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Flames continue to roll with win against Senators

by Aaron Vickers

CALGARY -- There's something about the third period for the Calgary Flames.

Josh Jooris' power-play goal 5:37 into the third stood as the winner and Karri Ramo made 23 saves to earn his first victory since Oct. 14 in the Flames' 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

Their three-goal outburst put the Flames into a share of the NHL lead in third-period goals with the Montreal Canadiens at 24. They've also allowed 11 goals, the fifth-lowest total in the League alongside the Anaheim Ducks. Calgary improved to 8-0-2 when it enters the third period tied or with the lead and in doing so has started a five-game homestand with back-to-back wins.

"I think we just stuck to Calgary Flames hockey," Jooris said. "We are hard to play against. We had commitment coming back. We shut plays down and started from the net out tonight. I think we just had good will out there. We wanted to win this one and it showed.

"I think anytime it's a one- or two-goal game you want to come out and make the third period your best. I think that was the focus tonight and guys really battled hard. We showed some character out there on those kills and had a great resiliency out there. It was just nice to get the two points here."

The Senators return to Canadian Tire Centre after going 1-1-1 in Western Canada. Ottawa will have some time off before hosting the Nashville Predators on Thursday.

"We've come out west here and gone home empty in the past," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "To come out here and gain three out of six points, we can go home and say it was a better trip than we've had in the past. Still tonight, the game was certainly a winnable game in the third period when it's tied up. We just didn't do enough to get the thing going our way and that's a little bit disappointing."

Calgary's third-period surge came with the work from the special-teams units.

Tied 1-1 after 40 minutes, a tripping penalty to Lance Bouma 17 seconds into the third period actually sparked the Flames.

Exiting the penalty box, Bouma stripped the puck at Calgary's blue line and burst down on a partial breakaway. He couldn't keep the step and curled before spotting Markus Granlund in the slot. Granlund deked goaltender Craig Anderson and lifted a backhander into the net for his third of the season to put Calgary up 2-1 at 2:29.

"I thought I had a step on my guy, but I realized he was probably going to catch me if I kept the puck," Bouma said. "I just tried to turn and throw it back to [Granlund] and he made a great play.

"Those guys did a great job of killing it off for me. It wasn't a very good penalty on my part. I was lucky to go out there and set that one up to help them."

Calgary continued with the momentum and, with Alex Chiasson in the box for hooking, extended its lead.

When Anderson couldn't retrieve Mark Giordano's shot around the boards, Curtis Glencross did and quickly sent a pass through the slot that Jooris converted for his fourth of the season to put Calgary up 3-1.

"That was a great heads-up play by [Glencross]," Jooris said. "It was obviously off a broken play off the rim there. I saw him with his head up. It looked like he knew where it was going before. I was expecting it. I just did my best to bear down on it and it was just a great play by him."

With the assist, Giordano extended his point streak to nine games, tying his career-high. The Flames captain has five goals and 14 points during that stretch.

But Bobby Ryan's wraparound at 7:41 pulled Ottawa back within one. Taking a pass from Milan Michalek behind the net, Ryan quickly darted out from below the goal line and stuffed the puck past Ramo's right pad to cut the lead to 3-2.

Calgary capitalized on another puckhandling gaffe by Anderson to restore the lead. On a dump-in, Anderson played the puck off Granlund and right to Bouma in the slot, where he sailed a backhand into the net at 12:57 for a 4-2 lead.

"It's usually pretty dependable and they get up the ice and put some pressure on him," MacLean said. "We needed some people to get back and help [Anderson] a little bit sooner. I just think they outskated us up the ice and for us to give our goaltender some help in those circumstances otherwise I thought [Anderson] played fine."

A minute-long 5-on-3 man advantage for the Senators late in the third didn't yield any results, nor did pulling Anderson for an extra skater.

Ottawa opened the scoring in the first.

Off the rush, Clarke MacArthur sped down the wing and gained the Flames' zone before firing a shot that appeared to glance off the stick of Calgary defenseman Deryk Engelland and went over Ramo's shoulder on the short side to put Ottawa up 1-0 at 12:17.

The first period cost the Flames more than the opening goal.

Giordano left the game near the midway mark of the first period after getting clipped near the left eye by the stick of Chris Neil on the follow-through of a dump into Calgary's end. A shift prior, Kris Russell left the bench for an undisclosed reason, leaving Calgary with four defensemen. Both players returned for the second period.

"We saw the high stick and we thought he was just going in for a couple stitches. But when you don't see him come back, you always worry it could be an eye injury, which is never a good thing," Flames center Paul Byron said. "We had four D. I'm sure they were a little tired in the first and we were glad to get both those guys back because they're such important pieces to our team."

Sprung on a breakaway by a stretch pass off the stick of Sven Baertschi, Byron broke in alone and beat Anderson over the glove for his fourth of the season to tie the game 1-1 at 8:12 of the second period. He had gone 16 straight games without a goal.

"It was an unbelievable pass," Byron said. "If he throws it a second or two early their D-man steps up and if he throws it a second too late, I'm offside. Can't speak enough about how incredible that pass was to land flat on my stick. The vision just to find me in that hole, it was a great pass.

"I came in and I don't know if they do film or study, but I think he's probably thinking I'm going to shoot it low and I just ripped a quick shot high."

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