two seasons with the Blues, totaling five goals and 16 points in 76 games. In 36 games with the Flames this season the 26-year-old has four goals and 16 points.

Here are the projected lineups when Calgary hosts the Blues:


Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - Paul Byron

TJ Galiardi - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Jiri Hudler - Joe Colborne - David Jones

Lance Bouma - Sean Monahan - Brian McGrattan

Mark Giordano - Derek Smith

Chris Butler - TJ Brodie

Christopher Breen - Shane O'Brien

Reto Berra

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Blair Jones

Injured: Curtis Glencross (lower body), Kris Russell (lower body), Dennis Wideman (broken hand)


Dmitrij Jaskin - David Backes - T.J. Oshie

Brenden Morrow - Derek Roy - Chris Stewart

Jaden Schwartz - Patrik Berglund - Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi - Maxim Lapierre - Adam Cracknell

Jay Bouwmeester - Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman - Kevin Shattenkirk

Ian Cole - Carlo Colaiacovo

Jaroslav Halak

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Chris Porter

Injured: Alexander Steen (upper body), Vladimir Sobotka (upper body), Jordan Leopold (finger), Ryan Reaves (broken hand), Roman Polak (lower body)

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