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VETERAN MOVE

Stajan steps up with big goal when team needed it most

by ALEX MEDINA @alex_medina5 / calgaryflames.com

There's a reason them call them wily old veterans.

When his team needed him most, Matt Stajan answered the call and delivered the all-important insurance goal that helped seal the Flames 5-2 win over the Sharks Friday night that punched their playoff ticket.

With the Sharks trying to chip away at the Flames lead and only down by a goal in the middle frame, Michael Stone hammered a point shot that Sharks starter Martin Jones couldn't control, with the puck bouncing to none other than No. 18. 

Stajan snapped it home, giving the Flames a 3-1 lead and they never looked back.

"It's wide open and we're a team that's confident that can play with any team in this league," Stajan said. "It's nice to see us clinch tonight. I think we were gripping our sticks a bit last game and early tonight but we got through it and got the X beside our name and now we can really push forward."

And, although Stajan's sixth goal of the year was the biggest goal he has scored this season, the 33-year-old centreman was quick to give credit for the win and clinching a playoff spot to goaltender Brain Elliott.

 "Moose has been great for a few months," Stajan said smiling. "That's a big reason for the turn around, let's be honest.

"Earlier in the season Chad gave us a streak that turned our season around … and Moose turned our season around here in February. Without those guys we're aren't in this position and we're lucky to have them." 

Stajan is no stranger to scoring a big goal at a crucial time, as he did in the playoffs two years ago against Vancouver that sent the Flames to Round Two. 

Hopefully for Flames fans, he'll have more of that playoff magic this time around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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