CALGARY 6 LOS ANGELES 2
Counting the Calgary Flames line combinations this season could be considered a full-time job. There have been more combinations from game-to-game, and from shift-to-shift than in recent memory. And that was the case once again on Tuesday as the Flames hosted the Los Angeles Kings at the Pengrowth Saddledome. But, if the result is any indication, head coach Mike Keenan may have found some combinations to stick with. Particularly the first and third units.
| Flames Line Combinations |
|Defence Pairings: |
|Kiprusoff (S) McElhinney |
Matthew Lombardi, playing in just his second game after missing 13 with a shoulder injury, was paired with Michael Cammalleri and Jarome Iginla on the showcase first line and it paid dividends immediately. Cammalleri, playing against his former team, bagged the first goal on a tic-tac-toe play started when Lombardi undressed Sean O'Donnell along the boards, centered to Iginla, who tapped to Cammalleri who rifled a wrist shot past Kings starter Erik Ersberg.
The second line was comprised of Todd Bertuzzi, Daymond Langkow and Dustin Boyd and, throughout the first period, they buzzed and had plenty of scoring chances -- the best might have been Bertuzzi's attempted one-timer that rolled awkwardly off his stick and wide. The third line, with Craig Conroy, Curtis Glencross and Rene Bourque, were also an offensive factor -- counting in on three of the Flames six tallies. Late in the first period Conroy was stopped on a breakaway but just 20 seconds later Bourque flew in off the right side and wired a wrist shot top shelf, for the first of his two on the night.
In the second period Iginla scored during a five-on-three advantage to make it 3-0 for the home squad.
Life for the Flames and their lines, looked pretty darn good at that point.
"Any chance that I can get to play with him is exciting," said Cammalleri of playing with Iginla.
Lombardi, a speedster with hands, was also happy to play with the Flames captain. "We can make a lot of things happen out there as a line. You can't say enough about Jarome. And Cammy has been playing well. He's got a great hockey mind and shoots well. You just have to go out and work hard and everything will take care of itself."
Which, essentially, is what the Flames did Tuesday, methodically working hard and picking apart a young Kings team that was playing on the road for just the sixth time this season. Sure, there were breakdowns, but goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff was there to make the stops and steer out rebounds to safety. Pretty much a solid team effort all-around.
In the second period Glencross, with his second goal in as many games, put the Flames up 4-0 and that chased Ersberg from the Kings net.
"it worked out well tonight," said Bourque of the third line. "The other two guys played great games. We didn't turn the puck over and we got it deep."
The Flames slipped up early in the third period when Alexander Frolov scored on a short-haned rush to makes the score 4-1. However, David Moss, on a feed from Lombardi scored a little more than a minute later while the Flames were stil on the power play.