The Flames are back on home ice to take on the St. Louis Blues. Despite just one win on their eastern road trip, they had a good series of games, four of which were one goal games. The Flames continue to be a threat in the games they play in, consistently working hard and fighting for the win.
That fight may be tougher tonight, however, as injuries are piling up for the club.
Curtis Glencross has been placed on injured reserve, and will be out eight weeks with a high ankle sprain he suffered early against the Penguins Saturday afternoon. Kris Russell is out four to six weeks with a second degree MCL sprain also suffered against the Penguins, while Blair Jones is out indefinitely with a meniscal tear.
Help may be coming in for the Flames soon, as Dennis Wideman's status has been upgraded to week to week. The defenceman has been out since November 28 after suffering a fractured hand against the Blackhawks.
As for tonight's game, the Flames' blueline is thin. Derek Smith has been recalled, but will not dress. Instead, Chris Breen will draw in for his fourth NHL game. The 24 year old defenceman has not played since November 29 against the Ducks, a 5-2 loss in which he had 11:44 of ice time.
Glencross and Jones' injuries leave the Flames with only 12 healthy forwards, which means TJ Galiardi will dress for the first time tonight since a 2-1 victory over the Hurricanes on December 12. Since recovering from back spasms the Calgary native has consistently been a healthy scratch.
As for the Flames' opponent, the Blues are coming in to Calgary following a 6-0 thrashing of the Oilers, including a Chris Stewart hat trick. They will be missing first liner and recently re-signed guy-who-apparently-scores-tons-of-goals-now Alex Steen with an upper body injury suffered in the second period of their Saturday night game. The Blues have recalled Dmitrij Jaskin, who will be taking Steen's place alongside Backes and Oshie on the top line. This will be Jaskin's third NHL game and first this season. He has no NHL points coming into tonight, but has scored nine goals and 17 points in 20 games played this year for the Chicago Wolves.
Tonight also marks Jay Bouwmeester's return to Calgary since being traded at last season's trade deadline for Mark Cundari (still in the AHL), Reto Berra (tonight's starting goalie, so that will be... interesting), and a first round pick (Emile Poirier, who currently has 21 goals and 50 points in 34 games for the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL). Bouwmeester now plays on St. Louis' top pairing, alongside Alex Pietrangelo. He's 29th in the NHL in total ice time, averaging about 24:18 minutes a game. He has three goals and 24 points in 35 games this year. Bouwmeester's a guy who exists, alright. Good for him.
Galiardi - Stajan - Stempniak
Cammalleri - Backlund - Byron
Hudler - Colborne - D. Jones
Bouma - Monahan - McGrattan
Butler - Brodie
Giordano - Smid
O'Brien - Breen
Jaskin - Backes - Oshie
Schwartz - Berglund - Tarasenko
Morrow - Roy - Stewart
Paajarvi - Lapierre - Porter
Bouwmeester - Pietrangelo
Jackman - Shattenkirk
Colaiacovo - Cole