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EXTRA SPECIAL

When the game goes into bonus time, the Flames have a habit of winning

by ARI YANOVER @NHLFlames / calgaryflames.com

When a game goes beyond regulation, the Flames are a confident bunch.

And why wouldn't they be?

They're a perfect 4-0 in extra time so far this season, with two overtime and two shootouts wins. Go back a year, and their record gets even more impressive: only four overtime or shootout losses in their past 21 extra-frame games.

"We have good players," coach Glen Gulutzan said following the team's optional Monday skate.

Not just that, but they've added to their group. Matthew Tkachuk is now getting overtime shifts, and he's two-for-two in his NHL shootout career. And Mike Smith has the ability to make things difficult for the opposition in a way that few other goalies can.

"If they're trying to make a change or a puck's slowly going down the ice and they're trying to get off, it's like having another defenceman back there," Gulutzan said of Smith's penchant for playing the puck. "I'm sure they game plan like we did when we played against him, you have to game plan for him in all situations. Penalty-kill, five-on-five in your dumps and trying to establish offence, and then when you're in three-on-three you have to make sure you know he's there because he can transition a puck."

Smith, for his part, likes what he sees from the skaters in front of him - especially players such as Tkachuk and Sean Monahan, who have both been clutch this year.

"I think just, the skill takes over," Smith said. "Three-on-three, anything can happen, but you got the guys on the ice that can make something out of nothing and possess the puck and you have to be able to do that on three-on-three.

"I think you see these young kids now, how talented they are at a young age, and the moves they're able to pull off, and the confidence they have in it, so it's good to have those guys on your team.

"And obviously the shootout, the high-skill guys are the guys that seem to find ways to put the puck in the net, and Chucky and Mony have been those guys so far."

Video: Gulutzan on his overtime and shootout strategies

Not that there aren't others who want to step up in the same way.

"Every time that we go (to the shootout) I can see guys looking back at me," Gulutzan said. "And that's such a good thing. It's like, 'me, pick me, pick me, pick me.'

"You've got all competitive guys. These guys didn't grow up being the most non-competitive guys on their hockey teams, right. They grew up being probably the man on most teams. And yeah, I get lots of guys staring at me when those shootouts are on."

That includes Micheal Ferland, who had a goal against the Devils, but was also stopped on a penalty-shot attempt - the first of his career.

"Yesterday Ferly was like, I think he said something like, 'Am I next?'" Gulutzan recalled. "He wanted a redo, I think."

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