CALGARY, Alberta — The early returns on David Kampf have been promising.
Kampf, called up from Rockford when Artem Anisimov was placed on injured reserve with an upper-body injury, has been centering Alex DeBrincat and Vinnie Hinostroza on the third line. He’s been solid at the faceoff circle (a sore spot for the Blackhawks), going 16 of 33, and has been killing penalties, too.
Coach Joel Quenneville has been impressed and said Kampf could help stabilize a Hawks lineup that has been searching for centers all season.
“We’ve really liked what we’ve seen from him so far,” Quenneville said. “Gives us some speed and some predictability in our own end. He could give us that consistency we’re looking for.”
Lance Bouma had 12 reporters around his locker after the morning skate as he made his return to Calgary after spending six seasons with the organization. He had a career-high 16 goals in 2014-15 but had just five total over the following two seasons. The physical Bouma was asked if he’d be taking a run at any of his old teammates, notably star forward Johnny Gaudreau.
“Probably a few of them want to take a run at me, too,” he said. “It’ll be fine. It’s part of the game, and everyone goes through it in their career. These are fun games.”
There are three ex-Hawks on the Flames roster, but only 2010 Stanley Cup champion Troy Brouwer was in the lineup. Kris Versteeg had hip surgery in early December, and Michael Frolik suffered a fractured jaw on Thursday against the San Jose Sharks after taking a Brent Burns shot to the mouth.
Gustav Forsling and Jan Rutta, who had emerged as the Hawks’ shutdown pair earlier in the season, were scratched for a second consecutive game.
“They had a stretch there for us, for sure, where it was really trending in a really positive direction, where it was going to that next level,” Quenneville said. “[Then they were] ordinary for some games there, and I thought it was a tough one in that [Vancouver] game.”
Michal Kempny and Cody Franson were the third pairing. Patrick Sharp was scratched for the third time in five games.
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