Morning Skate Report: Flames vs Kings

News and notes from the Flames morning skate

Wednesday, 09.04.2014 / 3:18 PM
Andrew Halipchuk

DOME ICE ADVANTAGE?

The Calgary Flames welcome the Los Angeles to the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight for their final home stand of the season.

This will be the fifth and final meeting between the two teams in a season series that has belonged to the visiting team. Calgary won both games at the Staples Center in LA, while the Kings have prevailed in the two meetings at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Since the start of the New Year, the Flames have won 11 of 19 games at the ‘Dome, during which they had a five-game win streak in late January and nine of 11 overall extending into March.

“[Winning at home] is where the mental games starts,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “Visiting teams come in and it’s basically impossible to get a win.

“That is what we are trying create here.”

Three games between the Flames and Kings this season were settled by one goal, while the Kings blanked the Flames 2-0 in the last meeting.

Calgary has set a new franchise record for one-goal games with 48, going 24-17-7. The Flames are just one game shy of tying the all-time NHL record of 49 one-goal games.

“We’re building some very positive aspects of our game,” Hartley said. “Whether it’s the development of our young players or the leadership of our veterans.”

“I’m very pleased and I’m having lots of fun coaching this team.”

PERSONAL RETURN

The Flames will have a pair of forwards return to the lineup Wednesday when Matt Stajan and Paul Byron suit up against the Kings.

Both returned to Calgary after the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs last week due to personal reasons, and did not finish the five-game road trip with the team.

“It (Stajan and Byron’s personal leaves) was part of our plan, it was already set,” Hartley said. “They’re going to be back and it’s going to be good. We did what we thought was right to do.”

Stajan will be centering a line between Lance Bouma and Brian McGrattan, while Byron will join Mike Cammalleri and Jiri Hudler.

“It feels great (returning to the lineup)," Byron said. “It shows what the management and coaches have in their players and how much they respect (the players') personal lives.”

VAN BRABANT'S HOMECOMING

Morinville, AB native Bryce Van Brabant will be making his Scotiabank Saddledome debut against Los Angeles.

Van Brabant joined the Flames in late March and has played the past four games for Calgary, amassing eight hits and three blocked shots while averaging 9:56 in ice time per game.

“I’m pretty excited, it’s going to be awesome,” Van Brabant said. “It’s nice to be back in Alberta, it has been a while.”

Van Brabant signed a two-year entry level contract with the Flames after his Quinnipiac Bobcats were eliminated from the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament in March. The 21-year-old will be playing on a line with Kevin Westgarth and fellow Albertan TJ Galiardi in his first pro game in his home province.

Van Brabant was invited to Flames rookie camp last summer, but due to the flood he never got a chance to practice on the Saddledome ice.

Fellow Albertan rookie Joe Colborne had a few words of wisdom for the young left winger heading into his first NHL game in Alberta.

“He’s going to have some nerves tonight,” Colborne said. “I remember skating out the first time, it was a pretty special. This is going to be a night he’s going to remember for a long time.”

MILESTONE WATCH

Mark Giordano is four points away from 200

Kris Russell is six assists away from 100

WHO'S HOT

Giordano has 18 points in the past 20 games (5g+13a=18p). He has set new career highs in points (46), goals (14), power play goals (7) and shots on goal (172). He is second amongst NHL defencemen in points-per-game with 0.75% ...Cammalleri has 23 points (13g+10a=23p) in the past 18 games. He has scored the game winning goal in six of the past nine wins for the Flames. He is currently tied for fifth in the NHL in game winning goals with 8. ... Curtis Glencross has 11 points in the past 13 games. (6g+5a=11p) ... Karri Ramo improved to 16-13-4 with a 2.53 GAA and a .914 save percentage in 37 appearances this season, all career bests. He has stopped 62 of 63 shots faced in the past two games.

QUOTABLE

"It's such a huge step to go from the college game to the NHL, he's made the transition pretty seamlessly... he's been pretty impressive."

-Colborne on the play of Van Brabant

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Calgary’s all-time record vs LAK: 111-84-21-1-3

All-time record Los Angeles at Calgary: 65-33-12-0-1

Last 10 games Calgary vs. Los Angeles: 4-6-0-0

Last 10 games Los Angeles at Calgary: 4-5-0-1

BROADCAST INFORMATION

Tonight’s game between the Flames and Kings will be broadcast on TSN and Sportsnet 960 The Fan at 8 p.m. MST.

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