Morning Skate Report: Flames @ Kings

Monday, 11.03.2013 / 5:11 PM / News
By Jason Johnson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@jay__jo)
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Morning Skate Report: Flames @ Kings

MACDONALD GETS THE NOD

Flames head coach Bob Hartley has opted to start Joey MacDonald tonight against the Kings.

The 33-year-old netminder was plucked off waivers by the Flames back on February 11th. He has started in eight contests this season and has three wins and three losses to his credit. He has a 2.96 goals against average and a .900 save percentage. The last time he was given the crease call was February 28th in a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Avalanche.

“I felt his record is great," said bench boss Bob Hartley. "He’s giving us a chance to win. Kipper played our last three games, so we’re just making sure we keep both guys going.”

MacDonald has been strong in his last four starts as a member of the Flames where he has earned the club five of a possible six points.

Miikka Kiprusoff has started 10 games this season for Calgary recording three wins, five losses and two overtime defeats. The 36-year-old has a goals against average of 3.43 and an .867 save percentage.

Kiprusoff made his third straight start on Saturday against the Kings after missing 13 games because of a sprained knee and gave up six goals on 22 shots. He was replaced by Joey MacDonald after Colin Fraser's goal with 11:38 remaining.

When asked about Kiprusoff being in 'game shape', Hartley indicated that the time off had an effect on the goaltender.

“Obviously he was out for quite a bit,” Hartley said. “I can’t answer that question exactly right on the button. But I think practice time is so tough right now with the condensed schedule that basically the only way you can get that game shape is in games."

“I think to get a day off today is going to give him two, three days to rest. A few good practices. So he’s going to get back on his feet, and he’s going to be good to go.”

BLUELINE SHUFFLE

Bob Hartley has decided to remove Derek Smith from the lineup tonight and insert blueliner Cory Sarich.

Sarich has been a healthy scratch the past nine games. He last suited up in a 4-0 setback to the Phoenix Coyotes on February 18th. In eight games this season the hard hitting Saskatoon, Saskatchewan native has no goals and no assists with a minus-3 rating and has averaged 13:54 minutes of ice time.

"For myself I need to be solid out there," said Sarich after Flames practice. "I gotta help move some bodies around in our end, try to eliminate cycles because they are a big team that likes to control down low."

Derek Smith has been a regular fixture in the Flames back-end for several games but the coach felt the change was necessary.

Smith logged 13:46 minutes of ice time against the Kings on Saturday and was one of Five players with a minus-2 rating in the match.

Bob Hartley has also mixed up the defensive units pairing Mark Giordano with Dennis Wideman, Jay Bouwmeester with T.J. Brodie and Sarich with Chris Butler.

GLENCROSS TO BE RE-EVALUATED

Curtis Glencross has returned to Calgary on Sunday to be checked out by team doctors. The forward suffered an upper body injury in the Flames 4-0 setback to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

"We sent him to Calgary yesterday so he is being checked today by our doctors," said Bob Hartley. "When we get back to Calgary we have have the news."

Glencross has played in 22 games this season and has registered 8 goals, 13 points and has a minus-6 rating.