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Torres debut with Sharks will have to wait

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- Raffi Torres' debut with the San Jose Sharks is on hold until at least Sunday when they end their seven-game homestand against the Dallas Stars.

After San Jose's morning skate at HP Pavilion, coach Todd McLellan said Torres won't be in the lineup Friday night against the Calgary Flames for the Sharks, who have won six straight games.

"I didn't make the decision. Mother Nature made the decision," McLellan said. "He wasn't feeling real good last night. Feeling a little bit better today, but he won't play tonight, due in large part to that. But I also struggled sleeping last night whether or not we would put him in. The right thing to do for the individual is to put him in and make him feel comfortable right off the bat. But we have to do what's right for the team, and there's been a lot of guys that have played well lately and have to continue that reward."

Talking to reporters before McLellan's announcement, Torres didn't mention being ill, but he said he wouldn't mind if he wasn't in the lineup two days after being traded from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Sharks.

"If it was up to me, I probably wouldn't want to see myself play, just because you don't want to mess with a good lineup when it's winning," Torres said.

What's more, Torres said he wouldn't mind getting a few extra days to adjust to his new team before playing in a game.

"It's great," Torres said. "I had this problem when I got traded to Buffalo. They just kind of threw me in with the wolves. I try to forget those times, my time in Buffalo. That's how well that went."

Defenseman Scott Hannan, who was acquired Wednesday from the Nashville Predators in a trade, has been on injured reserve since March 29 with a neck injury and is still not healthy enough to skate. He said he has no target date for his return.

"I'm getting better," Hannan said. "Got to get back on the ice here soon, get skating and see how I feel."

Defenseman Jason Demers skated again Friday morning, but will miss his fourth straight game since taking a shoulder-to-head hit against the Detroit Red Wings on March 28. McLellan said Demers is "getting very close" to being ready to play.

The Flames will be without defenseman Mark Giordano, who, according to a team spokesman, remained in Calgary for the birth of his son Thursday night. Giordano will meet the team for its game Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks.

Defenseman Brett Carson, who was called up Thursday from Abbotsford of the American Hockey League, will be in the lineup and play his first NHL game since Dec. 15, 2011, against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"It's exciting," said Carson, who has played in 80 NHL games in five seasons overall but eight the past two seasons with Calgary. "It's been a while since I've played my last game. It's good to get back into it and hopefully contribute and help the team win. Twenty-seven years old, but it feels like my first game again. So it's real exciting. You've got to calm yourself down and play with poise out there."

Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who is 6-10-2 with a 3.64 goals-against average, will be back in net Friday night after backing up Joey MacDonald on Wednesday night against Edmonton. MacDonald allowed eight goals on 39 shots in an 8-2 loss.

"With all the distractions that went on over the past weeks, I feel for Miikka," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said after the Flames' optional morning skate. "No training camp. We're dealing with a 36-year-old goalie. He started to get on track, then the injury, the baby, all the speculation and the rumors on him being traded. It adds up. It's not excuses, but they're facts.

"I had a good talk with him. Everything is behind. He made a commitment that he wanted to finish the season as a Flame. I have absolutely no problem with that. That was his wish, and I fully support it. So tonight he gets a start. I just want him to have a good end of the season."

Here's how the lineups could look Friday night when the Sharks face the Flames at HP Pavilion:


Martin Havlat - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels

TJ Galiardi - Joe Pavelski - James Sheppard

Adam Burish - Scott Gomez - Andrew Desjardins

Matt Irwin - Dan Boyle

Brad Stuart - Matt Tennyson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun

Antti Niemi

Thomas Greiss


Roman Horak - Alex Tanguay - Michael Cammalleri

Curtis Glencross - Matt Stajan - Lee Stempniak

Jiri Hudler - Mikael Backlund - Roman Cervenka

Brian McGrattan - Steve Begin - Tim Jackman

Chris Butler - Dennis Wideman

TJ Brodie - Cory Sarich

Brett Carson - Anton Babchuk

Miikka Kiprusoff

Joey MacDonald

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