(SportsNetwork.com) - The Calgary Flames are giving their future a chance to
perform and had to like what they saw last time out.
The Flames take aim at a second straight victory on Friday night as they
welcome the New York Islanders to town.
Not expected to contend for a playoff spot down the stretch, the Flames are
giving a number of inexperienced players a chance at the NHL level. That
includes goaltender Joni Ortio, who picked up his first career victory in his
second NHL start with Wednesday's 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
The 22-year-old made 30 saves and had a shutout bid spoiled when he allowed a
goal with 9:36 remaining. Still, he figures to get a solid workload in the
near future after Calgary traded 27-year-old netminder Reto Berra to the
Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday for a second-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Fellow netminder Karri Ramo remains out with a sprained right MCL and the
Flames recalled journeyman Joey MacDonald from the minors to serve as the
Ortio was aided on Wednesday by a number of skaters he spent time this season
with in the American Hockey League. Markus Granlund scored his first NHL goal
in his fourth career game and both Corban Knight and Max Reinhart found their
way into the lineup. Knight made his NHL debut and Reinhart had an assist for
his fourth career point in 16 NHL games.
"The way the younger guys played tonight is amazing. It's a joy to watch them
do as well as they did. They've been working hard and playing really hard down
there," said Ortio, who was then asked if he was thinking about a shutout.
"I was trying to get there. I tried to block it out, but now that I didn't get
it at least I have something to wait for in the future."
Joe Colborne and Mike Cammalleri, who the Flames did not trade prior to
Wednesday's deadline, also had goals, while rookie Sean Monahan and captain
Mark Giordano notched two assists each.
The Flames, who had lost four of six coming in, also traded veteran winger Lee
Stempniak to Pittsburgh before the game and then lost center Jiri Hudler
during the game with an upper-body injury.
The Flames snapped a three-game slide to the Islanders by winning the first of
two meetings this season by a 4-2 score in New York on Feb. 6. Calgary,
though, has lost three of its past four at home to the Isles.
The Islanders are in action for a second night in a row, having dropped a 3-2
decision in overtime to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. New York yielded the
final three goals after taking a 2-0 lead in the first period, with the winner
coming 2:29 into the extra frame.
Frans Nielsen and Anders Lee scored for the Islanders, who were coming off an
overtime win against Winnipeg but lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Evgeni Nabokov surrendered three goals on 29 shots.
"At some point, they're going to have to realize those little things, the
moment you stop moving your feet or get out of position it's going to cost
you," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said.
New York will conclude a four-game road trip on Monday in Vancouver and hope
that Lee can continue his surge. The 23-year-old has scored in back-to-back
games and has four goals and an assist in five contests this season.
The Sports Network