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Flames burn Sens for third straight win

Hamilton scores twice, Elliott makes 31 saves

by George Johnson @GeorgejohnsonCH /

CALGARY, AB -- Defenceman Dougie Hamilton scored twice and goaltender Brian Elliott stopped 31 of 33 shots as the Calgary Flames topped the Ottawa Senators to run their win streak to three games via a 5-2 victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.

The Flames were endeavoring to build on a successful two-win, back-to-back road swing this week, in Chicago and St. Louis.

"It's kind of a cliche. They say it's hard to come back in your building after a road trip and get a good first game back," said former Sens forward Alex Chaisson, "It wasn't really pretty in the first period, we got down and they scored two powerplay goals.

"We've talked about trying to stick to the process. The leadership group here and Gully, everyone is trying to buy in with what we are trying to do and when you stick to the game plan and stick to the process we find a way to win and that's what is important in this league."

The win nudged them to the .500 mark, 4-4-1, after a slow start to the season.

Chaisson and Johnny Gaudreau chipped in with two assists each.

With Ottawa very much in the ascendancy and pressing for a third-period equalizer, Calgary conjured up an insurance strike at 9:33. Gaudreau, in control of the puck behind the Sens' net, spotted Sean Monahan coming late and slung a backhand pass through the slot.

Video: OTT@CGY: Monahan's one-timer extends Flames' lead

Monahan drilled a shot past Ottawa goaltender Chris Dreidger to afford Calgary a measure of breathing room.

Michael Frolik later cashed a 2-on-1 pass from Mikael Backlund to round out scoring for the Flames.

When the Senators returned to the ice for the second period, leading them out was former Calgary Hitmen standout Chris Driedger. Starting goaltender Andrew Hammond wasn't even perched on the end of the bench, sidelined by a "lower-body" injury.

Ottawa was already having to make do without No. 1 Craig Anderson, allowed to return home for personal reasons before the Sens reached Calgary.

Dreidger's first impression could hardly be called auspicious. By the 1:25 mark, Calgary had equalized 2-2, centreman Sam Bennett barreling to the front of the net and muscling the puck in off a lovely no-look, behind-the-back pass from ex-Senator Alex Chiasson.

The goal was Bennett's third of the season.

Things only got worse for Dreidger, Hamilton unleashing a shot from an acute angle off the boards, the puck hitting iron inside the net and kicking out, triggering a delayed-reaction celebration from the crowd inside the 'Dome.

Video: OTT@CGY: Hamilton nets tough shot to give Flames lead

A tripping minor to Ottawa defenceman Chris Wideman had expired seconds before the go-ahead marker.

The Sens were bossing the shot clock, 26-12, but the Flames came closest to scoring before the period ended, Dennis Wideman's set-it-up-on-a-tee slapper from the high slot, deflecting off a thicket of bodies and nestling against the post.

"We were out played; I didn't really like our game," assessed Glen Gulutzan. "I thought for five minutes in the first we had a good push and about five minutes in the second. The Senators controlled probably fifteen to twenty minutes of those periods pretty handily."

"In this league you are going to have nights where you are going to face a barrage and teams are going to have jump on you. I don't know why [that was the case] tonight."

Calgary had opened brightly, Hamilton firing a wrist shot from the right point that sailed through, short side, at 5:24 of the first period.

"It's good. I think just sticking to our game plan is working right now," Hamilton said. "We have to keep it going obviously. It's nice to be able to do it at home. We've got another home game now and another road trip so we've just got to keep going."

The Flames then ran smack-dab into a bit of penalty trouble. Four seconds after Matthew Tkachuk had been incarcerated for latching onto Erik Karlsson's stick, the two-time Norris Trophy winner wired a shot from the blueline, dead centre, past a screened Elliott.

Calgary's second minor of the period, Bennett for tripping, also wound up biting the homesteaders, a shot from Sens' Kyle Turris ricocheting off a Dennis Wideman shinguard and in.

Ottawa rattled off the final nine shots of the period.

NOTES:Scratched for the Flames was Nicklas Grossmann, Freddie Hamilton and Brett Kulak. Jyrki Jokipakka drew into the lineup in favour of Grossmann, who suited up in Tuesday's 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues … Thomas Chabot was the lone scratch for Ottawa.

UP NEXT: The Flames will host the Washington Capitals at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday (7:30 PM MT; Sportsnet, FAN 960).



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