Yelle nears return

TODD SAELHOF -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 4:47 PM ET

 Stephane Yelle is drawing closer to a return to the Calgary Flames.

 Good thing, because the club could use what the veteran centreman brings to the table: Experience, solid two-way play and faceoff excellence.

  "It's feeling better but that's about it for now," said Yelle of a sore hip that's limited him to practising with the Flames during the NHL post-season. "I've been skating. It's nice to be on the ice working by legs out but it's a day-to-day thing."

 Meaning he's doubtful for tonight's Game 3 at home against the Vancouver Canucks.

 That means fellow faceoff artist Craig Conroy will continue to take the majority of important draws on behalf of the Flames. Conroy was magnificent in Wednesday's Game 1, winning 16-of 22-faceoffs. In Friday's Game 2, he won an impressive 13-of-22 puck drops.

 "Draws take a lot out of you and he plays a lot of minutes and took a lot of draws (in Game 2)," said Yelle, who would normally take at least half of the faceoffs in the defensive zone. "But he did a great job and the other guys did, too. And that's what we have to keep doing."

 After being injured on the first shift of a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks on March 25, Yelle missed the final four regular-season games and the first two games of the playoffs.

 "It's hard to say when I'll be back," Yelle added. "I wish I could tell but even for myself, I don't know exactly."


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