CALGARY – Curtis Glencross has the hot hand these days for the Calgary Flames.
Glencross had a goal and an assist as the Flames earned a 5-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.
Glencross broke a 2-2 tie with a breakaway goal late in the second period. Olli Jokinen sprung Glencross, who made no mistake by beating rookie goalie Robin Lehner with a shot to the top corner. It marked the second straight contest Glencross has registered the game-winning goal for Calgary.
“That was the turning point,”Ottawa coach Cory Clouston said of Glencross’s goal.“We played a good game up to that point for the most part and when that one went in it just really took the wind out of our sails and gave them the momentum going into the third.
“The way we are mentally and emotionally, we’re very fragile, and they gained a lot of momentum off that and it killed us.”
Tim Jackman scored twice for the Flames while Anton Babchuk had a goal and two assists. Jokinen had the other goal for Calgary (28-21-7), which earned its second straight win and eighth in nine games.
With Calgary trailing 2-1 after the first, Glencross said the club took time to regroup during the first intermission.
“We came back here and refocused after the first period and went back out and stuck to our gameplan,”said Glencross.“We got bodies and pucks to the net.”
Added Jackman:“That’s the way it’s been going, just timely scoring (and) big goals from a lot of guys. It’s just a good feeling. Hopefully we continue.”
Since losing 6-0 at home to the Minnesota Wild on Jan. 19, the Flames have gone 8-0-1 to climb back into contention in the Western Conference.
“Obviously we’ve got a lot of work ahead of us yet,”said Glencross.“If you look at the standings there’s a few games in hand that other teams have on us. We’ve just got to keep it one game at a time and stick with our program.”
Playing in his 800th career game, Robyn Regehr added two assists.
“It was really nice to win and to be able to contribute a little bit offensively,”said Regehr, who has a goal and four assists in his past four contests.
Chris Kelly and Chris Campoli scored for Ottawa (17-30-8), which has lost five straight and is 1-13-4 in its past 17 contests to drop out of the playoff picture in the Eastern Conference.
“We gave them too much time and allowed them to attack us,”said forward Nick Foligno.“They’re a dangerous team. They’ve got some guys that can score and they proved that tonight.”
For the eighth straight game, goalie Miikka Kiprusoff drew the starting assignment for the Flames and made 24 saves to improve his record to 24-18-3.
Playing in just his seventh NHL game, Lehner stopped 30 shots in a losing cause.
“He’s going to be a great goaltender for a long time,”said Foligno.“It’s unfortunate we couldn’t get him that win. He played great for us.”
The Flames went 3-for-5 with the man advantage and killed off all three of Ottawa’s power plays.
Thanks to an early power play, the Flames put on some great pressure but were kept off the scoresheet due to several nice saves by Lehner. Shortly after stopping a shot through traffic by Jarome Iginla, Lehner stacked his pads to thwart Brendan Morrison.
Jackman opened the scoring at 8:40 of the first when the puck deflected off him and into the net after Lehner made a blocker save on Niklas Hagman’s shot.
Just 37 seconds later, Kelly tied it up when he took a pass from Jarkko Ruutu and snapped a shot to the short side past Kiprusoff.
The Senators went ahead 2-1 two minutes later when Campoli took a point shot that hit Kiprusoff before bouncing up and over the Calgary netminder.
The Flames tied it 2-2 once again during a second-period power play when Jokinen redirected a pass from Glencross past Lehner.
Jokinen then returned the favour a short timelater.
The Flames took a 4-2 lead at 8:36 of the third when Babchuk fired a point shot past Lehner, who was screened by David Moss on the play.
Jackman rounded out the scoring on the power play when he tapped in a loose puck behind Lehner, who stopped Iginla’s original shot before it trickled past him.
NOTES—Hagman returned to Calgary’s lineup after missing the previous three contests with a lower body injury . . . Alex Tanguay, who had put up three goals and six assists in Calgary’s previous eight games, sat out due to a neck strain . . . With defenceman Adam Pardy out of Calgary’s lineup due to an upper body injury, blue-liner Brendan Mikkelson suited up for his first action since Jan. 15, a span of 10 games.