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Preview: Flames at Senators

Calgary tries to avoid fifth straight loss; Mike Hoffman game-time decision for Ottawa

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

FLAMES (24-24-3) at SENATORS (26-15-5)

7:30 p.m. ET; RDS2, TSN5, SNW, NHL.TV 


Flames team scope

The Calgary Flames look to end a four-game losing streak, when they have fallen behind 4-0 in each game. They have lost five straight road games (0-4-1) and have given up the first goal in nine consecutive games. "These streaks always feel like they are longer and you're playing worse than you really are," captain Mark Giordano said. "Tonight, the main thing for us is to be aggressive. Our problem lately it seems like we're waiting for bad things to happen and when they do, we can't recover. I think our mindset has to be really aggressive, play with a nothing-to-lose mentality." Calgary is coming off a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday, when coach Glen Gulutzan said his team was "pathetic." Gulutzan said his public comments weren't anything the players haven't already heard. "My mom was Irish," he said. "In that locker room from Day One, I show my emotion there. Out in front of the cameras, it's probably the first time I've showed my emotion, but I thought it was pretty mild. I thought that was the tip of the iceberg." Goaltender Brian Elliott will start. Gulutzan said he has now adopted a "win and you're in" approach to the Flames goaltenders. 


Senators team scope

Ottawa Senators forward Mike Hoffman, tied for the team lead in goals with 17, is a game-time decision because of illness. "I'm going to try and play. That's the plan," said Hoffman, who missed the Senators 3-0 win against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. The Ottawa lineup is uncertain because of the statuses of Hoffman and defenseman Mark Borowiecki, who lost 10 pounds during his four-game absence because of a stomach virus. Forward Tommy Wingels, acquired Tuesday in a trade with the San Jose Sharks, will make his Senators debut. Wingels had eight points (five goals, three assists) in 37 games with the Sharks this season. "I like to play a physical, aggressive, speed game," Wingels said. "I like to forecheck hard. I like to chip in with some goals and that's kind of the identity they have here. ... It's exciting to come into a team that has that kind of identity, a team that has the personnel they have here and the players that move the puck like they do. It's a well-built team and I'll try to add what I can to that." Ottawa is 6-1-1 in its past eight games after a four-game losing streak (0-3-1) Goaltender Mike Condon will start his 15th straight game.


Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Michael Frolik 

Matthew Tkachuk -- Michael Backlund -- Alex Chiasson 

Kris Versteeg -- Sam Bennett -- Troy Brouwer

Lance Bouma -- Matt Stajan -- Micheal Ferland

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

T.J. Brodie -- Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak -- Deryk Engelland  

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Jyrki Jokipakka, Freddie Hamilton

Injured: Ladislav Smid (neck), Garnet Hathaway (upper body)


Senators projected lineup 

Zack Smith -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Bobby Ryan

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Chris Kelly -- Curtis Lazar -- Tommy Wingels

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson 

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci 

Fredrik Claesson -- Chris Wideman

Mike Condon

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Chris Neil

Injured: Andrew Hammond (ankle), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Mark Borowiecki (illness)

Personal leave: Craig Anderson


Status report

Gulutzan will tweak his lines, putting Frolik in Chiasson's place with Gaudreau and Monahan. Gutulzan said he likes Frolik's puck recovery skills and that could help that line. … If Hoffman plays, Neil could be a scratch. … Hammond was on the ice in full equipment for the morning skate. He has been out since Dec. 18 with a high ankle sprain.


Who's hot

Dougie Hamilton has eight points (one goal, seven assists) in his past eight games. … Monahan has seven points (five goals, two assists) in his past seven games. … Hoffman has nine points (seven goals, two assists) in his past seven games. … Turris has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past eight games. … Brassard has eight assists in his past eight games. … Smith has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past two games.

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