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Johnson still hurt, so Gillies to start playoffs as Calgary’s backup

Last year zero Canadian clubs made the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but come 2017 five have made it to postseason. Connor McDavid and the Oilers have what it takes to make a deep run, but are they the best Canadian team?

The injury that sidelined Chad Johnson at the end of the regular season will keep him out for the start of the playoffs.

Per Sportsnet, Johnson will travel with the Flames to Anaheim for their opening-round series -- which begins on Thursday -- but it will be young prospect John Gillies that backs up No. 1 Brian Elliott.

Gillies, 23, is a former Providence College standout taken in the third (75th overall) at the 2012 NHL Draft. He’s considered to be the club’s potential goalie of the future and looked good in his big-league debut, stopping 27 of 28 shots in a late season win over L.A.

Sportsnet reports that Johnson could suit up later in the series, suggesting his lower-body injury isn’t that serious.

That said, not having Johnson available could be problematic. Though Elliott had emerged as Calgary’s No. 1 over the second half of the season, Johnson 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.