SUN Hockey Pool

Flames catch break as wingers return to lineup

SCOTT FISHER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Nigel Dawes could have taken the extra two weeks to make sure his knee is at full strength.

But after sitting out the last 10 games, he wasn't interested in taking an early vacation.

Dawes, who returned to action Saturday night against the Anaheim Ducks, said he wasn't jeopardizing anything by getting back on the ice.

"We haven't rushed it at all," Dawes said. "It's 100%, so I don't think it's a reason why I shouldn't play."

With the Flames struggling to find the back of the net and a key NHL Western Conference opponent in town, Dawes didn't want to sit in the pressbox. He had an assist on Eric Nystrom's first-period goal in his first game back.

"There's a lot of teams we're battling right now," Dawes said. "So pretty much every game we play is important. But any time there's a team within striking distance of you, you want to keep them at bay."

Winger David Moss, suffering from a shoulder injury, also proclaimed himself ready to go after the morning skate.

Moss, who missed 13 games leading up to Saturday night, said both he and Dawes were looking forward to finally returning to action.

"We're going to have a lot of energy and, certainly, fresh legs. We want to get to the net and create chances."

DUCKS FLY NINE TO GAMES

The Olympic break will allow most NHL teams to take a much-needed break.

The Anaheim Ducks are not among them.

The Ducks are sending a league-high nine players to the Olympic Games.

Centre Saku Koivu, who will suit up with teammate Teemu Selanne for Finland, said the Ducks will be just fine as long as the players don't suffer any injuries.

"It's a great competition," Koivu said. "As long as everything is OK when we come back, I don't think it'll be a disadvantage."

The Ducks placed three players on Team Canada (Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and captain Scott Niedermayer), two on Team USA (Bobby Ryan and Ryan Whitney) and another pair with the Swiss (Jonas Hiller and prospect Luca Sbisa).

SCOTT.FISHER@SUNMEDIA.CA


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