Mike Keenan got his first win as coach of the Calgary Flames the hard way.
The Flames hadn’t won in Dallas in nearly six years and hadn’t won in three games under their new coach before Matthew Lombardi’s overtime goal gave Calgary a 3-2 victory over the Stars on Friday night.
Keenan knew the Flames’ history in Dallas.
“We knew it was a tough place to play,” Keenan said. “It was a really hard game, and I'm really proud of the way the team played. 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. It was a high-intensity game, almost like a playoff game, which is a compliment to both teams to play that hard at this juncture in the season.'”
Lombardi tied the game by beating Marty Turco midway through the third period, then won it by capitalizing on an errant backpass by Dallas’ Brenden Morrow, who thought there was still a defenseman in the zone. Lombardi picked up the puck at the Dallas blue line, raced into the Stars zone and ripped a slap shot past Turco on the short side with 1:40 left in OT.
“You don't expect that, and just to see that, you kind of just jump on it,” Lombardi said after ending Calgary’s seven-game losing streak in Dallas. “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.”
Morrow said he was at fault.
“There's nobody to blame but myself,” he said. “Our team counts on me to make good plays in situations like that and it was a bad play by me.”
Jarome Iginla had the other goal for the Flames, who were 0-2-1 in their first three games under their new coach.
The Stars’ Mike Modano opened the scoring 4:27 into the game, beating Miikka Kiprusoff from the left circle after picking up a pass that pinballed off some skates. It was his 508th career goal, the most by a U.S.-born player, and his 1,228th point, four short of Phil Housley’s career mark for American players.
“I was in the right spot at the right time on our goal,” Modano said.
Iginla tied the game with 22 seconds left in the first period, but Niklas Hagman put the Stars back in front at 9:05 of the middle period with his fifth goal.
Lombardi raced up the left side midway through the third period and beat Turco at 10:46 to force overtime.
“To lose two leads is tough, but they were desperate,” Modano said.
Dallas coach Dave Tippett said his team's 15 giveaways – Calgary had just five –
were the difference.
“At key times of this game, we failed to protect the puck, and the biggest blunder was the last one that cost us the game,” he said.
Material from wire services was used in this report