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Flames want better discipline, more zone time

by Kevin Woodley /

VANCOUVER -- Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley isn't planning any changes to his lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference First Round (10 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports), but he does expect his young team to get better against the Vancouver Canucks on Friday.

Calgary scored twice in the third period for a 2-1 win to start the best-of-7 series on Wednesday, but Hartley saw areas for improvement. Some should come simply from seven players having their first Stanley Cup Playoff game on the resume.

"We need to be better and I really believe we can be better," Hartley said.

That includes discipline.

Calgary was the NHL's third-least penalized teams in the regular season but had to kill off three power plays in Game 1, and all three were against players appearing in their first NHL playoff game.

"We got caught in penalties where we were maybe trying to do too much or where we were probably too excited and I'll take the blame for this," Hartley said. "Three young players playing their first NHL playoff game, so it's quite understandable and we're cranking those players to go hard every game."

Calgary's penalty kill, which finished tied for 20th in the NHL in the regular season, only gave up five shots while killing off all three chances. But the Flames don't want to give a Canucks power play that finished the regular season tied for eighth in the League and on an 11-for-33 streak many more chances in Game 2.

"Any time you get [Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin] on a power play they are even more dangerous," said defenseman Dennis Wideman, who played 30:03 in Game 1. "We've got to stay out of the box as much as possible and keep them 5-on-5."

Wideman is also hoping for a better start in Game 2 and pointed to the Flames final shift, which led to defenseman Kris Russell scoring the winning goal on a screen point shot with 30 seconds left, as an example of the style they need more of. Led by the forechecking and board play of forward Joe Colborne, the Flames pinned the Canucks in their own end for more than a minute before scoring.

"We need more of that, we need more zone time," Wideman said. "I think early on we didn't have a whole lot of zone time, we turned pucks over and gave them some odd-man rushes, and with a team like that if you give them too many they are going to make us pay. We got away with some last game but we will have to be tighter tonight."

Calgary players talked about not being satisfied with a split on the road, and Hartley thinks the experience from Game 1 will help the young Flames manage their emotions better in Game 2.

"We broke the ice, but every playoff game is always a different page in the book," Hartley said. "You never know what can happen: a big check, a big goal early in the game, and suddenly emotions can run high and that's where you need to show you are under control."

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny GaudreauSean MonahanJiri Hudler

Sam BennettMikael BacklundJoe Colborne

Brandon BolligMarkus GranlundJosh Jooris

Michael FerlandMatt StajanDavid Jones

Kris RussellDennis Wideman

TJ BrodieDeryk Engelland

David SchlemkoCorey Potter

Jonas Hiller

Karri Ramo

Scratched: Mason Raymond, Tyler Wotherspoon, Drew Shore

Injured: Ladislav Smid (upper body), Paul Byron (lower body), Mark Giordano (torn biceps tendon), Raphael Diaz (lower body), (lower body), Lance Bouma (undisclosed)


Daniel Sedin - Henrik Sedin - Alexandre Burrows

Chris Higgins - Nick Bonino - Radim Vrbata

Ronalds Kenins - Bo Horvat - Jannik Hansen

Shawn Matthias - Brad Richardson - Derek Dorsett

Alexander Edler - Christopher Tanev

Dan Hamhuis - Yannick Weber

Luca Sbisa - Kevin Bieksa

Eddie Lack

Ryan Miller

Scratched: Linden Vey, Brandon McMillan, Ryan Stanton

Injured: Zack Kassian (back)

Status report: Hartley hinted Thursday there might be changes but said Friday he would keep his lineup the same. That means former Canucks forward Raymond will remain a healthy scratch despite speculation he could replace Bollig on the left side of the third line.

Who's hot: Bennett, 18, was one of the Flames best forwards in his second NHL game on Wednesday, creating several good chances with four shots and setting the screen on Russell's winning goal.

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