Matthew Lombardi's first two goals of the young NHL season came at a good time for the Calgary Flames, helping them rally to their first win.
Lombardi and the Flames look to build on that victory on Saturday when they visit the suddenly struggling Nashville Predators.
Calgary has posted three straight 40-win seasons - the team's first three since 1993-94 - but the Flames were winless through their first three games. Lombardi changed that on Friday, when he scored a game-tying goal midway through the third period to force overtime against Dallas.
In the extra session, Lombardi capitalized on a Stars turnover, taking possession of the puck deep in the Dallas zone. He beat goaltender Marty Turco at the 3:20 mark to give the Flames (1-2-1) a 3-2 victory.
"You don't expect that, and just to see that, you kind of just jump on it," Lombardi said. "I didn't even know what kind of shot I was going to get off. I just kind of got lucky and found the back of the net."
The Flames overcame two one-goal deficits as coach Mike Keenan notched his first victory since taking over the team in the offseason.
"It was a really hard game, and I'm really proud of the way the team played," said Keenan, who is with his eighth team and trying to make the Flames the fourth he has taken to the Stanley Cup finals. "It was our best game for sure this year, on a consistent basis. We had to battle back twice from a goal deficit and found a way to win."
Lombardi, who was fifth among Calgary players with 20 goals in 2006-07, snapped a 14-game scoring drought dating to March 15. The Flames improved to 24-8-3 with one tie when Lombardi scores.
Jarome Iginla, who led the Flames with 39 goals and 94 points last season, also scored his first goal on Friday. Iginla had four goals and two assists in three games against the Predators last season, and has a five-game points streak against them.
Lombardi, however, has just two goals and one assist in 10 career games against Nashville.
The Predators (2-2-0), though, have struggled defensively lately. After outscoring opponents 9-1 to open the season with back-to-back wins, they've been outscored 10-4 in consecutive losses.
On Thursday, Nashville fell 6-3 to Phoenix - its most goals allowed since a 7-2 defeat against Buffalo on Dec. 21.
"I think as a team and myself, we have to be a lot better - tonight's performance was unacceptable," goalie Chris Mason told the Predators' official Web site. "We can't just show up and expect to win."
Mason gave up a short-handed goal in the third period of Thursday's game, and claims some responsibility for the team's recent struggles.
"The first two games I was good, and the last two games, I haven't been very good," said Mason, who had a .984 save percentage in the first two games, compared to a .780 mark in the last two. "We got a lot of shots, but I didn't play up to the way I should be playing and we didn't bury the puck when we had the chance."
The Predators hope to return to form against the Flames, whom they've dominated in recent years. Nashville won the first three meetings last season before Calgary snapped an eight-game overall losing streak to the Predators with a 3-2 overtime victory March 22.