Calgary Flames

Shore likely to make playoff debut for Flames in Game 1

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Calgary looks like it’s making an interesting lineup switch to open its series against Anaheim — Drew Shore, acquired from Florida in January, looks as though he’ll draw in tonight when the Flames take on the Ducks at Honda Center.

Shore, 24, would take the place of Mason Raymond.

The 44th overall pick at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Shore has appeared in 78 career NHL contests — 11 coming with the Flames this season — but zero in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It looks as though he’ll make his postseason debut on Calgary’s fourth line alongside Brandon Bollig and Josh Jooris, which is an interesting development as Flames head coach Bob Hartley opted not to dress Shore in any of the six opening-round games against Vancouver.

That said, it’s not surprising the team was looking to change things up from Raymond. The veteran winger hasn’t done much this postseason, with just one point in four games; in the series-clinching Game 6 win over Vancouver, Raymond received just 5:39 of ice time and finished minus-1.

After missing Round 1, hits leader Thompson back for Ducks

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The Anaheim Ducks will have some additional sandpaper in the lineup tonight as Nate Thompson will return from injury to face the Flames in Game 1 of their second-round series.

Thompson, out since Apr. 11 with an upper-body ailment, had a pretty productive first season in Anaheim — he scored five goals and 18 points in 80 games while averaging 13:19 TOI per night. The 30-year-old also led the team in hits, with 204, and finished third among forwards in blocked shots.

Thompson’s presence will be a boon for Anaheim as it looks to match the physicality Calgary brought in its opening-round series against Vancouver. The Flames out-hit the Canucks 163-118 over the six-game series, with the likes of Micheal Ferland and Joe Colborne leading the way.

Related: Flames trio of Wideman, Russell, and Brodie are ‘basically our motor offensively’

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for tonight

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A quick look at what games will be on what channels in tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff action…

Capitals at Rangers, 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

For the fourth time in five years and fifth time in seven the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals are meeting in the playoffs. The last two playoff meetings between the clubs have gone seven games with the Rangers winning both. The Rangers won three of four meetings between the two teams during the regular season. John Forslund and Pierre McGuire have the call of Game 1 from Madison Square Garden.

Flames at Ducks, 10:00 p.m. ET on NBCSN

The Anaheim Ducks are looking to avoid another second round loss as they play host to the Calgary Flames in Game 1 tonight. The L.A. Kings bounced the Ducks from last spring’s playoffs in seven games. Meanwhile the Flames are in the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2004 when they came one win shy of capturing the franchise’s second Stanley Cup. Jonas Hiller, who spent parts of seven seasons with the Ducks, will be Calgary’s Game 1 starter. Dave Strader and Brian Engblom will be on the call from the Honda Center.

PHT Morning Skate: Lightning, Stamkos feel better prepared for Habs

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

After being swept in first round of last spring’s playoffs by the Montreal Canadiens, Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning feel they’re better prepared for this year’s rematch.

“We weren’t ready to play at that level. We had a lot of young guys,” Stamkos said per The Associated Press. “We have another year under our belt. Now we have a series win, and a Game 7 win under our belt. Guys get more confidence.” (AP)

Editor’s Note: Play one-day fantasy hockey tonight! Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $15,000 league for Thursday’s NHL games. It’s just $3 to join and first place wins $1,400. Starts tonight at 7:30pm ET. Play Now!

Having won just three bronze medals in the past 20 years at the World Hockey Championship, Ken Campbell writes it’s time for the Americans to pay a little more attention to the international competition. (The Hockey News)

A St. Louis Blues fan won an unfortunate radio contest. Prior to the Blues being eliminated in the first round, a fan had a St. Louis Blues 2015 Stanley Cup champions tattoo paid for by 105.7 the Point. (Bar Down)

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson made good on his bet with Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi following the Canucks first round loss to the Flames. (Yahoo)

With it being Thursday, here’s a little throwback highlight pack. The pack features Stamkos, Michael Del Zotto, Alex Pietrangelo, Jordan Eberle, Travis Hamonic, Martin Jones and Tyler Johnson participating at the 2000 Super Novice Brick Hockey Tournament at Edmonton’s West Edmonton Mall.

Flames trio of Wideman, Russell, and Brodie are ‘basically our motor offensively’

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When the Calgary Flames finished off the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday, not only did they advance to the second round in six games, they also avoided a seventh and deciding contest, thus buying a few extra days to rest up for the Anaheim Ducks.

Those few extra days could prove key, given all the ice time that three Flames defensemen — Dennis Wideman, Kris Russell, and T.J. Brodie — have been logging.

“We asked those guys to play lots of minutes,” coach Bob Hartley said Tuesday, per the Canadian Press. “They’re very important in our game. We just don’t want them to defend. They’re basically our motor offensively.”

Indeed.

Wideman, Russell, and Brodie each registered four points against the Canucks, their puck-moving abilities drawing rave reviews, especially when compared to Vancouver’s inability to handle Calgary’s forecheck.

Looking ahead to Thursday’s series opener in Anaheim, expect the Ducks to do all they can to wear down the Flames’ trusted trio, laying the body whenever possible, a la Matt Beleskey on Adam Pardy:

Just don’t expect said trio to roll over.

“Those guys have the power of recovering very well,” said Hartley. “They’re great athletes and they want those minutes, they love those responsibilities. They’re giving us unbelievable hockey.”

Related: Giordano to have surgery, is ‘done for the season’