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Preview: Flames at Devils

New Jersey captain Andy Greene returns; goalie Brian Elliott starts for Calgary

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

FLAMES (26-24-3) at DEVILS (21-21-9)

7:30 p.m. ET; MSG, SNW, NHL.TV

 

Flames team scope

The Calgary Flames enter the first of a three-game road trip tied with the St. Louis Blues with 55 points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. However, Calgary has two games in hand. Left wing Johnny Gaudreau, who lives in Salem, New Jersey, always looks forward to playing at Prudential Center. "I'm very fortunate to have family and friends who cheer and support me when I return to New Jersey," Gaudreau said. "I also have great support and a following in Calgary, so they are both very special places for me. I'm in Calgary in the winter and in New Jersey in the summer." Center Sean Monahan needs two goals in the final 29 games to become the youngest Calgary player to score 100 NHL goals. Joe Nieuwendyk scored his 100th on March 14, 1989, at 22 years, 185 days old. Monahan is 22 years, 114 days. He has four goals and six points in seven career games against the Devils. "That does surprise me [about Monahan]," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I didn't know he was close to setting that 100-goal mark, especially with the guys they've had there. It just goes to show the level that [Monahan] has." Goaltender Brian Elliott is expected to make his third straight start. Elliott is 3-4-0 with a 2.59 goals-against average and .894 save percentage in seven games against the New Jersey Devils.

 

Devils team scope

Devils defenseman Andy Greene will return after missing the past 12 games because of an upper-body injury. New Jersey's captain had played in 350 straight games, the third-longest streak in franchise history, before the injury. He was working the top power-play unit with Taylor Hall, Kyle Palmieri, Travis Zajac and Miles Wood on at practice Thursday. "I feel good," Greene said. "I'm ready to go and excited. It's never fun to sit there and watch the guys knowing you can't contribute, but I couldn't play so took a step back and just tried to be prepared so when I came back I'd be ready." Goaltender Cory Schneider will make his second straight start. Schneider is 5-5-0 with a 2.10 GAA and .932 save percentage in 10 games against the Flames. This is the first of nine home games in February for the Devils, who are 0-5-1 in their past six games at Prudential Center. "We have almost a full month of home game so it's important we take care of home ice," Greene said. "Calgary is coming off a big win so it'll be a big test for us."

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Alex Chiasson

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Micheal Ferland

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka, Freddie Hamilton

Injured: Garnet Hathaway (upper body)

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Michael Cammalleri

Pavel Zacha -- Jacob Josefson -- Stefan Noesen

Joseph Blandisi -- Sergey Kalinin -- PA Parenteau

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Kyle Quincey -- Ben Lovejoy

Seth Helgeson -- Steven Santini

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Vernon Fiddler, Devante Smith-Pelly, Karl Stollery

Injured: Jon Merrill (upper body), Beau Bennett (lower body), John Moore (concussion)

 

Status report

Hathaway skated with the Flames on Friday morning and is day-to-day. Gulutzan said there will be no changes in his lineup following a 5-1 win at the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday. ... The Devils recalled Blandisi from Albany of the American Hockey League on Thursday, and he will replace Smith-Pelly in the lineup. Kalinin will play for Fiddler and defenseman Helgeson is in for Stollery. The Devils placed Merrill on injured reserve, retroactive to Jan. 31, and assigned forward Luke Gazdic, who cleared waivers earlier Friday, to Albany. Moore, who has missed the past 14 games, participated in the optional skate. "It's really great for me mentally being around the guys and around the rink," Moore said. "There's a light at the end of the tunnel now and that makes me want to push even harder."

 

Who's hot

Elliott is 2-1-1 with a 1.93 GAA and .928 save percentage in his past four starts. ... Henrique has two goals in the past two games. Cammalleri has four assists the past four games.

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