CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames are searching for a spark to ignite their offense.
It could come in the form of Mike Cammalleri.
Needing a jolt with just two goals in their last two games, the Flames are set to welcome Mike Cammalleri back into the fold against the Dallas Stars Wednesday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Cammalleri, who had three assists in Calgary’s 4-1 win over the Detroit Red Wings last Tuesday, has missed the last three games with a nagging hip flexor injury. The timing of the injury couldn’t have been worse for the forward, who was coming on in a big way for the Flames.
“I think the last game I played in we played pretty well,” Cammalleri said. “We won a game in Detroit. I couldn’t have been more excited after that game. I thought I could just really get rolling.”
It might have been the best coach Bob Hartley has seen out of Cammalleri, making losing the two-time 30-goal scorer sting that much more.
“Yes. He had three assists,” Hartley said. “He played a great game but no one chooses the time when they get injured. I like his attitude. He’s fresh. He’s sharp. We’re expecting a big game from him and 19 others in the lineup.”
Cammalleri, forced into a week-long break, was given a unique opportunity to help jumpstart his season, according to Hartley.
“Injuries, they’re not fun. You need to work out in the gym,” he said. “You’re basically removed from the team but at the same time it gives you a chance to work on your conditioning, work on your game, think about your game and yes, I think that there’s always values to maybe take a step back, do little reflections and tonight it’s a new start for Cammy.”
Still seeking his first goal, Cammalleri felt that fresh start coming on before injuring his hip flexor nearly two weeks ago against the Colorado Avalanche. Playing two more games before stepping back, the five-foot-nine forward felt the tide was turning his way.
“A couple games before that even, two or three games, I started feeling better for whatever reason and just started to feel like I was helping contribute in a lot of ways to the team,” Cammalleri said. “That’s what you’re trying to do.”
Dropping two straight contests, Cammalleri will need to pick up where he left off in Detroit and put the Flames back in the win column in their second of a three-game home stand at Scotiabank Saddledome against Dallas.
He knows it.
"For me personally, it felt like I was finding some stride and then I wasn't able to go the next night. I hope (I) can pick up right where (I) left off and hopefully we get a big win tonight."
And detonate an offense waiting to explode.
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