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Langkow has goal, two assists as Flames down struggling Islanders

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CALGARY - Daymond Langkow scored his 15th goal and added two assists Thursday night to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 victory over the struggling New York Islanders.

Just 55 seconds after Jeff Tambellini's late second period goal had drawn the Islanders even at 2-2, Langkow put the Flames back in front scoring at 16:58.

On the game-winner, Rene Bourque weaved his way down the ice and into the Islanders end before spotting Langkow breaking to the goal on the opposite side. Bourque slid a pass through the slot to the open Flames centre and Langkow buried a shot inside the goal post behind Joey MacDonald.

Langkow has been red-hot lately, amassing six goals and six assists during a seven-game points streak.

Mike Cammalleri, Bourque, Curtis Glencross, and Adam Pardy also scored for Calgary (25-12-4). The Flames sixth consecutive home win restores their five-point lead atop the Northwest Division over the Vancouver Canucks.

Trevor Smith, with his first NHL goal, also scored for New York (12-26-4). The Islanders, who failed to pick up a point on their four-game road trip, are now winless in their last 14 games away from home (0-13-1).

Two days after knocking off the NHL's best team, a 5-2 victory over San Jose, the Flames hooked up with the team at the bottom of the standings.

The Islanders hung tough, trailing by only a goal heading to the third period before Calgary got an insurance goal from Glencross to make it 4-2 at 2:52.

Calgary put it away on Pardy's first NHL goal at 7:25. The six-foot-four defenceman pinched in from the blue-line and one-timed Jarome Iginla's centring pass into a vacant net with MacDonald caught down on the ice.

The Flames took an early 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of assists from Langkow.

At 6:55 on a power play, Langkow threaded a cross-ice pass through the slot that Cammalleri banked off MacDonald as he slid across the net and trickled over the goal-line.

Forty-one seconds into the second period, Langkow intercepted Radek Martinek's clearing attempt and sent the puck to the front of the net, where Bourque snapped a shot into the top corner.

The Islanders cut their deficit in half at 5:22 of the second when Smith fired in a Tim Jackman rebound to make it 2-1.

In his 12th straight start, Miikka Kiprusoff made 24 saves to win his league-best 25th game (25-11-3). The NHL's busiest goaltender, Kiprusoff has started all but two games.

MacDonald was much busier finishing the night with 36 saves in falling to 11-21-4.

A surprise line-up change for the Flames was the insertion of Mikael Backlund, who played for Sweden in their 5-1 loss to Canada in the final of the world junior hockey championships Monday.

In Calgary waiting for Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter to decide where in North America he was going to play out the rest of the season - either the Flames' minor league affiliate in Quad Cities or Kelowna of the Western Hockey League.

Instead, Backlund's first North American appearance comes at the NHL level as he took the place of Todd Bertuzzi, who did not play due to a lower body injury.

In just over 10 minutes of ice time, Backlund registered one shot on goal and did not look out of place seeing some time on the power-play as well.

Notes: Islanders G Rick DiPietro was again not in uniform due to a swollen knee. He will be re-evaluated Friday in Long Island... Yann Danis was recalled from Bridgeport (AHL) to back up MacDonald... Martinek (shoulder) was back in the Islanders line-up after missing 17 games... Backlund wore No. 60, the first time anyone has worn that number for the Flames in a regular season game... Calgary's last win at home versus the Islanders had been Nov. 23, 1999. New York had won the last two meetings at the Pengrowth Saddledome... The Islanders are still away from the team record for road winless streak of 20 games set in their expansion year in 1972-73.

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