Niklas Hagman found his feet in the second half of the Calgary Flames annual Red and White scrimmage.
The Flames forward, who missed a day of training camp because of the flu, scored the lone goal for Team White in a 3-1 loss to Team Red in front of about 800 people at the Max Bell Arena on Monday.
Playing on a line with Matt Stajan
and Rene Bourque, Hagman scored on a nice one-timer from the slot in the second half of the game.
"It came quick and it went away quick," said Hagman of the ailment that kept him off the ice on Saturday.
Hagman, acquired from Toronto in the big deal last season, said getting to know is teammates and settling in with the Flames for a training camp should be a big help.
"We can build some chemistry and work hard," said Hagman. "Now we know we have to play better. I know I have to play better."
Scoring for the red were Jay Bouwmeester
, Alex Tanguay
and Olli Jokinen
, who also picked up an assist on Bouwmeester's goal.Top line production
Many eyes are on the Flames first line and even more expect Olli Jokinen
, Jarome Iginla
and Alex Tanguay
to lead the way offensively this season.
At the scrimmage, the line produced two goals and worked plenty on the power play. Both teams were given two-minute segments on the power play following five-on-five and four-on-four play. One of the interesting things was to see Jokinen on the point of the power play.
Head coach Brent Sutter liked the way the line moved the puck.
"They moved the puck well, made some plays. As they go a long their pace will pick up," said Sutter, who watched the proceedings from the stands.
He plans on leaving the line together for training camp to develop timing and chemistry.
"Absolutely. We have the opportunity now to let that happen," said the coach. "We can give them some time to work things out and be ready for the start of the season."
Both Tanguay and Jokinen have played with Iginla in the past but this is the first time all three have played together on a line.
"So far, so good," smiled Tanguay. "We are trying to improve on a daily basis. You can talk to all the guys around the NHL and they will tell you they don't have the rhythm yet. We're trying to find some chemistry and get some things going."
Tanguay, like coach Sutter, liked the power play work.
"It feels good. We are trying some different things. We're just trying to build a little chemistry and find some things that will make us successful," said Tanguay.In the crease
Four goalies split time in the nets for the scrimmage. Miikka Kiprusoff
pitched a shutout for Team Red while Henrik Karlsson
allowed one goal against for Team White in the first half of the game.Leland Irving
(Team Red) allowed one goal and Matt Keetley (Team White) gave up two in the second half of the game.
Karlsson, slated to be Kiprusoff's back-up this season, made a number of fine stops and showed some prowess with his catching glove in robbing Curtis Glencross
on a breakaway and then making a big stop on Tanguay at the end of a nifty a tick-tack-toe play.
"He made some big saves in there," said Sutter.
Karlsson, who arrived in Calgary about two weeks ago, said he is felling more comfortable on the ice each day.
"I'm just going out there and trying to play my game," said Karlsson, a towering goalie at six-foot--five who played in the Swedish Elite League last season. "Overall I am pretty happy. It's a little different. It's a smaller rink and there are a lot of pucks that go to the net."
Karlsson and the rest of Team White left Max Bell for Vancouver where they will face the Canucks Tuesday night. Team Red stayed in Calgary and will also play against the Canucks at the 'Dome on Tuesday.
Karlsson is looking forward to getting into some NHL game action. "It will be a great opportunity for me. I am looking forward to it."Pre-season opens Tuesday
The Calgary Flames open their 2010 pre-season schedule with two games on Tuesday, September 21st
against the Vancouver Canucks. The games will mark the first time in franchise history that the Flames will play a two team/same day format.
Following today's Red - White scrimmage at Max Bell Arena (1:00 pm), the Flames prepare to host the Canucks. Holding the fort at the Saddledome, in front of hometown fans, will be a squad highlighted by Jarome Iginla, Alex Tanguay, Olli Jokinen and Miikka Kiprusoff. Game time at the Saddledome is 7:00pm (MT). Another Flames team led by Rene Bourque, Mark Giordano, Niklas Hagman and Craig Conroy will travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks at 8:00 pm (MT) at Rogers Arena. Please note that rosters are subject to change.
Limited tickets are still available online here or by calling 403-777-4646.
All fans in attendance will receive the first limited edition collector's card in a series of four to be distributed all Flames home pre-season games.
The game in Calgary will kick off the Flames broadcast schedule with Sportsnet Flames and the FAN 960 providing live coverage.
The Flames now have 52 players remaining at training camp: five goalies, 16 defensemen and 31 forwards. You can find the rosters for both of Tuesday's games here