CALGARY – Stephen Weiss has been the star of the Florida Panthers show on the road, but for him it’s not all about the limelight.
Weiss scored the only goal in the shootout to lead the visiting Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
“I don’t care if I’m getting the winners,” said Weiss, who also recorded the deciding goals in a 2-0 win in Edmonton over the Oilers Thursday night and in a 4-3 triumph in Ottawa over the Senators last Monday. “It doesn’t matter who, as long as we’re winning games. That’s the most important thing. It’s certainly not a one-man show by any means.”
The Panthers (14-12-3) have now won six of their last seven games and five in a row on the road.
“It’s a true team effort over the last few weeks to keep this thing going and get ourselves out of the hole we dug a little earlier in the season,” said Weiss, who slipped a backhand shot through Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff’s legs to send the 19,289 fans at the Pengrowth Saddledome unhappy.
The Panthers had not beaten the Flames since a 3-0 win at home on Nov. 9, 2002 and had failed to skate to a victory at the Saddledome since a 6-3 win on Nov. 6, 1999.
Kamil Kreps doubled his point output so far this season with a goal and an assist, while Jay Bouwmeester also scored for the Panthers.
“It’s more like 50 pounds off my back,” said Kreps in regards to breaking out of a 22-game goalless drought to start the season.
Rene Bourque scored twice for the Flames (16-11-3) to give him 10 on the season, while linemate Curtis Glencross helped set up both goals.
“I got a lucky first one and then Glennie made a nice play on my second goal, an unbelievable pass,” Bourque said. “The goalie wasn’t even ready for it.”
The Flames have now lost three straight games although they’ve recorded points in back-to-back contests following the shootout setback and a 4-3 OT loss in Detroit to the Red Wings on Wednesday night.
Bourque was credited with the game’s first goal at 16:07 of the first period when Weiss inadvertently tipped a pass on net and past Panthers netminder Tomas Vokoun.
“I felt bad for Tomas just because that’s a tough one to go in early,” said Weiss, who atoned for his mistake with the shootout winner. “It happens, but it feels good to get it back.”
Less than two minutes later, Kreps tied the game with a shorthanded marker when he stole the puck from Mark Giordano at the Calgary blue-line before skating the length of the ice and deking out Kiprusoff for his first goal of the season.
At 1:45 of the second period, the Panthers took a 2-1 lead when Bouwmeester’s point shot appeared to hit something in front of the net to sneak past Kiprusoff.
Just 87 seconds later, the Flames drew even when Bourque tapped a no-look, behind-the-back pass from Glencross past Vokoun, who was looking the wrong way.
Later in the second, Vokoun made a nice blocker save off of a close-in attempt by Calgary forward Todd Bertuzzi, who was looking to break out of a 17-game scoring drought.
The Flames poured on the pressure in the third period, but couldn’t get another puck past Vokoun, who made 17 saves in the final frame and 35 overall.
“It started with Tomas Vokoun tonight,” Florida coach Peter DeBoer said. “We was outstanding for us. I think the guys kind of fed of his energy.”
Kiprusoff, who finished with 27 saves, was the busier of the two goalies in overtime as he made three saves including a nice pad save off of a point-blank shot by Gregory Campbell.
“We had our chances in overtime and in the third and we just didn’t capitalize in the shootout and that was the difference,” Bourque said.
Notes: Calgary defenceman Adrian Aucoin suited up for his 800th career game in his 14th NHL campaign … In his 16th game of his rookie season, Calgary blueliner Adam Pardy notched his first-ever point when he drew an assist on Bourque’s second goal of the game … Calgary was the last team this season to play in a shootout.