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Flames' Elliott could return vs. Stars


CALGARY, Alberta -- Brian Elliott says he doesn't get sick often but, when he does, he gets really sick.

The Calgary Flames' goalie was felled by the flu two days ago and was unable to play against the Boston Bruins. With backup Chad Johnson in net, the Flames fell 5-2 at home, which ended the Flames' 10-game winning streak.

"You get a little bit of a bug and it takes you down a couple of notches. I was able to get out there today and kind of sweat it out a bit and feel a lot better from the last 24 hours," he told Flames TV.

Elliott practiced Thursday, and it sounded like he will be back in the net Friday night when the Dallas Stars visit Calgary.

"That was the goal today: to get out there and see how I felt. And I felt pretty good (compared to) how I was feeling a short time ago," he said. "I'll come in (Friday), have a pre-game skate and go from there. But I feel a lot better."

In his past 15 games, Elliott is 13-1-1 with a 1.93 goals-against average, which is the reason his illness was met with such concern. The Flames have won 16 of their past 19 to take command of a playoff spot in the Western Conference, with 12 games remaining.

The Flames also hope to get back defenseman Michael Stone, who has missed three games with a shoulder injury. He also practiced Thursday. Stone was acquired from the Arizona Coyotes right before the March 1 deadline, and the Flames have been pleased with how he has fit in on the blue line.

Stone also sounded like he could play now.

"I'm feeling pretty confident in how things have come along," he said. "I'm not really sure what that means, but so far, so good.

"I would like to get back as soon as possible. Whether that's tomorrow or further down the road," he said. "I'm not the doctor, but it is my body. ... We'll have another discussion here and go from there."

Stone was injured in Calgary's win over the Montreal Canadiens last week.

"He's real close," coach Glen Gulutzan told NHL.com. "He's had two days of battle now and a practice now in full. I'll talk to the docs here shortly and see where he's at. But I'm sure he's real close."

The Stars also are dealing with a key injury after captain Jamie Benn was hurt Thursday night during a 4-2 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Benn suffered an upper-body injury, possibly during a second-period fight with Nikita Tryamkin. Coach Lindy Ruff told reporters it may have been from earlier in the game. Benn did not play the third period.

The win followed a disheartening 7-1 loss in Edmonton but does little to help the sting of a disappointing season that has the Stars sitting sixth in the Western Conference with 11 games left.

"I'm sure everybody's excited that we found our game today," said goalie Kari Lehtonen, who made 26 saves in Vancouver. "(We'll) just go (to Calgary) and do the same thing again. They've been winning a lot of games. It's going to be a tough matchup."

Said Stars center Jason Spezza: "We know it's a tough building. They're sitting there rested, so we've got to have a simple game and play good on special teams. But, it was nice to get a win right here."
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