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The Five Takeaways: Flames-Pens

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames



GIO DOES IT ALL

Days after getting the 'A' sewn on his jersey, Mark Giordano showcased what leadership by example means by coming out with what has to be one his best games since joining the team.

He basically handed Curtis Glencross the opening goal on a silver platter with his terrific set-up. He danced around Craig Adams and Arron Asham at the blueline, drove towards the net and made an excellent pass to Glencross, who had an open net to shoot at.

The 28 year-old was a shot block master, throwing himself fearlessly into the line of fire five times through the course of the game. During one penalty killing shift, he made two clutch blocks less than 20 seconds apart.

While he was only credited with a single hit, he was physical and the Penguins seemed quite aware whenever he was on the ice, trying to avoid the Gio-train as much as possible.

DECOYS EVERYWHERE

The Penguins opening tally featured a four-on-one attack with blueliner Chris Butler stuck trying to decide who to cover. Tyler Kennedy stepped out of the penalty box after being called for tripping late in the first frame and he was handed the puck as soon as he hit the ice. His teammates flanked him as him came across the blueline and while he obviously had plenty of options in terms of passing, he opted to take a shot. He fooled Miikka Kiprusoff with a quick fake right before shooting and ended up putting the puck through the wickets to tie the game up.

The Penguins went on to score three more in the second period and held the Flames to just five shots on net.

SARICH LEVELS COOKE

Late in the second period, Cory Sarich delivered a bone-rattling check on Matt Cooke as he entered the Flames zone. The Penguins forward leaned over as the hit was delivered and immediately grabbed at his head. His teammates rushed forward in his defence, drawing quite the crowd at the Flames net. Penguins d-man Deryk Engelland and Sarich tried to scrap but the battle ended fairly quickly with both toppling over and hitting the ice. The refs deemed the hit clean but sent Sarich to the sin bin for four minutes for roughing. Engelland was also served the same call.

After the game, Sarich noted how quickly Cooke recovered from the hit and stated he wasn't concerned about discipline from the League.

"He made it look more exciting than it was."

FLASHES OF BRILLIANCE

Roman Horak played in his first NHL game after surprising everyone with an extraordinary training camp and he performed admirably as the team's third line center. During the first period, in what will likely be his welcome-to-the-NHL moment, he squared off against Evgeni Malkin in the faceoff circle and won. The win came at an extremely important time as the Flames took an icing call and desperately needed to get some new bodies on the ice as quickly as possible.

He then recorded his first point with an assist on Rene Bourque's third period goal. He made a pass up to Alex Tanguay at the blueline and then immediately dashed up to the net to give the Flames a presence around Marc-Andre Fleury. Tanguay ended up sliding it over to Bourque, who snapped a shot into the back of the net, but Horak made sure that if the play didn't go that smoothly, he was in prime position to whack at a rebound.

THIRD PERIOD COMEBACK ATTEMPT

Down 4-1 heading into the final period, the Flames came out with a ton of energy and looking to find a way to get themselves back into the game. Bourque's tally at 9:08 seemed to throw the Pens off, leading to a few turnovers in their own end.

Just over seven minutes later, Niklas Hagman was able to snatch a loose puck at the side of the net after the netminder mishandled the puck and his pass landed right on Jokinen's stick. The pivot wasted no time in sending a shot towards the net, beating the netminder with his one-timer.

The Flames pulled Miikka Kiprusoff in the dying minutes of the game and while they were able to get a few quality scoring chances, they weren't able to find a way to finish on those opportunities.

Jordan Staal added an empty-netter with just five seconds remaining in regulation, squashing Calgary's comeback hopes.

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