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Flames turn to Ortio in goal against Canadiens

by Aaron Vickers

CANADIENS (9-2-0) at FLAMES (2-7-1)


CALGARY -- Goaltender Joni Ortio will make his second start of the season and fourth consecutive appearance when the Calgary Flames host the Montreal Canadiens at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

The Flames (2-7-1) return to Calgary winless after a three-game road trip that all featured appearances from Ortio.

"I think we've got to take the positives and move forward," said Ortio, who is 0-1-1 with a 2.96 goals-against average and .911 save percentage in 80 minutes of work. "We haven't been scoring a lot of goals and scored four the other night. Obviously we've got to cut down on goals against and chances against, but now we're actually producing offensively, which is a good thing."

Including a four-goal outburst in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, the Flames have averaged just 2.00 goals per game and have a 7.17 shooting percentage. Only the Columbus Blue Jackets have allowed more than Calgary's 40 goals against, while the Flames' collective .871 save percentage ranks 28th in the NHL.

"It doesn't change our job one bit," Ortio said. "It doesn't matter if we score six goals, you still don't want to let goals in. It puts a little more emphasis on it if we're not scoring, but I don't think it changes my mindset."

Ortio made 31 saves in his first start in Calgary's 4-0 loss against the New York Islanders on Monday, one night after appearing in relief of starter Jonas Hiller in the third period of a 4-1 loss against the New York Rangers.

The 24-year-old made another third-period appearance against the Senators after Hiller sustained a lower-body injury in a collision with Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan.

"The more you play, the more rhythm you have," Ortio said. "Having that one start in Brooklyn probably helps me. I felt pretty good, but there are things that come along the more and more you play."

Hiller is expected to miss at least a week, and Ortio will see his second start opposite goaltender Mike Condon and the Canadiens (9-2-0).

"The way that he finished the game in Ottawa the other night, we basically had the same feelings yesterday when we sat down and decided to go with [Ortio]," said Hartley, whose Flames recalled Karri Ramo from Stockton of the American Hockey League on Thursday. "[Ortio] played well. [Ramo] didn't skate yesterday, he traveled. We're going to see [Ortio] in net tonight."

Ortio didn't dress for Calgary's first six games of the season with veterans Hiller and Ramo vying for the starting role. The Flames assigned Ramo to Stockton on Oct. 22.

"He was in a tough situation to start the year," Calgary forward Joe Colborne said. "You wouldn't wish that on anyone to have to sit there and be the third goalie in practice, not even dressing in games. He didn't complain one single time. He just put his head down and worked so hard in practice.

"When you see that you just wish nothing but success for the guy, and the success he gets, he's worked for and deserves."

Here are the projected lineups:


Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Brian Flynn

Tomas Fleischmann - David Desharnais - Dale Weise

Paul Byron - Torrey Mitchell - Devante Smith-Pelly

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert

Mike Condon

Carey Price

Injured: None

Scratched: Alexander Semin, Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi


Joe Colborne - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Johnny Gaudreau - Sam Bennett - Michael Frolik

Mason Raymond - Mikael Backlund - David Jones

Derek Grant - Matt Stajan - Josh Jooris

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Deryk Engelland - Dougie Hamilton

Joni Ortio

Karri Ramo

Injured: Lance Bouma (leg), Micheal Ferland (lower body), Jonas Hiller (lower body)

Scratched: Brandon Bollig, Ladislav Smid

Status report: The Canadiens didn't hold a skate Friday morning, but did confirm Condon will start in goal. Semin will be a healthy scratch for a second straight game. … Grant will play in place of Bollig for Calgary.

Who's hot: Mitchell has goals in back-to-back games and four in his past five. Subban has a goal and six assists over his past five games. … Gaudreau has six points, all assists, in his past five games.

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