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Flames at Flyers preview

Smith returns from injury for Calgary; Philadelphia looking to rediscover its offense, end three-game losing streak

by Mike Cranston / NHL.com Correspondent

FLAMES (10-8-0) at FLYERS (8-8-3)

1 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNP, NBCSP, NHL.TV

 

The Game

Calgary Flames goaltender Mike Smith will return from an upper-body injury to play against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

Smith left after the first period of a 7-4 victory against the Saint Louis Blues on Monday and didn't play in the Flames' 8-2 loss at the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday. He practiced at Wells Fargo Center on Friday.

The Flyers have lost three straight games (0-2-1), two of which were by shutout. They ended a goal drought of 158:36 when they scored two first period goals in a 3-2 shootout loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Goaltender Brian Elliott likely will start for the Flyers against the Flames, who he played for last season.

 

Players to watch

Flames defenseman Johnny Gaudreau, who was born 40 miles south of Wells Fargo Center in Salem, New Jersey, has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) during an NHL career high-tying eight-game point streak.

Flyers forward Nolan Patrick will look to improve in his second game back after missing nine because of an upper-body injury. In 7:58 of ice time Thursday, he had no shots on goal and was 1-for-11 on face-offs.

 

They said it

"Throughout the course of the season little injuries are going to pop up, and I just wanted to kind of nip it in the bud and not let it drag on for more than it needed to. I feel good now. I've had a couple days of rest and got good treatment and I'll be ready to go." -- Flames goaltender Mike Smith

"We've got to get control and find a way to win." -- Flyers forward Jakub Voracek

 

Flames projected lineup

Johnny Gaudreau -- Sean Monahan -- Micheal Ferland

Matthew Tkachuk -- Mikael Backlund -- Michael Frolik

Sam Bennett -- Mark Jankowski -- Jaromir Jagr

Kris Versteeg -- Curtis Lazar -- Troy Brouwer

Mark Giordano -- Dougie Hamilton

TJ Brodie -- Travis Hamonic

Brett Kulak -- Michael Stone

Mike Smith

Eddie Lack

Scratched: Matt Stajan, Freddie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, Rasmus Andersson

Injured: None

 

Flyers projected lineup

Claude Giroux -- Sean Couturier -- Jakub Voracek

Jordan Weal -- Valtteri Filppula -- Travis Konecny

Dale Weise -- Nolan Patrick -- Wayne Simmonds

Taylor Leier -- Scott Laughton -- Michael Raffl

Ivan Provorov -- Robert Hagg

Shayne Gostisbehere -- Brandon Manning

Travis Sanheim -- Andrew MacDonald

Brian Elliott

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Jori Lehtera, Matt Read, Radko Gudas

Injured: None

 

Status report

MacDonald could play after missing 11 games because of a lower-body injury sustained when he blocked a shot against the Edmonton Oilers on Oct. 21. The Flyers didn't practice Friday. … Gaudreau said the Flames had a team dinner Thursday, in part to put their loss Wednesday behind them.

 

Stat pack

Ferland has scored a goal in five straight games. … Couturier has 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in his past 11 games.

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