Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Rangers
Notes pertaining to the Flames game against the Rangers
Just over 24 hours removed from his 27-save performance in the Flames 2-1 OT victory over the Buffalo Sabres, Karri Ramo will be back in net, looking to backstop his club to a win over the New York Rangers.
The 27-year-old netminder has been on fire in recent weeks, making 131 saves on 138 shots in his last six games. In his last five games, he's 4-1 and has allowed just a single goal in all four of those victories.
"It's a progression rather than a change," head coach Bob Hartley said of Ramo's recent play. "I think for him, it was important that he got a feel back for the league, size of the rinks, the shooters.
"We have two great students in net. They work very hard with Clint [Malarchuk], they watch tape, they look at other team's lineup, they work on the ice. It's nice. Plus I think our total team game is getting better also."
Ramo's rights were acquired in the trade with Montreal that also brought Mike Cammalleri back into the fold. The Flames signed the Finnish goalie to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $2,750,000 on July 5.
MILESTONE NIGHTS IN MANHATTAN
Giordano, who was never drafted, has spent his entire NHL career with the Flames. In 399 games, he has scored 44 goals and 162 points.
Butler was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in the trade that sent Robyn Regehr to the state of New York. In his 299 NHL outings, the rearguard has notched 10 goals and 66 points.
"I think you hope for something [like this] when you start to be an everyday guy and to kind of find a place in this league," Butler said of his 300th game. "I think growing up as a kid, it was far-fetched; growing up in St. Louis, hockey wasn't huge at the time. Getting a chance to play in the NHL is something I've tried to never really take fore-granted."
Hartley did confirm that Blair Jones would slot back into the lineup tonight but did not announce which forward will sit tonight. TJ Galiardi, who was a healthy scratch last night, is expected to sit tonight as well.
Forward Paul Byron has made his case to stay in Calgary this Christmas with stellar play since being recalled from the Abbotsford Heat on Nov. 28.
Byron has one goal and five points in seven games with the Flames this season and is currently riding a two-game point streak that has seen him put up four points and factor into every Flames tally in those outings.
"Paulie is such a little Energizer bunny. He works hard and he’s fun to watch, and right now, he’s great to put on the ice," Hartley said after Saturday's 2-1 OT win in Buffalo.
"He’s flying. He’s on the puck. He’s buzzing. He’s smart with the puck, and he’s giving us great minutes on penalty killing."
Byron credits his ever-growing confidence for his recent success.
"The coaches put a lot of confidence in me in those situations right now and I feel pretty good about myself and the way I was playing down in Abbotsford. I'm just trying to carry it up here and it seems to be working out."
POWERFUL PENALTY KILL
The Flames penalty killing has been absolutely superb lately. It has been perfect in nine of the Flames last 11 games, killing off 39 of 41 penalties (.951%).
VS. THE RANGERS
All-time vs. the Rangers: 53-35-15-4
All-time vs. the Rangers in New York: 24-24-5-2
Last 10 games vs. the Rangers: 5-3-2-0
Last 10 games vs. the Rangers in New York: 4-4-2-0
The Flames and the Rangers have alternated wins for the last six meetings in New York.
MILESTONES WITHIN REACH
Mark Giordano needs 1 game for 400.
Chris Butler needs 1 game for 300.
Kris Russell needs 4 games for 400.
TJ Galiardi needs 7 points for 100.
Tonight's game can be seen on Sportsnet-CGY at 5:00 PM MST with Rob Kerr providing play-by-play and Charlie Simmer bringing you colour commentary. The FAN 960 will carry the radio broadcast with Hall of Famer Peter Maher doing play-by-play and Peter Loubardias on colour commentary.