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Flames in Winnipeg 'desperate' for a win

by Patrick Williams

WINNIPEG -- Two teams that need some good fortune will meet Monday when the Calgary Flames make their first-ever visit to MTS Centre to play the Winnipeg Jets.

The Flames are fresh off a 4-2 home loss this past Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers in which they lost a 2-0 second-intermission lead against their provincial rival. Flames coach Bob Hartley, who coached the Winnipeg franchise for parts of five seasons when it was based in Atlanta, criticized his team after the loss, but sounded a different tone after the team's morning skate at MTS Centre.

"It's the beauty and the challenge of this game at the same time," Hartley said. "You can't sit on a loss or a win too long. You have to bounce back. Obviously we know what we did right and did wrong on Saturday, and we move on."

After the loss to Edmonton, Calgary is winless in its past six games, five of them regulation losses. The Flames own one win in their past nine games and are four points away from the bottom spot in the League.

"Everybody is pretty desperate for a win here," Flames forward Lee Stempniak said.

It is expected that Tim Jackman, who did not dress against the Oilers, will replace Sven Baertschi. Shane O'Brien is also a candidate to replace Derek Smith on the Calgary defensive mix.

The Jets' four-game winning streak ended Sunday when they lost a 2-1 road decision to the Minnesota Wild. Winnipeg has won its past four home dates, but has found it difficult to make up ground in the Western Conference standings chase. The Jets play a three-game homestand this week before leaving for two weeks on a season-high six-game road trip that will take them through much of the Eastern Conference.

Jets coach Claude Noel is happier with his team's recent play, if not the result against Minnesota.

"The part that keeps rearing itself is how we're finding ways to give up the game. So, the [results] are killing us."

Noel will be leaning on his team to not take Calgary lightly, despite the Flames' struggles. The Jets are already six points out of a Western Conference playoff spot.

"This is a game that we have to be ready to play, I'll just put it that way," Noel said. "You can't look at the standings or anything like that. I think this is a game we have to be ready to play. They have been sitting here waiting for us. We know what they have had to face the whole season and the last game they played, so there's enough fuel for them to play.

"And it's not like we're world-beaters, either," Noel added, "so we have to be ready to play."

The Jets' blue line remains battered. Noel said defenseman Mark Stuart (hip) has not been cleared to play. Zach Bogosian (groin) is out on a week-to-week basis while Jacob Trouba (neck) has an uncertain timeline for this return date.

Hartley will stay with Reto Berra, who started against Edmonton, in net. Noel will start Al Montoya and give workhorse Ondrej Pavelec a night off against the Flames. Montoya has not played since Nov. 6, when he lost 4-1 on the road against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Here are the probable lineups for the Flames and Jets:


Mike Cammalleri - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Tim Jackman - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

TJ Galiardi - Mikael Backlund - Blair Jones

Lance Bouma - Joe Colborne - Brian McGrattan

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Chris Butler - TJ Brodie

Ladislav Smid - Shane O'Brien

Reto Berra

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Sven Baertschi

Injured: Mark Giordano (ankle), Curtis Glencross (knee)


Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Evander Kane - Olli Jokinen - Devin Setoguchi

Matt Halischuk - Mark Scheifele - Michael Frolik

Eric Tangradi - James Wright - Chris Thorburn

Grant Clitsome - Dustin Byfuglien

Tobias Enstrom - Keaton Ellerby

Adam Pardy - Zach Redmond

Al Montoya

Ondrej Pavelec

Scratched: Julian Melchiori, Anthony Peluso

Injured: Zach Bogosian (groin), Paul Postma (blood clot), Jim Slater (sports hernia), Mark Stuart (hip), Jacob Trouba (upper body)

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