Flames tamped down in Tampa

Calgary tourists had moments, earned their point in OT contest


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TAMPA, Florida -- Steven Stamkos did the ultimate damage on Thursday night, knocking home an overtime goal to seal a 5-4 win for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Calgary Flames at St. Pete Times Forum.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/12/2011 (3895 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

TAMPA, Florida — Steven Stamkos did the ultimate damage on Thursday night, knocking home an overtime goal to seal a 5-4 win for the Tampa Bay Lightning over the Calgary Flames at St. Pete Times Forum.

But the point Calgary got for reaching the extra session was earned. Trailing by two early in the third period, the Flames needed to get busy.

And they did.

CP Chris O�Meara / The Associated Press Lightning centre Vincent Lecavalier battles for a loose puck in front of Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and defenceman Chris Butler Thursday.

Rene Bourque, taking advantage of some lax defensive attention from Ryan Malone and Brett Clark, broke in alone and tucked a shot between the pads of Tampa netminder Mathieu Garon at 59 seconds.

The Flames’ territorial push continued as they frantically hunted for the equalizer. Midway through the one-sided period, the shots were 7-0.

Finally, with Victor Hedman off for slashing Blake Comeau, the Flames squared it. A great shot/pass from Alex Tanguay gave Olli Jokinen an easy deflection at 16:48.

Matt Stajan, with his first goal of the season and first in 36 games, and Jarome Iginla, with his 496th goal, got Calgary’s other goals.

The Bolts got goals from Teddy Purcell, Tom Pyatt, Malone and Nate Thompson.

After that pillow-soft opening bid Tuesday in Nashville — allowing the Preds to pump 18 shots on goal — Flames coach Brent Sutter understandably had been demanding a better start in Tampa.

His boys appeared to have listened.

Because the night’s second shift was a dandy, with Tanguay firing a puck on net and Jokinen coming close to rapping in the rebound.

But their definition of good start didn’t go much beyond that. Soon enough it was the local crew that was dominating.

Big hits — Malone on Jokinen, Blair Jones on Brett Carson, Hedman on T.J. Brodie — and nearly all of the territorial play. In fact, the Flames went more than 13 minutes without putting a shot on Garon.

When Jokinen went off for hooking at 3:30, the Tampa power play went looking for a goal for the third straight game. They got it.

Purcell, from the left corner, aimed a centring pass at Moore, who was jostling with Chris Butler. The puck struck the Flames defender and fluttered over goalie Miikka Kiprusoff, putting the Bolts ahead 1-0 at 5:11

So not exactly a good start.

The fourth-liners dragged the Flames back into the game.

Tom Kostopoulos, from the left side, flung a shot netward. Tim Jackman was quickly on the scene, hacking Garon, then beating Hedman to the loose puck. The Flames heavyweight issued a lovely backpass to the crease where Stajan happened to stationed. The easy conversion, with 32.2 seconds remaining in the first period, made it 1-1.

Right after the intermission, just two ticks after a hooking penalty to Moore had expired, Jokinen found Iginla, on his off-wing with a lovely pass. The Flames captain crushed the puck into the net.

The goal, at 1:57, made it 2-1 for the Flames.

The visitors, with very little push, were forced to watch the Bolts come on.

And it was inevitable — Tampa scored.

After, in tandem, wiping out Mikael Backlund just outside the Calgary blue-line, Pyatt and Blair Jones went straight into buzz mode in Kiprusoff’s kitchen. With the third linemate, Ryan Shannon, pitching in, Pyatt swatted the puck in at 10:10.

The Lightning went up 3-2 on a dazzling shift by Stamkos.

The star forward, hurtling untouched around the Flames zone, eventually zipped a pass to a slot-stationed Malone, who drilled it home at 12:05.

But the Bolts weren’t done.

Rushing down the left wing, Thompson, working two-on-one, forced a pass in the direction of a net-bound Adam Hall. With Butler sliding into Kiprusoff, the puck caromed in with only 33.4 seconds to go.

The shot clock told much of the story for the soggy second period, the hosts holding an 18-5 shot margin.

The Flames now shuffle over to Sunrise, Fla., for today’s match against the Florida Panthers. They wrap up the four-game road trip Sunday in Chicago.

— Postmedia News

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