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Cammalleri, Glencross spark Flames

by Brian Hunter / NHL.com
Michael Cammalleri was the undisputed star of the night with the first hat trick of his NHL career, but the Calgary Flames still needed a little help from the surging Curtis Glencross to pull out a victory Thursday night.

After Cammalleri accounted for all the Calgary offense to that point, Glencross scored the game-winning goal with 6:31 remaining and the Flames held on for a 4-3 win over the Vancouver Canucks at G.M. Place, closing to within three points of the Northwest Division leaders.

It was Calgary's fourth win in five games and Vancouver's first regulation loss since Nov. 2 against Detroit. The Canucks were 8-0-2 since, surviving well even with the recent groin injury to goaltender Roberto Luongo. The teams opened a home-and-home that will be completed Saturday at Pengrowth Saddledome.

"The best feeling about this is the win," Cammalleri said. "Maybe we didn't say it out loud, but we were all thinking we need to win these two games to get back to where we want to be and you can't win them both if you don't win the first one."

Curtis Sanford, who had complied a 1.69 goals-against average in his first three games after Luongo went down, made 29 saves. But he couldn't stop Glencross on a breakaway, as the former Anaheim, Columbus and Edmonton castoff scored his fourth of the season and third in as many games.

"The finish was impressive, to go to the backhand like that in that situation, game-winner, third period, on the road," Cammalleri said. "That goal says something about his play."

Darcy Hordichuk, Daniel Sedin and Mason Raymond scored for the Canucks, who held 1-0 and 2-1 leads and rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the third before falling.

"We gave them a couple bang-bang plays that we haven't been giving up, but it would have been nice to make a couple saves for the guys there," Sanford said. "We're going to have to make sure we bring a better game on Saturday."

Cammalleri, acquired from Los Angeles over the summer, scored as many as 34 goals in a season for the Kings but had never tallied more than twice in a game. His first two scores Thursday helped draw the Flames even, while the third gave them their initial lead.

Hordichuk started the scoring at 5:33 of the opening period with his first goal and point of the season, but Cammalleri tied it on the power play 2:38 later with an intended pass along the goal line that caromed in off the skate of Vancouver defenseman Sami Salo.

Sedin put the Canucks ahead again at 11:41 and they carried that lead into the second before Cammalleri again knotted the score with the lone goal of the period. This time it was off a one-timer during a delayed penalty call, as he snapped in Jarome Iginla's feed with 2:59 left, before Sanford could get across the net to stop the shot.

"He can get (his shot) off quick," Iginla, who extended his point streak to five games (two goals, five assists) said about Cammalleri. "(Coach Mike Keenan) shifted the lines and as a group all our lines are looking better and developing chemistry."

Cammalleri made it 3-2 just 1:18 into the third, once again converting an Iginla feed. This time he scored from the left faceoff circle with a blast that got by Sanford on the short side.

"He's one of he best players in the world," Cammalleri said. "He draws so much attention and he showed tonight how underrated his passing is. That second goal was one of the best passes I've had ever. He's amazing to play with."

 
 
Raymond snapped a long goal drought and created another tie when he finished off a 2-on-1 break with 8:42 to play. On a delayed penalty against the Flames, Raymond took Kyle Wellwood's pass and beat Miikka Kiprusoff for his first goal in 10 games.

Kiprusoff was strong in turning aside 27 shots, including big saves on Raymond and Jannik Hansen during the second period, when Vancouver enjoyed a 5-on-3 advantage for 53 seconds but couldn't score.

"That was one of the turning points," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said. "We had an opportunity to make it 3-1 and our execution was off. They did a good job of killing that penalty. The good thing about this is we get an opportunity to get right back at it Saturday night. It's our first loss in quite some time."

Material from wire services was used in this report.

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