CALGARY, AB -- Niklas Hagman said that his legs haven't been up to par since the Olympics. On Tuesday, he helped propel the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks with his first goal in 13 games.
"My legs feel a lot better. My game is based on my legs," Hagman said after the game. "I try to skate, I try to forecheck to create chances, I try to beat puck battles to the net. I didn't feel that my legs were that good after the Olympics. Now it's been feeling better. I would like to say back to normal me, hopefully I can continue this for the rest of the games."
Hagman said that after his post-Olympic slump, his confidence suffered a bit but a few good games has had him feeling a lot better about himself.
"I fell that my confidence is been getting up the last couple of games. I feel more comfortable with the puck. It seems like there's a little more time to take a look at what you're trying to do. Hopefully I can keep that up.
"I've been starting to feel a little bit better lately," he continued. "I'm getting a little bit more chances. You just try to battle, just try to go for the net and hopefully get some pucks in. I was pretty happy to get one today. It's been a stretch without goals. But overall, the team played really well."
Hagman was all over the ice and showed a workhorse ethic every shift, something he says is essential for him to regain his scoring touch.
"I felt pretty good. I felt comfortable with the puck, I've been trying to shoot it and it's been a little frustrating that it hasn't gone in and hopefully now I can help the team a little bit more by scoring goals. I'll try to (keep) doing the same things: I'll go to the net and try to jam it in and if I don't put it in, someone else is going to put it in from the rebound."
Nigel Dawes kicked off the scoring after a Steve Staios shot bounced off his torso and behind Jonas Hiller. His 12th of the year came on the power play at 15:11 of the first stanza.
Team Canada captain Scott Niedermayer tied it up at one at 14:27 when his wrist shot from the blueline flew through a crowd and past Miikka Kiprusoff.
The Flames regained the lead at 18:25 of the second period when Jarome Iginla was able to knock the puck away from Corey Perry at center ice and sprung Rene Bourque. The speedy winger skated in on the breakaway and wired a hard shot low glove side.
Hagman, who has been snakebitten lately despite looking very dangerous around the net, gave the Flames a two-goal cushion after receiving a pass from Iginla, he went to his forehand at the last second and slipped the puck five hole in a highlight reel tally.
The Flames hit the road, heading onto Long Island to take on the John Tavares and his New York Islanders on Thursday. Game time is 5:00 p.m. MST on Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.
|WHY THE FLAMES WON |
|The Flames cranked up the offensive heat against the Ducks, putting 28 pucks on Hiller, and didn't waste any chances. They were shooting from all angles and there was a definite net presence in the offensive zone. The Flames also clamped down defensively. While they had a few miscues in their own end, they were relatively solid for 60 minutes. They limited Anaheim's chances and allowed just 23 shots on net. Kiprusoff was his usual stellar self, making timely saves to keep his team in the lead. |
|GAME NOTES |
|The Flames scratched D Adam Pardy, F Brian McGrattan, F Curtis Glencross, F Christopher Higgins and F Daymond Langkow. The Ducks left out D James Wisniewski (suspension), D Brendan Mikkelson, F Nick Bonino, F Ryan Carter, F George Parros and F Rob Bordson. |
|TONIGHT'S DIGITS |
|2:00 - Time of Brett Sutter's scrap with Brett Festerling. |
3 - Points for Staios since being acquired by the Flames. He's played 10 games in a Calgary uniform.
23 - Goals for Bourque this season.
13 - Games between Hagman's last two goals.
80 - Eric Nystrom's faceoff win percentage.
|"I was nervous, I'm not going to lie. I think if you're not nervous, you're not ready." - Sutter on how he was feeling before the game. |
"We shut down their top line, that's why we were successful." - Bourque on why his team was able to secure the win.
"That's a huge goal because you go into the third period up a goal instead of being tied." - Brent Sutter on Bourque's breakaway goal.
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |
| || || || |
|Niklas Hagman |
A workhorse all night, scored 1 goal, had 5 shots on net.
| ||Jarome Iginla |
Solid every shift, a key factor on 2 goals, 4 shots on net.
| ||Jay Bouwmeester |
Had 2 assists in 24:14 of ice time, put 1 shot on net, +1 rating.