For the first time in 15 years the Calgary Flames sought to win their first three games of the season in a row. The second home game of the season also marked the first time Mike Cammalleri returned to the Calgary after moving to Montreal.
The Flames drew first blood 8 minutes in after the fourth line did some quality puck cycling down low in the Habs zone. You might remember games 1 and 2 where the fourth line chipped in with much needed minutes and the odd goals. Well today they did all the scoring for the Flames except for one powerplay goal.
The one nothing lead lasted until late in the f irst when some very un-Sutter like play for the Flames gave Montreal not only the tying goal off a terrible defensive zone giveaway thanks to Iginla, but the lead 30 seconds later.
Sutter must have busted some heads in the dressing room in the first intermission because the Flames came out dominating the first half of the second period out-shooting the visitors 11-1 at one point.
The fourth line continued to capitalize on their additional playing time but outworking Montreal’s fourth line. They capped the sustained Flames pressure with another goal from Nystrom, this time off his pants. The fourth line of Prust-Sjostrom-Nystrom, and also the third D pairing of Kronwall and Pardy, contributed for a +3 evening.
Jarome Iginla, with only four shifts in the first period, sored his first goal of the season on the PP which is now 5 for 7 in the season.
Unfortunately, once again, this time with 11 seconds left in the second, Calgary took a nap defensive and gave Montreal life allowing the tying goal. Kiprusoff gave up a soft goal shortside on the play.
Early in the third frame Nystrom (who probably didn’t actually top the puck) was credited with his third goal of the game with the same fourth line and third D pairing on the ice. Couple that with his fight and you have a fantastic night for the fourth line. Same can’t be said for 5v5 play of the first line which was non-existent for the third night in a row.
Montreal poured on the pressure on late and managed to throw 30 shots on Kiprusoff. Calgary, however, shut the door from anymore Montreal chances and held on for their third victory in a row, and first three game victory at the start of the season in 15 years.
Next up, Edmonton in Deadmonton Thursday and Dallas back home Friday where we’ll likely see McElhinney get his first start.