(SportsNetwork.com) - Rookie center Sean Monahan has impressed Calgary enough
that he won't be going back to juniors this season.
The 19-year-old will try to lead the Flames to a victory on Thursday night in
the finale of a five-game road trip against the Dallas Stars, who may have
their No. 1 goaltender back in action.
Monahan was selected sixth overall in the 2013 draft and has posted a team-
leading six goals through nine games on the season. He is also tied for second
on the Flames with nine points and though general manager Jay Feaster said the
youngster still has things to work on, he will do so at the NHL level.
"As we always tell players, they make the decisions. The players decide and
certainly in Sean's case, Sean decided," Feaster said on Wednesday. "Through
those first nine games, he demonstrated that he can play in this league. He
has not looked out of place and has not been a guy who's taken five or six
minutes and a few shifts a night. He has seen his ice time increase through
By not returning Monahan to his junior club, the Ottawa 67's of the Ontario
Hockey League, the first season of his three-year, entry-level contract will
activate as tonight will be his 10th game of the season.
"I didn't know what to expect," Monahan said of Wednesday's deadline for his
return. "Obviously I was nervous going into this day and I'm just really happy
to be part of this team and trying to help this team win games."
Monahan has been held without a point in just two of his nine games this
season, including Tuesday's 4-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes.
Lee Stempniak had a goal and Jiri Hudler assisted on Joe Colborne's third-
period tally. Hudler has logged a point in all nine of Calgary's games this
season, posting four goals and 12 points.
"We got some timely goals and made a game out of it, but too little, too
late," Stempniak said. "We'd like to have a 60-minute effort to give ourselves
a better chance."
Joey MacDonald allowed three goals on 32 shots as Calgary fell to 1-3-0 on its
road trip and played without captain Mark Giordano due to a lower-body injury.
The defenseman is questionable for tonight.
Karri Ramo is slated to make his fourth start of the season tonight for
Calgary and has never before faced Dallas, which could see Kari Lehtonen
return to net for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury in an
Oct. 11 game against Winnipeg.
Lehtonen has missed Dallas' last five games and was activated from injured
reserve on Monday. He is 2-1-0 with a 1.57 goals against average and .953 save
percentage in three games this season.
"Hopefully I'm able to get going and kind of start where I left off," said
Lehtonen. "That would be great. Every game is a new challenge and anything can
happen. I just have to prepare myself."
Lehtonen is 6-3-2 with a 2.85 GAA in 11 career games versus the Flames.
Backup Dan Ellis started the first four games with Lehtonen sidelined,
including Saturday's setback in Los Angeles. The Stars were in action the
following night in Anaheim, with 21-year-old Jack Campbell making his NHL
debut in net.
It was a rough one for Campbell, who yielded six goals on 47 shots faced.
Dallas took a two-goal lead after the first period thanks to tallies from
Shawn Horcoff, Brenden Dillon and Ryan Garbutt, but did not score again and
the Ducks went ahead with a three-goal second period.
"We came out strong after playing last night, got up to a 3-1 lead and it was
really unfortunate for us to have that fall through," Garbutt said after his
club's second straight loss and fourth in five games.
Garbutt won't get a chance to help his team get on track as he will begin
serving a five-game suspension for charging Anaheim forward Dustin Penner
during the second period of the loss. He left his feet to hit Penner after
having just exited the penalty box, though was not penalized in the game.
Penner was helped to the dressing room and did not return to the game. He sat
out Anaheim's contest at Toronto on Tuesday as well.
Dallas forward Erik Cole is also day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and did
not practice on Wednesday.
The Stars lost two of three to the Flames last season, splitting two meetings
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