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The Game Rush: Flames vs. Lightning

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

CALGARY, AB -- After a disappointing loss in Chicago, the Calgary Flames returned home with hopes of getting back into the playoff hunt. They did just that with a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Former Bolt Cory Sarich opened the scoring at 7:21 of the first period. Taking a pass from Adam Pardy, Sarich wired a slap shot through a crowd, beating Dan Ellis short side. The additional assist went to Brendan Morrison.

Tom Kostopoulos added the Flames second goal of the night, earning his first point as a Flame. Mark Giordano sent a hard slap shot towards the net and Rene Bourque managed to get his stick on it, attempting to deflect it past Ellis. The puck bounced off the back boards, Kostopoulos snagged the it and batted it in the side of the net.

The Flames kept the pressure up in the second period, with Bourque adding to his points total with a goal at 4:43. Mikael Backlund and Curtis Glencross added the helpers on the tic-tac-toe passing play.

The Lightning got on the scoresheet at 8:35 of the middle stanza when Johan Harju beat Miikka Kiprusoff five hole, earning his first of the season. They then cut the Flames lead to a single goal at 19:00 when Ryan Malone potted his eighth of the year.

Captain Jarome Iginla gave the Flames another two-goal cushion at 8:42 with a power play marker. Taking a pass from Jay Bouwmeester, Iginla rifled a one-timer high over Ellis' shoulder. Bourque also assisted on the goal.

Early in the third period, the Lightning were pressing to score the equalizer and nearly potted the goal within the first minute but Kiprusoff was able to shut down two excellent scoring chances.

Nate Thompson deked around the Flames defence, circled around the net and tried to backhand the tying goal but Kiprusoff was able to get his blocker on the shot. The rebound fell right to Martin St. Louis, who looked like he would be able to throw the puck over the sprawled netminder. However, Kiprusoff stretched his leg far enough to make the pad save, keeping his club ahead by a goal. That save quelled the Lightning's momentum, enabling the Flames to get their offensive game back in check for the rest of the game.

Bourque has been in a slight scoring slump, notching just one goal in his last five outings, but he burst out of that with a beautiful tic-tac-toe play early in the middle frame.

Backlund raced into the offensive zone along the hall way and made a drop pass to Glencross. The winger quickly feed the puck to Bourque, who had jumped into the slot, and he sent a hard wrist shot past Ellis to get his 12th goal of the year.

Bourque's offensive game has cooled down lately after a blistering start to the season but on Tuesday, the winger came out blazing. He had a three-point outing, scoring his 12th goal of the season and 22nd point in 26 games this season.

In 17:00 of ice time, Bourque was a +1, had 3 shots on net, 2 hits and 1 takeaway.

The Flames haven't had much luck against the Lightning in the Scotiabank Saddledome. The last time they won against Tampa Bay in Calgary was May 29, 2004. Until Tuesday night, the Flames had lost four straight against the Lightning.

The Flames have only shutout the Lightning once in 24 meetings. On Jan. 2, 1996, they thumped Tampa Bay 10-0 in Calgary. Trevor Kidd was awarded the shutout.

"It doesn't happen all the time but usually when you can get some outside help from unusual sources, things usually tend to work in your favour ...  it's great, it doesn't happen very often so I'll enjoy it for 24 hours and then move on from it." - Sarich on having the defence chip in with offence and his first goal since Apr. 2

  Thursday, Dec. 9 vs. Los Angeles
  8:30 PM MT (SNET Flames, FAN 960)

The Flames head out on a quick two-game road trip on Thursday, taking on the Los Angeles Kings. This is the second contest in a four-game season series. On Oct. 10, the Flames handed the Kings a 3-1 defeat at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The puck drops at 8:30 PM MT on Sportsnet Flames & The FAN 960.
31 Games since Cory Sarich's last goal.
14 Hits through 60 minutes for the Flames. The Lightning had 13.
3 Blocked shots for Mark Giordano. He has 76 to his name this season.
24 Points for Jarome Iginla in 28 games. He leads the team in scoring and added his 12th goal of the season on Tuesday.
15:10 Ice time for Adam Pardy, who returned to the lineup after missing 25 games with a shoulder injury.

1st Star
Rene Bourque
G A P +/- Shots
1 2 3 +1 3
2nd Star
Cory Sarich
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 +1 2
3rd Star
Ryan Malone
G A P +/- Shots
1 0 1 -2 4

Dan Ellis
19 15 4 58:17 .789

Miikka Kiprusoff
23 21 2 59:10 .913

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