Whew. How about that? An overtime win.
For a while there you thought the curse in Columbus was going to come back and stick it to the Flames yet again. With numerous reasons to fold the tent even before play began, the Calgary Flames picked up their second win in a row in a brief road swing despite taking the first period to warm up.
Prior to puck drop the lineup took a hit. Fans are well aware that starting goalie Miikka Kiprusoff is out of action for at least a week, probably two. Also out is Sven Baertschi from an injury in practice last week. Adding to the LW woes was a new body, Mike Cammalleri who sat out with a supposed hip flexor injury.
Roman Cervenka opened the scoring with his first of the season, but after that Calgary fell asleep taking the first 20 to find their game legs.
Leland Irving started his first game in over a year and let in the first shot he faced. Although he got the job in the end he probably should’ve had a couple of the goals that went in. The Flames are saying all the right things, but with Danny Taylor in the wings, you have to think the leash is short. We’ll see whom the Flames go with come Saturday against Vancouver, likely Irving.
In the second and beyond the Flames finally took over play and dominated. Outside of some late defensive breakdowns it was all Calgary. Mikael Backlund broke the deadlock with his third in the second. He moved to the second line to play with Hudler and Cervenka which looked good until Backlund left the game in the third with a knee injury. He’ll be out at least a week.
Lee Stempniak wired home his fourth late in a Flames PP in the third. Columbus answered right back. Overtime was required to solve the deadlock. Despite a late third period PP and an early first shift wave, Calgary weathered the storm and broke down 3 on 2. Jarome Iginla, playing solid hockey but incapable of scoring goals, dished to Tanguay who potted his team leading 9th point.
Calgary continues to win with their games in hand. The question is whether they’ll be able to continue their winning ways agaginst tougher teams. Hopefully the bodies they’re losing won’t hamper their efforts.