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Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Will the Flames have Chris Tanev or Nikita Zadorov available for Game 7?

The Calgary Flames could be short up to two of their regular blueliners for Sunday’s deciding Game 7 against the Dallas Stars. Nikita Zadorov’s availability could be dependent on the judgment of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety, while Chris Tanev’s could depend on a potential injury suffered in Game 6.

Let’s run down each situation.

Nikita Zadorov

In the second period, Zadorov did what he’s done frequently this season: he stepped into an opposing player and laid a hit. This time, Zadorov (listed at 6’6″ by the league) put his shoulder into Stars forward Luke Glendening (listed at 5’11”).

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It went poorly for Glendening, who looked in some distress as he was assisted off the ice.

No penalty was issued on the play. Glendening returned for the third period but sat on the bench and didn’t play a single shift. (A key distinction from him being a regular participant, but it’s still very odd that he even sat on the bench.)

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Zadorov’s hit was remarkably similar to one he threw in a Flames game against Toronto in February against Leafs forward Ondrej Kase (6’0″).

On that hit, again, there was no penalty on the play. Zadorov received no supplemental discipline, with the likely logic being that with Zadorov’s size, all he can really try to do is not lead with his elbow when throwing hits to smaller players (which is roughly 80% of the league).

Chris Tanev

Tanev did not play at all in the third period following Dallas’ second goal midway through the second period.

On the play, Tanev lost his footing, slid to the side of the net on his hands and knees, and then had Michael Raffl land on him while Raffl (and Tanev) was trying to play the puck. Raffl landed first with his weight on Tanev’s lower back and/or hips, then fell forward and broke his fall with his stick landing across the back of Tanev’s neck. Given that Raffl is listed at 205 pounds by the league, it must have sucked.

Tanev got up slowly and went down the tunnel at the Flames bench. He played two more shifts later in the period, then went back down the tunnel and then wasn’t seen for the rest of the game. Head coach Darryl Sutter had no updates on Tanev post-game.

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In Tanev’s absence, Michael Stone played on the second pairing with Oliver Kylington. Considering the number and severity of injuries that Tanev has played through in his career, he must have been in poor shape to have not finished Game 6.

We’ll have updates on Zadorov and Tanev’s statuses for Game 7 as they become available.

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