Glencross nets hat trick in Calgary win
The players who comprised the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night helped get the team back in the win column, but it was a hardly a blueprint for going forward.
Calgary, with six players in the lineup not on the team just four days ago, were 4-1 winners over the Carolina Hurricanes at Pengrowth Saddledome. Matt Stajan notched his first goal as a Flame, with Curtis Glencross completing a hat trick into an empty net.
Miikka Kiprusoff finished with 27 saves as Calgary is 2-1-2 in the last five games, after losing the previous six in regulation. The Flames head to Florida for a pair of games, beginning Friday against the Panthers.
Calgary rebounded from a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia on Monday, a game in which erstwhile Toronto Maple Leafs Stajan, Niklas Hagman, Jamal Mayers and Ian White could not help.
Carolina forward Brandon Sutter was first on opposite sides with father Brent last year when he coached in New Jersey.
Wednesday's game was son's first NHL visit to Calgary, with father now coaching the Flames.
They are the fifth father-son combo to face off in the NHL:
|1982-87||Bob Johnson||Mark Johnson|
|1993||Bill Dineen||Kevin Dineen|
|2002||Rick Wilson||Landon Wilson|
|2007||Andy Murray||Brady Murray|
The new quartet was joined Wednesday by Chris Higgins and Ales Kotalik, making their debuts for Calgary after being acquired late Monday from the New York Rangers for Olli Jokinen and Brandon Prust.
Wednesday's game was an often ugly affair that recalled a different era.
Flames forward Dustin Boyd and Carolina veteran Rod Brind'Amour were bloodied, while Hurricanes captain Eric Staal ended the night with scars on his chin, cheek and lip. Staal was clipped in the mouth by Cory Sarich's stick and was then hit by teammate Joni Pitkanen's skate after he was upended into the Carolina bench courtesy of a check from Calgary's Mark Giordano.
Carolina defenceman Andrew Alberts played just eight seconds, sent to the dressing room for good early in the first on a hit — and interference penalty — from Kotalik.
The Hurricanes were already without veteran Niclas Wallin, left out of the lineup as reports indicate he will soon be dealt to a Western Conference team.
Hurricanes struggle on power play
The undisciplined Flames gave Carolina nine power-play chances, but were fortunate to only get burned once. The culprits for Calgary were new and old — Sarich took six minutes in penalties while Mayers racked up 17 after a fight and 10-minute misconduct involving Tom Kostopoulos of the Hurricanes.
White was in the box when Carolina scored their only goal.
Eric Nystrom was the instigator on Calgary's first goal, which came less than three minutes into the game. After missing on a chance of his own, he fired the puck toward the net, where it was redirected in by Glencross.
Sherwood Park, Alta., native Cam Ward had a strong night in net for Carolina, finishing with 35 saves. He made his presence known in the first with saves on Higgins, Mayers and Mikael Backlund.
Joe Corvo, playing for the first time since Nov. 30 after getting cut on his leg, tested Kiprusoff late in the first.
It appeared Calgary was squandering some momentum early in the second, when captain Jarome Iginla missed the net on a prime scoring chance, with Rene Bourque denied by Ward from a similar spot in the slot.
The Flames continued their parade to the penalty box, and Jussi Jokinen's shot got through traffic and went off Staal and into the net.
Jokinen had another chance with Adam Pardy off for two minutes, but Finnish compatriot Kiprusoff got the better of him.
Stajan put Calgary up for good at 16:43 of the second, completing a give-and-go with Iginla, taking the final pass off his skate to his stick to beat Ward.
Glencross scored 52 seconds later, slapping the puck from the left side past Ward. The play was set up by a terrific cross-ice backhand pass from Jay Bouwmeester.
Staal was sprung early in the third by a Ray Whitney pass, but he narrowly missed the left side of the net on his breakaway attempt.
Carolina had won five of his last six heading into this week, but have now become the first team in over a month to lose to both Calgary and Edmonton on their Alberta visit.