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Game Rush: Flames vs. Leafs

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames


CALGARY, AB  -- Head coach Brent Sutter may have found himself a new permanent top line after Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow and Curtis Glencross gave the Calgary Flames a 3-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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After a few games together, the three found their niche and combined for eight points on the night.

"I think in the prior two games we had a lot more chances to score but tonight we got a couple chances and we were able to capitalize so it was nice," said Langkow, who picked up three assists.

Being put together with Iginla and Langkow has been great for Glencross. He's picked up three goals in two games, incuding two on the power play.

"The last four or five games that we've been together as a line, our line has had a lot of chances, a lot of shots on goal and it's nice they're finally going in," said Glencross.

The Leafs got on the board early when Jason Blake was able to whack in a rebound through a crowd. All of the Leafs fowards went in aggressively towards the Flames net and were able to knock Kiprusoff off balance. While he was on the ice, the Leafs veteran swatted the puck over the netminder.

The Flames didn't let themselves be discouraged about the score, instead focusing on maintaining their game. Langkow said that was key for the team as they headed into the middle stanza.

"I thought we played well. We played consistently throughout the game. We were down a goal going into the second period and we stuck with our game and finally got to Gutavsson."

Iginla notched the equalizer at 10:35 of the second period when he knocked an errant puck through a crowd of bodies. Gutavsson was turned all the way around, trying to snatch up  Langkow's initial shot, so Iginla had a wide open cage to bat the puck into.

Glencross gave the hometown team the lead just 52 seconds later with a rocket of a wrister that beat Gutavsson low glove side. Iginla made a quick pass from the half wall and Glencross one-timed it, surprising the Leafs netminder with the speed. It was Glencross' second power play goal in as many games.

"It was good to get them," Iginla said of the two quick goals. "That was a big momentum turner. The crowd got into it and I thought from there we played a really good game."

Glencross added an empty netter for insurance with 51 seconds remaining in the game.

The Flames hit the road for a quick two-game, back-to-back trip. On Tuesday they'll take on the Nashville Predators at 6:00 p.m. MST on Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.

Despite allowing the first goal of the game, the Flames kept their compete level up and didn't back down. The coaching staff has wanted more shots on net and the team did just that, firing 35 shots at Gutavsson. They've also wanted less shots on net and they were able to hold the Leafs to 25 on the night, an average they want to keep the shots against around. The top line of Iginla, Glencross and Langkow picked up their offensive game, combining for a whooping eight points.

D Staffan Kronwall and F Brian McGrattan were healthy scratches. D Cory Sarich remains out with a lower body injury. He has been skating since Dec. 29th but there is no projected date to return to the lineup ... it was Retro Night at the Saddledome and the Flames donned the retro silks for the occasion. In addition to the throwback jerseys, the iconic Hanson Brothers were in the building, signing autographs and hitching a ride on the Zamboni during the first intermission. Flames alumni were also on hand to sign autographs before the game ... this was the final contest between the Flames and Leafs. Calgary beat Toronto on Nov. 14 by a score of 5-2.

The Flames have outscored the Leafs 8-3 in 2 contests this season ... Glencross has 2 goals in 2 games after going 10 games without bulging the twine ... the Flames have led after 2 periods 20 times this season ... the draws were even with both teams winning 36 faceoffs ... Jay Bouwmeester and Rene Bourque had 5 shots on net each, leading their team in that category ... Dion Phaneuf played 15:41 before being sidelined with an undisclosed injury ... the Flames are 4-0 when wearing the retro jerseys ... Dustin Boyd won 67 per cent of his draws, leading Flames centers in faceoff percentage wins .

"We're mentally focused to play, everybody's bought into the system. The key is being ready to play and when we are, we do a good job at it." - Langkow on the team's defensive game.

"We've been trying to get more shots. That's something that over the last two, three games we've been really working (on) and it's a tough thing for forwards, it's a lot of work to do that but they've been doing it." - Robyn Regehr on the Flames ability to get shots on goal. He had four to his name on Saturday night.

"Off the start we weren't carrying, we weren't creating a lot but we didn't open up. We were able to just stick with it, keep putting pucks to the net. I think in our last few games we've been changing our mentality, trying to play pucks off the net and I think we're getting a lot more results and a lot more zone time." - Iginla's thoughts on the Flames overall game.




Curtis Glencross
Led the club with 2 tallies on the night, had 4 shots on net
Daymond Langkow
Had 3 helpers in the victory, looked solid all night
Jarome Iginla
A 3 point outing for the captain, played nearly 20:00

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