Flames control Lightning in home ice victory
Kari Ramo extends shutout streak to personal best before late Tampa goal
The resurgence of Karri Ramo and the Calgary Flames continued Tuesday night.
Ramo made 30 saves and Mark Giordano led the offence with a pair of assists as Calgary beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-1.
Perfect on 26 shots against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night, Ramo extended his shutout streak to a personal best 152 minutes 55 seconds before Steven Stamkos picked up a carom off the end boards and found the back of the net at 18:21 of the third.
"As a team, we're playing a lot better than the start of the year," said Ramo. "That's why we're having success. Everybody's chipping in, doing their things. It's not perfect for us, but we are doing way more good things than bad things."
Ramo, who got the Flames' opening night start, had a rough October. He was briefly assigned to the American Hockey League after going unclaimed on waivers and finished the first month of the season with a .868 save percentage.
He's improved since then, starting 25 of Calgary's last 28 — including the last 10 in a row — and getting his save percentage up to .913.
"He went down, he was not happy, he came back and right from there he started to work," said Flames coach Hartley. "He took advantage of (Jonas Hiller's) injury and carried the ball and right now, he's playing awesome. He's probably been one of the best goalies in the league."
Matt Stajan, David Jones and Lance Bouma, with his first of the season into an empty net, scored as Calgary (19-18-2) moved past the Anaheim Ducks and into third place in the Pacific Division.
Ben Bishop made 21 saves for Tampa Bay (19-17-4).
Ramo got within 12 minutes of the Flames record for longest shutout streak of 164:40 set by Mike Vernon in Dec. 1992.
"He's dialed in right now, he's playing really well and he gives us a lot of confidence when he's playing like that," said Bouma.
Calgary opened the scoring 3:56 into the first period on a nicely executed 3-on-2 that culminated with Giordano setting up Stajan at the side of the net.
At 15:30 of the second, Giordano intercepted the puck along the sideboards, shook off a check from Ryan Callahan and sent the puck in front for Jones to deflect into the top corner.
"Definitely something's got to change," said Lightning defenceman Anton Stralman. "Right now we have the talent, we have the energy. We're just not going out and executing and working hard enough. It's got to be a mindset."
The Lightning, Stanley Cup finalists a year ago, are outside of a playoff spot, two points back of a wild card in the Eastern Conference.
"It's frustrating but no one's feeling sorry for us right now. We can't sit here and pout," said Stamkos. "We've got to do something about it. We can't just keep saying the right things, we've got to do it. It starts with me. I've got to be better."
Callahan left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return after his hit on Giordano.