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The Cammalleri trick

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames

The Buffalo Sabres didn't Hang 10 on the Calgary Flames.

Instead, Michael Cammalleri hung a hat on the Sabres.

After dominating the Edmonton Oilers 24 hours earlier with a 10-2 win, the Sabres, making their first visit to the Pengrowth Saddledome since January, 2006, found the going a little tougher against the Flames.

Photo of the Game

For that they can thank Cammalleri as the red-hot Flames forward continued his scoring ways with his second hat trick of the season to pace the Flames to a 5-2 win.

Cammalleri scored his first at 3:51 of the first period with the Flames on the power play. It wasn't a tic-tac-toe goal by any means.Sabres defenceman Chris Butler made an horrendous clearing attempt through the slot and hit Cammalleri with the puck.

The Flames forward had two chances and slid his rebound under a helpless Ryan Miller in the Sabres net.

He notched his second, the insurance goal on this night, again on the power play at 11:44 of the third. You've seen the play before. Jarome Iginla in the left side, just off the half-wall. A cross-ice pass to Cammalleri who, down on one knee, one-times a shot into the net.
Usually a blast that the goalie never sees. This one, well, not quite.

"No, I fanned on it," smailed Cammalleri.

So what? The result was the same.

The pair had tried the play a couple of times in the game but Miller was up to the task.

Cammalleri, who played for the University of Michigan, and Miller, who was at Michigan State, saw plenty of each other in the college hockey ranks.

"He's won a lot of battles against me," said Cammalleri. "Tonight, I got one. I have a lot of respect for him."

Shortly after scoring his second, Cammalleri was parked on the crease and hammered home his third of the game to make it 5-2 for the Flames and put things out of reach.

"Obviously the puck is going in for me right now. It feels good," sadi Cammalleri.

Indeed, with eight goals in his last four games, the puck is going in for him.

The Flames third period, three-goal burst was started by Todd Bertuzzi, who scored a critical go-ahead goal with a great individual effort.

Bertuzzi, using his size and strength, beat Toni Lydman at the Buffalo blueline, busted towards the net, protecting the puck all the way, and then lifting a top-shelf, highligh-reel shot over the short-side shoulder of Miller.

"I just got on my horse there. The puck was kind of rolling a little. I just got it up and over his shoulder," explained Bertuzzi.

The tally, at 7:08 of the third, stood as the game-winner. It was Bertuzzi's fourth game-winner of the season. Not bad for a guy with 12 goals. The four game-winners is tops on the team, in a tie with, who else but Cammalleri?

The Flames opened up a two-goal lead in the second period when Dion Phaneuf scored from a bad angle -- the shot squeezed through the five-hole on Miller. They then could have broken the game wide open as the had back-to-back two-on-ones and two near misses on set-ups on the crease, But they came away with nothing for their efforts.

The near-goal misses on the part of the Flames seemed to boost the energy of the Sabres who battled back with goals from Drew Stafford and Tim Connolly before the second period ended.

The rest of the way it was all Flames. Or all Cammalleri if you prefer.

 "That line (Cammalleri-Conroy-Iginla) is playing well right now," said Bertuzzi. "Jarome is out ther creating a lot of space. When you get that much firepower on a line, the defenders don't know who to go to."


– Hat tricks this season for Michael Cammalleri

2 - Bars for Buffalo's Jochen Hecht. He hit a post and a crossbar

4 - Game winners for Todd Bertuzzi this season.

5 – Goals for Dion Phaneuf this season after scoring Wednesday

6 - Straight games with assists for Adrian Aucoin

8 – Goals for Mike Cammalleri in his last four games

 43 – Shots on goal for the Flames

1) Cammalleri
2) Bertuzzi
3) Kiprusoff

In the first period, with the Flames leading 1-0 Dion Phaneuf pulls a shot off the goal-line to preserve the Flames lead

Flames forward Adam Pardy is hit hard by the Flames bench and gets some scrapes and bruises when his face catches the boards

Injured players include Brandon Prust (jaw), Rhett Warrener (shoulder) Wayne Primeau (foot). Jim Vandermeer was the lone healthy scratch for the Flames.

The Nashville Predators visit the 'Dome on Friday

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