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Preview: Flames at Wild

Zach Parise returns for Minnesota; Calgary tries to avoid fifth straight loss

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

FLAMES (5-10-1) at WILD (8-5-1)

8 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, SN-W, NHL.TV


Flames team scope

Backup goalie Chad Johnson will start for the Calgary Flames, who have lost four consecutive games and are 1-6-0 in their past seven. "We know what kind of game it is, it's a grinding game," said coach Glen Gulutzan, who will move forward Troy Brouwer to the top line with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau in place of Alex Chiasson. "We talked about 50/50 hockey and being better at managing the puck … putting [those] groups together we think gives us that veteran presence." Johnson is 2-2-1 in five games this season but hasn't played since a 4-1 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Nov. 6. "I always make sure I'm ready regardless the situation," Johnson said. "I'm just trying to get better every day … I do my thing and try control what I can control." Rookie forward Matthew Tkachuk returns after missing two games with a wrist injury.

Wild team scope

Minnesota Wild forward Zach Parise returns after missing six games with a foot injury sustained on Oct. 27 against the Buffalo Sabres. "I'm excited, it's never fun when you have to watch and come to the games and not play. You're not in that game-day routine that you're so accustomed to being in," said Parise, who had six points in Minnesota's first eight games, including his 300th NHL goal in a 6-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Oct. 23. "Anytime you can add a good player to your lineup it's a positive thing," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "If he's ready to play, we're ready to have him." With Parise returning, the Wild sent forward Christoph Bertschy to Iowa of the American Hockey League on Monday. The Wild have allowed an NHL-low 28 goals in their 14 games this season and are 4-1-0 at home.


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Matt Stajan -- Alex Chiasson

Micheal Ferland -- Freddie Hamilton -- Garnet Hathaway

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Chad Johnson

Brian Elliott

Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka, Hunter Shinkaruk

Injured : Lance Bouma (upper body), Kris Versteeg (groin)


Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund -- Mikko Koivu -- Jason Zucker

Zach Parise -- Erik Haula -- Jason Pominville

Zack Mitchell -- Tyler Graovac -- Chris Stewart

Ryan Suter -- Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin -- Christian Folin

Mike Reilly -- Jared Spurgeon

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Nate Prosser, Joel Eriksson Ek

Injured: Zac Dalpe (knee), Marco Scandella (lower body)


Status report

Bouma has missed Calgary's past three games. Versteeg has missed four games but has resumed skating. … Eriksson Ek will sit for the second straight game.

Who's hot

Gaudreau has two goals in his past two games. He and Frolik are tied for the team lead in scoring with 10 points. … Dubnyk has allowed eight goals in his past seven games. Staal leads the Wild in goals (five) and points (13). He has 10 points in his past nine games.

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