After eight-game absence, Ferland back for Flames

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Looking for their first three-game winning streak of the year, Calgary will get a key energy guy back tonight in Florida.

Micheal Ferland, who’s been out since Oct. 23 with a knee injury, will suit up and play on the fourth line with Derek Grant and Josh Jooris.

The 23-year-old, who made a name for himself this last year with a hard-hitting, robust effort in an opening-round playoff win against Vancouver, will bring an aggressive element to a Flames team in desperate need of one.

Lance Bouma, the club’s other designated energy guy, is on the shelf with a broken fibula. He and Ferland were instrumental in setting Calgary’s physical tone a year ago — Bouma led the team in hits during the regular season, with 264, while Ferland led them in the playoffs, with 50.

Calgary is desperate to string together some wins and erase their poor start to the season, so getting Ferland back is a positive development.

The Flames have won three of their last four and recorded consecutive victories over the Flyers and Penguins, but now face a tricky four-game road swing through Florida, Tampa Bay, Washington and Chicago.