RAMO GOES AGAIN
Karri Ramo is set to go again.
After holding the Los Angeles Kings to just a single goal on Saturday -- the first time a Calgary Flames goaltender has kept opponents to under two this season -- Ramo will make his second consecutive start between the pipes against the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday.
“Karri Ramo will get the start,” coach Bob Hartley said. “I’ve said it, I remember. We will probably not announce a No. 1 goalie all year. It’s going to be a battle. I’ve said it from Day 1, it’s basically a three-man battle. Joey MacDonald is part of the mix and right now, we go with Karri and Reto. They’re doing good and Kari was excellent in LA.”
Ramo stopped 21 of 22 shots against the Kings to earn his second win at the Staples Center this year. It’s also earned him consecutive starts for the first time since late October.
“I just take every game at the time and every day at the time try to work hard and be at my best tomorrow,” Ramo said.
The win also helped improve Ramo’s record to 3-4-1 this season with a 3.23 goals against average and a team-leading .890 save percentage.
“I just try to focus on my own thing,” Ramo said. “Every time I see the puck I try to stop it. I feel confident and hopefully the coaching staff has the confidence to put me there more.”
BYRON CREATING BUZZ
After setting up Calgary’s first goal against the Kings on Saturday, Hartley was buzzing about Paul Byron.
Byron swooped down after Los Angeles goaltender Ben Scrivens stumbled, grabbed the puck and fed Blair Jones for a virtual empty-netter to swing momentum in the Flames’ favour.
“He gave us that one goal and that’s enough,” Hartley said. “We wanted energy and Paul is like that little buzz-buzz that always goes. He’s not the biggest frame out there but he plays big. He’s a great competitor and I was real happy for him that he got us that shorthanded goal.”
The goal came at a pivotal point in the game. Calgary defenceman Ladislav Smid had been assessed a five-minute major for boarding Dwight King.
But it was Byron, not the Kings who capitalized on special teams.
“I was really happy,” Byron said. “I thought I brought a lot of energy out there and competed every shift. We got a big goal on that 5-minute kill. I thought it really changed the game for us. If LA scores on that power play it would’ve deflated us a little bit but it seemed to give our bench a lot of life so it was big.”
The 5-foot-7 forward is feeling the confidence Hartley has in him.
“Anytime that coach puts you out on the penalty kill on the call-up shows they have a lot of confidence in you defensively,” he said. “I’m glad I’ve got that responsibility and I hope I can make the most of it.”
“It feels great. Our training staff, our medical staff, everyone, the docs, they did a great job in handling it. I really followed their lead and getting back on the ice the last week and up until today, it’s pain free right now which is obviously a positive and I feel good. We’ll see how it feels tomorrow but it felt real good today.”
-Mark Giordano on his ankle injury
The Flames welcome the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday at Scotiabank Saddledome (8 p.m. MT, SNET-W).
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