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Flames forward Bennett likely to play in Game 3

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- Calgary Flames rookie forward Sam Bennett said Saturday he feels good enough to be in the lineup for Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round series against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports).

Bennett left in the second period of a 4-1 loss to the Canucks in Game 2 on Friday after a collision with Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler.

"It was just a bump, maybe knocked the wind out of me a bit," said Bennett, who returned in the third period but was limited to three shifts. "I'm fine now, 100 percent fine. That won't be a problem. Definitely there are times to finish your checks and times to pick your spots. I think ultimately you've got to finish your checks if you want to play, and that's what I'm going to keep trying to do."

The Flames said Bennett was evaluated following the collision and was cleared to return; he played 1:59 in three third-period shifts.

"He got bumped, but at the same time, who's 100 percent at this time of the year?" Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. "It's part of the game. It's a physical game. You're playing a plan of seven games in basically 13 nights against the same opponents. There's going to be lots of physical contact, emotions run high, and there's going to be bumps and bruises."

Bennett, Calgary's top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft (No. 4), had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder in October and missed most of the regular season rehabbing in Calgary.

Bennett said he has no plan to shy away from physical contact.

"That's a huge part of my game," Bennett said. "That's something that I need to bring to my game, is the physical aspect. I'm going to try to not get away from that as much as possible."

Bennett was cleared to play in February and was assigned to the Kingston Frontenacs of the Ontario Hockey League; he had 11 goals and 24 points in 11 regular-season games, and three assists in four OHL playoff games.

The Flames recalled Bennett following the end of his junior season. After he was a healthy scratch for three games, Bennett made his NHL debut in Calgary's regular-season finale against the Winnipeg Jets, and he had an assist in a 5-1 loss.

Bennett had an assist in Game 1, helping set up Kris Russell's game-winning goal with 29.6 seconds remaining to give the Flames a 2-1 win.

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