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Johnny Gaudreau to have surgery on fractured finger

Flames forward will need operation after being injured Tuesday

by Aaron Vickers / Correspondent

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau will have surgery Wednesday to repair a fractured finger sustained against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

There is no timetable for Gaudreau's return.

"It can be four [weeks], it can be six … you don't know," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said Wednesday. "For me, I'm just preparing for the worst-case scenario. That's how it goes. We won't know anything on this injury until we hear from the doctors. We won't know the timeframe. It could be less. It could be more. As a coach when you're going through it you think, 'OK, what are we going to put in place here to make sure we can get through this time.'"

Gaudreau left the game at 7:22 of the third period and didn't return after taking a slash to his hand. He scored the goal in the Flames' 1-0 win.

Read: Fantasy impact: Johnny Gaudreau's injury

"It's tough for us," Flames captain Mark Giordano said. "You look at it now and it takes him out of our lineup for a bit here. It's frustrating, but there's nothing we can do today. We support him and hopefully he gets back quicker than expected. We've got to move on as a team.

"We've got to create that mentality now where we're going to rally and do it by committee. No one is going to come in and be Johnny and create like he creates or put up those numbers that he puts up. But we can definitely do it by committee. Sometimes when these things happen you've got to grab the group together and rally around it and use it as motivation."

Gaudreau, 23, leads the Flames with five goals and 11 points in 17 games. He has three goals in his past three games after scoring twice in his first 14 games.

In 177 NHL games, Gaudreau has 60 goals and 154 points.

Video: CGY@MIN: Gaudreau fights off defenders to net PPG

"It's a big piece of our lineup," Giordano said. "It felt like Johnny was going out there and getting his game to where it needs to be, so it's a tough blow. We've been through this before. We've got to rally as a team and use this as motivation somehow."

Gaudreau on Oct. 10 signed a six-year contract reportedly worth $6.75 million annually, after playing for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016, when he shared the team lead in goals (two) and points (four).

"He is a big part of it, but guys always say that everyone around the room needs to step up," Flames forward Troy Brouwer said. "Guys just need to play it solid. They need to play their game. No one needs to try to be Johnny, because that's what's going to get us in trouble. We have to find a way to subsidize that offense somehow, which is keeping it simple and making sure guys stay within their games and things will come."

The Flames play the Arizona Coyotes at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, FS-A PLUS, NHL.TV).

Video: NHL Tonight: Johnny Hockey sidelined with injury

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