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Newest Flames remain confident

by Brian Compton
Those who were expecting immediate returns from the newest members of the Calgary Flames left the Pengrowth Saddledome awfully disappointed on Monday night.

Despite the additions of Matt Stajan, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers up front -- along with Ian White on the blue line -- Calgary recorded only 18 shots on goal in a 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers. The four players were acquired on Sunday from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Dion Phaneuf, Fredrik Sjostrom and Keith Aulie.

It was the Flames' lowest shot total since a 3-0 loss at Detroit on Nov. 27, when they were held to just 14 shots.

"I don't think it's right to judge them on their performance tonight but the reality is we can't have players, new and old, take too long getting used to each other because we have no time for that, we have to win hockey games," Calgary coach Brent Sutter said.

Stajan was handed the No. 1 centering duties as he skated alongside Jarome Iginla and Dustin Boyd. Hagman joined Olli Jokinen -- who was dealt to the New York Rangers after the game -- on a line with Jamie Lundmark. Mayers was on the fourth line.

"It was disappointing. We've got to play a better hockey game, that's the bottom line," Stajan said.

White was assigned Phaneuf's No. 3 jersey but also paired up with his former partner, Robyn Regehr.

"It was a tough game for us," White said. "We couldn't generate anything and we couldn't get anything going. We just looked a bit out of sync out there. It took a little while to get my legs under me. We're just going to get better from here."

The Flames will again have a new look for their game on Wednesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, as Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins were acquired after the loss from the Rangers in exchange for Jokinen and Brandon Prust.

"You try and build chemistry, and get used to tendencies of the guys you're playing with. It doesn't just happen," Stajan said. "You start to get a feel but it wasn't there tonight. We've got to make sure we work hard at practice (Tuesday) and really get a feel for whoever we're playing with and be better."
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