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Monahan fine as Flames eye 2-0 lead vs. Canucks

by David Satriano /



Calgary leads best-of-7 series 1-0

The Calgary Flames will try to take a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference First Round against the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena on Friday.

The Flames won 2-1 at Rogers Arena on Wednesday, when defenseman Kris Russell scored the winning goal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation.

"It was huge to come in a get the first game," Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman said after practice Thursday. "I think that the first win is tough. It was obviously a tall task for us to come in and get that. For us to get that, it was big. We were happy about it last night, but we've got a big one again [Friday]."

Flames forward Sean Monahan, who played 20:09 of ice time Wednesday, did not take part in the optional skate Thursday, but said he’s fine.

"I was sick for a little bit there, but I'm good to go," Monahan said. "I got a lot of texts before the game asking if my shoulder was ok and stuff like that, but I wasn't really sure what they were talking about. A lot of people can speculate things, but I'm 100 percent."

Calgary coach Bob Hartley reiterated Monahan's health.

"Sean Monahan has no shoulder injury," Hartley said.

Vancouver defenseman Kevin Bieksa was the only member of the team who did not practice because of an undisclosed injury, but Canucks coach Willie Desjardins said he likely will be in the lineup.

With a healthy roster, the question of who will start in goal for Vancouver remains. Desjardins didn't indicate whether it would be Eddie Lack, who made 28 saves Wednesday, or Ryan Miller. Miller started the Canucks' regular-season finale and allowed five goals in a 6-5 win against the Edmonton Oilers, his first start since sustaining a knee injury Feb. 22.

The Canucks do not want to drop the first two games of the series at home, and believe they will bounce back Friday.

"I think all year after a loss or a couple of losses, we always come back with a big game and I think tomorrow we look at that as a must win," Canucks forward Daniel Sedin said.


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