Flames down Senators for 3rd straight win
Dougie Hamilton fuels Calgary with 3-point night
Calgary's Dougie Hamilton wasn't going to change his approach after being held without a goal through his team's first eight games. His patience paid off on Friday.
Hamilton scored his first two goals of the season and added an assist to lead the Flames to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
"For me, I have to get pucks on net. Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't, you just have to keep shooting," said Hamilton, who entered the game with 22 shots, second on the team.
Hamilton broke a 2-2 tie halfway through the second when, from the sideboards, he spun and whipped a shot from a bad angle over the shoulder of Chris Driedger.
It was the second goal on five shots to beat the rookie goaltender, who entered the game with a 2-1 lead. He took over to begin the second after Andrew Hammond left with a lower-body injury.
Hammond started because Craig Anderson, coming off a shutout in Vancouver on Tuesday, was granted a leave from the team to attend to a personal matter.
"There was definitely a little bit of nerves early," said Driedger, who finished with just 11 stops. "A tough game to stay into with not a lot of shots, but there's no excuses."
The 22-year-old , who played three seasons of junior hockey for the Calgary Hitmen (WHL), had only appeared in two NHL games previously and both were relief appearances.
Elliott grinds out another win
The much busier and better goaltender was Brian Elliott, who made 31 saves for his third straight win.
"He's a veteran guy and he knows how to manage the ebbs and flow," said Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan. "He's a worker, he's a grinder, and he stays with it and he got rewarded tonight. After those two bounces, he played really good for us."
After a rocky first three starts in a Flames uniform in which he gave up 14 goals on 87 shots, Elliott has been much sharper his last three starts yielding just five goals on 88 shots.
"At the start of the year we didn't really know what kind of team we were and how to play effectively," said Elliott. "Now guys are really buying into what we need to do."
Sam Bennett, Sean Monahan and Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary (4-4-1). Johnny Gaudreau and former Senator Alex Chiasson each had two assists.
Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa (4-3-0). The Senators wrap up their road trip on Sunday in Edmonton.
"[Driedger] gave us a chance. They just scored on the chances that they had," said Karlsson. "They scored from the corner, they hit the boards and it bounced. That's the way it's going to be sometimes."
Bennett tied the game 2-2 1:25 into the second on a set-up from Chiasson. He has goals in three consecutive games and has six points during a four-game point streak.
The story of the first period was Ottawa's 30th-ranked power play, which looked anything like that in scoring twice.
Only two days ago Hamilton was dressed up as Princess Leia for a visit to the Calgary Children's Hospital. He organized the trip, an annual tradition he started back when he played for Boston.
"The biggest thing is just going there and trying to make the kids smile," said Hamilton.
After a poor start, the Flames have won three straight. They will try to keep rolling Sunday when they welcome Washington to the Saddledome.