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Giordano, Stempniak absent as Flames host Capitals

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- Lee Stempniak and Mark Giordano will not be in the lineup for the Calgary Flames as they return to Scotiabank Saddledome to host the Washington Capitals after coming off their five-game road trip with just one win.

Stempniak and Giordano, who rank second and third in Flames scoring respectively, will both miss the game on Saturday with lower-body injuries.

"Both of them, they're great leaders in here," said forward Sven Baertschi, who is expected to dress in Stempniak's place. "They're a huge help for our team. With both of them out, there has to be other guys that have to step up and I think we have enough offensive power in here to score goals and we have enough defensemen that can play very well.

"Everyone has to just chip in a little bit of leadership and then problem solved."

Stempniak played 16:57 and scored the Flames' lone goal in Calgary's 5-1 loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday to wrap up Calgary's 1-4-0 road trip. But he will be unavailable for the Flames. He has recorded a point in all but one game for the Flames this season and has four goals and nine points on the year.

The team did not address his status outside of a tweet acknowledging Stempniak would indeed miss the game.

The Flames, however, did place Giordano on Injured Reserve on Saturday, retroactive to October 21st.

Giordano, who has nine points in eight games this season, also missed the final two games of Calgary's road trip.

Replacing his contribution won't be easy, according to defenseman Dennis Wideman.

"Mark's a big part of our D core,"Wideman said. "He plays the hard minutes against the top lines. Power play, penalty kill, he does it all. It's going to be tough. We're going to need all of us to step up and play a couple of extra minutes to pick up his. It's tough when you lose a guy like him that plays 26, 27 minutes a game. All of us have to be better."

Replacing the captain's leadership in the dressing room will be just as difficult.

"He's such a great person in here," Baertschi said. "I think that's the part we miss about him. Out there on the ice, he competes really hard and he is a lot of the time our best defenseman out there. Having him out, you can feel it a little bit. Everyone has to chip in a little more, a little bit of leadership, to solve the problem there."

Here are the projected lineups for the Flames and Capitals:


Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Alex Ovechkin

Martin Erat - Brooks Laich - Troy Brouwer

Jason Chimera - Mikhail Grabovski - Joel Ward

Aaron Volpatti - Eric Fehr - Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner - John Carlson

Nate Schmidt - Mike Green

John Erskine - Steve Oleksy

Braden Holtby

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Jay Beagle, Alexander Urbom

Injured: Jack Hillen (lower body)


Curtis Glencross - Matt Stajan - David Jones

Sven Baertschi - Sean Monahan - Jiri Hudler

Mike Cammalleri - Mikael Backlund - TJ Galiardi

Lance Bouma - Joe Colborne - Brian McGrattan

TJ Brodie - Chris Butler

Kris Russell - Dennis Wideman

Derek Smith - Shane O'Brien

Karri Ramo

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Christopher Breen, Tim Jackman

Injured: Lee Stempniak (lower body), Mark Giordano (lower body)

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