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Flames send Johnson home from trip, recall goalie prospect Gillies

Buffalo Sabres v Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 18: Chad Johnson #31 of the Calgary Flames in action against the Buffalo Sabres during an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome on October 18, 2016 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

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Looks like Calgary will be without backup netminder Chad Johnson for the remainder of the regular season.

Johnson, who exited last night’s loss in Anaheim with a lower-body injury, has been returned to Calgary for further examination. In a related move, the club has recalled John Gillies from AHL Stockton on an emergency basis.

Johnson got the start on Tuesday, but left after just 5:19 and making one save on one shot. Brian Elliott came on in relief in an eventual 3-1 defeat.

Though Elliott had emerged as Calgary’s No. 1 over the second half of the season, Johnson has played a key role this year -- especially early on, when Elliott was struggling. The 30-year-old went 18-15-1 with a .910 save percentage and 2.59 GAA prior to getting hurt.

This all makes for an interesting dynamic down the stretch.

Calgary has clinched a playoff berth, and is locked into one of the two wild card spots in the Western Conference. It has two games remaining -- Thursday in L.A., Saturday in San Jose -- and will be jockeying with fellow wild card holder Nashville, who is tied with Calgary on 92 points (and also has two games left).

Gillies, 23, could make his NHL debut against either the Kings or Sharks. The former Providence College standout was Calgary’s third round pick (75th overall) in the 2012 NHL Draft, and is considered to be the club’s potential goalie of the future.

This year, Gillies has appeared in 38 games for Stockton. posting a 17-14-1 record with a shutout, a 2.95 GAA and a .909 save percentage.