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by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames



CALGARY, AB -- On any given night, it is nearly impossible to pin down just what the Calgary Flames lineup will look like.

The seemingly never-ending injury parade has forced management to summon several members of the Abbotsford Heat and head coach Brent Sutter to shuffle his lines far more often than he would like. However, his top trio has been remarkably consistent throughout the constant roster rearranging.

Since Dec. 1, 2011, the Flames have scored 57 goals and a whooping 28 have come from that line but that doesn't mean they have forgotten about their defensive responsibilities.

Jokinen and Glencross, who have played together for the better part of the last calendar year, have been faced with the challenge of halting the opposition's top players night after night and Iginla has meshed seamlessly with the pair and their defence-first mentality.

"We all know Jarome can score, but I think Jarome has taken a lot of pride in playing against top-end guys and not wanting to be scored against," Sutter said. "You’ve got a little bit of everything on the line.

"You’ve got size, you’ve got speed, you’ve got skill, can shoot the puck. But when they don’t have it, they’re all being more responsible."

Glencross concurred with his bench boss' assessment and lauded the captain's play in the neutral and defensive zones.

"It's all starting in our own end," the 29 year-old said. "We're playing better defensively and Iggy done a great job kind of adapting into that - playing more defensive.

"Olli and I, we've played against team's top lines for the last couple of years and now Iggy's there with us and we're playing against the top lines again. If we can be a plus-line as much as we can at the end of the night and playing against team's top lines, we should be successful."

Successful doesn't quite describe the tear the three have been on.

Iginla scored his 500th career goal on Jan. 8, the game winner in a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, and has accumulated six points in his last five outings. Over his past 20 games, he has an incredible 24 points (10 goals, 14 assists) and recorded six multi-point games and three game-winning goals over that span.

Glencross will be heading into Thursday's battle with the Anaheim Ducks fresh off his first ever four-point game. He scored a goal and added three assists in the Flames 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils. Over his last 17 games, the winger has potted 11 goals and 20 points and currently sits as the team leader in goals scored with 18.

Rounding out the trio is Jokinen, who, like Iginla, has not only racked up the the points over the past month but also achieved a major milestone. The 33 year-old played in his 1000th NHL contest on Jan. 1 in Nashville and posted his 31st point of the season in the outing. The dependable pivot has put up 21 points in his 20 games and currently leads the team in assists with 23.

"We've been playing well together," Jokinen summarized succinctly. "We just have to keep it going."

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