Stajan gets a shot at payback

Matt Stajan of the Calgary Flames in warm up before playing the San Jose Sharks during NHL hockey...

Matt Stajan of the Calgary Flames in warm up before playing the San Jose Sharks during NHL hockey in Calgary, Alberta, Sunday, October 24, 2010. (Al Charest/QMI AGENCY)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:43 PM ET

CALGARY - Matt Stajan will get the opportunity to face his former Maple Leaf teammates after all.

Coming off two consecutive games in which he was a healthy scratch, Stajan said he was told by coach Brent Sutter Wednesday that he would be in the lineup when his Calgary Flames meet the Leafs at the Saddledome Thursday night.

Stajan spent part of practice Wednesday working on the first line beside Jarome Iginla. He also saw some time participating in power play drills.

"I just need to play up to expectations and play the way I know I can," said Stajan, who will be taking on the Leafs for the first time since the Jan. 31 deal that made him a Flame along with Ian White, Niklas Hagman and Jamal Mayers in exchange for Dion Phaneuf, Keith Aulie and Fredrik Sjostrom.

"It will be a special game. At the same time, once it starts, they become just another team we have to beat."

Sutter pulled no punches when discussing Stajan's situation.

"There are two reasons you take someone out of the lineup - either he's not playing to his potential or there is a need to slash numbers. It wasn't the latter," Sutter said.

"I expect him to come back and play the way we expect them to play."

Stajan has scored just once in his past 43 games.

Mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca

Twitter.com/zeisberger


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