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Flames forward Bouma optimistic about Game 4 return

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com

CALGARY -- Forward Lance Bouma might return to the Calgary Flames lineup for Game 4 of the Western Conference Second Round series against the Anaheim Ducks at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday (9:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports).

Bouma, who skated on a line with Matt Stajan and David Jones at practice Thursday, has not played in the Stanley Cup Playoffs after missing the final two games of the regular season because of an upper-body injury.

"I feel like I'm ready, but we'll see," he said. "I'm feeling back to normal. Everything is feeling good.

"To be able to get out there with the guys and just skate with them, it was huge. It's nice to be back out there with the guys. Obviously, when you're not around the group and you're skating on your own, [it's hard]. So it's been good. I'm just excited to be back with them."

Bouma sustained the injury blocking a shot in the Flames' 3-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes on April 7.

"The medical report this morning was saying that he is still day-to-day," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "He's doing great. He is showing good progress."

Bouma set career highs in goals (16), assists (18) and points (34) in 78 regular-season games. The 25-year-old's 264 hits led Calgary, and he finished first among Flames forwards with 82 blocked shots.

"Obviously, still day-to-day, but I feel good," he said. "... You're in there working out every day and you're skating on your own, and it's tough to watch at this time of year. You want to be out there helping the guys, and you kind of feel helpless when you're in the dressing room just working and things like that. But you have to try to stay positive for the guys."

The Ducks lead the best-of-7 series 2-1.

Flames defenseman Mark Giordano also took another step forward Thursday, increasing the amount of contact he faced in practice.

"It's still pretty early with this type of injury, so we got to be smart about it," Giordano told the Flames website. "It seems like every day is getting better and better, so it's been all positive. At the end of the day, you've got to leave it up to the No. 1 guy to take advice from, is our surgeon, who has seen a lot of these before, and go from there."

Giordano sustained a torn biceps tendon Feb. 25 against the New Jersey Devils and was projected to miss 4-5 months. He was a Norris Trophy contender at the time.

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