CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -Andrew Ference dropped the gloves and Tony Amonte landed the knockout punch.
Spurred on emotionally by Ference's early game fight with NHL penalty minute leader Matthew Barnaby, the Calgary Flames got two goals from Amonte on their way to a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night
"That was an unbelievable fight. That thing, it never seemed to end," said Amonte. "It's tough to do, especially for a guy that doesn't do it very often, to take on a bigger guy like that. He definitely inspired his teammates tonight with that one."
Less then a minute after the spirited bout that brought most of the sellout crowd of 19,289 to their feet, Amonte opened the scoring taking a drop pass from Marcus Nilson and snapping a shot inside the far post past goaltender Marty Turco.
"That's all part of the recipe for us," said Ference. "The first couple shifts in the first period, we had a couple hits, guys were going good, and that's what we've been trying to do for so much of the early season and we drew from that." After scoring a career-low 14 goals in his first season with the Flames, Amonte was off to a similar start this season with just one goal in 13 games before breaking out for his first two-goal game since March 27, 2003 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
"It was the first game in a long time where I was really on and it felt good," said Amonte. "It felt good handling the puck and when you get a goal early, everything seems to click." Kristian Huselius scored into an empty net with 17 seconds left for Calgary (5-7-2), which has earned points in three straight games following a shootout loss Friday night in Columbus and a win over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.
Antti Miettinen scored for Dallas (11-4-0), which has lost two straight games for the first time all season. "It's a concern because we lost both of the games," said Stars captain Brendan Morrow. "In the past, it wasn't a concern because we were finding ways to win when we weren't scoring goals."
Thirty-three seconds after Dallas had tied the game 1-1, Amonte put Calgary ahead again, deflecting Dion Phaneuf's slap shot over Turco's shoulder at 5:29 of the second period.
Miikka Kiprusoff did the rest, shutting out the Stars for the final 45 minutes to finish the night with 25 saves.
"Kipper played outstanding, especially in the third period," Amonte said. "We could have gotten a few more power-play goals but all-in-all the effort was there. Those are the kinds of efforts we need especially in this building, to be successful."
Notes: Calgary improved to 14-2 all-time when Amonte scores. ... The Flames led after the first period for just the third time in 14 games. ... Calgary has allowed just 17 even-strength goals, which ranks them second in the NHL behind Detroit (11). The Stars began the night one better than Calgary but after giving up three to the Flames have now allowed 19.