Conroy happy to be healed

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 9:41 AM ET

After his second day back on the ice since suffering an injured foot, Craig Conroy had a big smile when he returned to the dressing room.

That's because he's been declared ready to return after missing five games.

"Whenever they need me. Hopefully, that is (tonight)," Conroy said.

The injury that forced Conroy to the sidelines was never unveiled, but a clue could be found with a quick look at his feet. He skated with clear protective shields over his skate boots, which Cory Sarich has also been using.

"I've got them on both feet so they don't know which one is hurt," Conroy said with a grin.

If Conroy returns, it means roster juggling.

Head coach Brent Sutter said Jamie Lundmark was assigned to Abbotsford of the AHL, but his equipment was still hanging in the Flames room after yesterday's practice. He may be sent to the minors, but there could be another move afoot to keep the forward, who's collected four points in nine games this season, in the fold. Lundmark was playing on a line with Jarome Iginla and Olli Jokinen.

Defenceman Staffan Kronwall was reportedly placed on waivers, so he could be sent down to the AHL -- the club would still have seven healthy defencemen -- and that would allow the Flames to keep Lundmark up with the big club. Sutter said a decision whether Conroy would play would be made after this morning's skate.

NO FAZING KIPPER

The Flames are searching for a breakout offensive game, but the lack of big-time production isn't weighing on netminder Miikka Kiprusoff.

While his team has struggled to score in bunches -- only 24 goals in 11 games -- Kiprusoff has been under the gun to keep the opposition goals to a minimum.

Sure it's extra pressure, but Kiprusoff isn't about to tell his teammates to score at a greater rate.

"I don't worry about that too much, just think about what we're doing in our own end and it's been pretty good lately," he said. "We've had some chances the last few games and if you keep shooting that much and getting chances, it'll open up and we'll get more goals."

MALKIN IN A RUT

Flames captain Jarome Iginla isn't the only headliner in tonight's game struggling to score.

Penguins standout Evgeni Malkin has gone nine games without lighting the lamp and has only three tallies in 13 outings -- all coming in the 8-2 win over Ottawa Dec. 23.

Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma was asked whether it's tougher to help guide Malkin through a slump than a player like Crosby, because Malkin doesn't speak flawless English.

"I can unequivocally say there is no language barrier when talking to Evgeni Malkin," he said. "He's extremely smart. It may not be perfect English in front of the cameras and it may not be perfect English in private, either, but he gets it.

"He definitely understands everything, and he's a guy that wants more from himself and expects more from himself.

"He looks at certain aspects of our team and says, 'I need to provide more' and wears it on his sleeve."

Malkin won the Art Ross Trophy last season with 113 points, including 35 goals.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


Videos

Photos