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From the morning skate 07.01.11

News, notes and lines from the morning skate

Friday, 07.01.2011 / 1:04 PM / News
By Mike Board  - CF.com Digital Content Director

The goal is two win two of three games.

The Calgary Flames have done that over their last six games, winning four and losing two.

Tonight they host the Detroit Red Wings, the highest scoring team in the Western Conference (138 goals), and a strong road team at 12-5-1.

"We just have to keep going," said captain Jarome Iginla. "Our goal six games ago was to win two of three and we did that. We wanted to get some bonus ones to catch up but that didn't happen."

The Flames begin tonight's game seven points back of a playoff spot with five teams in front of them. Looking up is a daunting task but the players are ready to push.

"It is the second half. Everyone knows how important every game is," said Iginla. "We have to keep working, getting 40 shots. We have to find a way to get more (pucks) behind them (goalies). We're on the right track and we have to stay with it and believe that more will go in."

Iginla is absolutely correct on both counts. The Flames begin the second half of the NHL season tonight against the Wings. And the Flames, with 108 goals for, need to find offence on a consistent basis if they want to move up the standings.

The Flames shuffled the deck for the lines. Niklas Hagman, after missing one game, will return and play with Curtis Glencross and Matt Stajan, basically replacing Ales Kotalik on that line.

David Moss, one of the sparks ont he fourth line, moves up a notch and joins Rene Bourque and Brendan Morrison. Mikael Backlund will center Tim Jackman and Tom Kostopoulos, the two point-getting workhorses at the moment.

NOTES: RW Tim Jackman is hot. He scored late Wednesday in Vancouver and now has points in five straight games, (six points, three goals, three assists). He has six goals on the season, the most of his career and his 11 points put him one shy of his career best in 2008-09.

"Blue paint," assistant Dave Lowry said of Jackman putting up points. "Going to the front of the net, hanging around the net, putting pucks there. It's no secret. It's pretty straightforward why those (fourth-line) guys are scoring goals."...LW Rene Bourque has one assist in his last eight games and needs to get back on track... The Flames had some shootout fun at practice on Thursday. Henrik Karlsson and Miikka Kiprusoff were the winners, allowing just three goals on 20 shots. The shootout winner, on Karlsson, went to Adam Pardy. "Of course," smiled Pardy, a stay-at-home defenceman.

FLAMES SCRATCHES: Based on the line rush combinations from the morning, it would appear Craig Conroy and Ales Kotalik will be healthy scratches. Daymond Langkow (neck); Raitis Ivanans (head) and Steve Staios (shoulder) are out with injuries.

FLAMES LINES:

Tanguay- Jokinen- Iginla

Glencross-Stajan-Hagman

Kostopoulos-Backlund-Jackman

Bourque-Morrison-Moss

D-PAIRINGS:

Regehr-Bouwmeester

Sarich-Giordano

Pardy-Babchuk

GAMETIME: 7 p.m., Scotiabank Saddledome. Sportsnet West and The Fan 960