Morning Skate Report: Flames vs. Oilers
After missing 15 games with a lower body injury, goaltender Karri Ramo is set to return to the crease for the Calgary Flames when they visit Rexall Place to challenge the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth and final set of the 2013-14 edition of the Battle of Alberta.
Missing over a month of action hasn’t been easy on the 27-year-old.
“Trying to stay mentally positive and focused has been the hardest part,” Ramo said Thursday. “We have a really good training staff here and they have been doing a good job with me every morning for the past six weeks.”
To make room for Ramo, the Flames assigned Joni Ortio to the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL following Calgary’s 6-5 loss to the Nashville Predators on Friday. Ortio had been originally recalled in response to Ramo’s injury.
“[Ortio] did a great job,” Hartley said following the setback. “Us, as a team, put our goalie in that situation. I don't think we can blame Joni Ortio by any means for this loss. That was a team loss and we're much better than what we showed tonight. It's just a sign that there's lots of work ahead of us.”
In 29 games this season, Ramo is 11-10-4 this season with a 2.66 goals against average and .908 save percentage.
WESTGARTH DRAWS IN
Kevin Westgarth will draw back into the lineup in Edmonton and will face the Oilers for the first time since sustaining a concussion in a fight against Luke Gazdic on March 1st.
“You can’t let that change the way you play,” said Westgarth, who returned to game action 10 days ago. “Everybody’s different and guys that get injured sometimes lose that sense of invincibility and other guys, honestly, it might help them out because they realize they have to work harder to stay at the top of their game so it doesn’t happen.”
Westgarth, who will skate in place of TJ Galiardi after serving as a healthy scratch Friday, missed five games with the injury.
He hasn’t fought in the four games he's played since returning.
Gazdic told the Oilers’ website he’s ready should Westgarth want a rematch Saturday.
“I think the only guy who knows that is probably one of the guys sitting across the room at Rexall,” Gazdic said. “I’m always ready for it as it is. If I have to answer the bell, so be it. It’s what I’m here to do, so to say and I’m here for my teammates any time.”
“You can’t tell until you’re back in a fight or something. I’m not too worried about it. It’s something that’s always been, to be honest, a lot of fun and comes relatively naturally.”
Calgary’s All-time record vs. EDM: 108-88-19-2-1
All-time record CGY at EDM: 46-51-10-2-0
Last 10 Games EDM vs. CGY: 4-6-0-0
Last 10 Games CGY at EDM: 7-3-0-0
Tonight’s game between the Flames and Oilers will be broadcast on Hockey Night in Canada on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan at 8 p.m. MST.