Flames veterans return to action in Monday game against Oilers

Monday night's exhibition game against the Oilers was the Flames' third, but it was actually the season opener for a pair of Flames veterans.

Sean Monahan and Noah Hanifin laced them up for the first time as the Flames looked to extend their pre-season win streak to three games.

Hanifin had to shut down his season late last year, after being injured in an April 24th game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Two days later, it was announced that he needed shoulder surgery and was done for the season.

It was bad timing, as Hanifin was having his best season as a Flame, with four goals and 11 assists in 47 games, along with providing stellar defence on the blue line.

"We had a pretty good plan coming in," Hanifin said Monday. "Me and (the) season are on pretty similar timetables, so I just wanted to ramp it up as camp went along. Obviously I think we have a good training staff and I think we both felt pretty confident and get a couple games in to get ready for the (regular) season."

Monahan meanwhile injured his hip early last season and couldn't get on track all year, before shutting it down early.

He's anxious to get back on the ice, too.

"They (the trainers) had a plan in place," Monahan said. "Obviously there's time frames for the injuries and stuff like that, and I think it comes down to how you feel, and how the body's doing."

"We both feel great and today is the day we get to get in so today's a good day."

Those sentiments were echoed by Flames head coach Darryl Sutter.

"They've both worked really hard and both had really good camps," Sutter said. "Now you want them to play some games."