CALGARY, AB -- When asked about Jay Bouwmeester's play in Saturday night's 4-3 win over the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames head coach Bob Hartley was able to sum up the defenceman's impact in two sentences.
"Jay Bouwmeester was flying tonight," the bench boss said. "We saw the real Jay Bouwmeester."
The rearguard, who earned first star honours in the victory, was the the most dominant player on the ice. In his 24:01 of ice time, he recorded two points (one goal, one assist), was a plus-two, fired two shots on net, threw a hit and blocked a shot.
"He was great," Flames captain Jarome Iginla said. "He's been playing at a very high level all year.
"You could see him playing with a lot of confidence."
SAVE OF THE GAME
After the Flames turned over the puck in the Oilers zone late in the second period, Taylor Hall went steaming into the Flames end. Seeing Ryan Nugent-Hopkins right behind him after he crossed the blueline, he dropped the puck back for the wide-open pivot. Nugent-Hopkins sent a hard wrister on net that could have easily popped out of Kiprusoff's glove but the netminder held on to keep Edmonton at bay.
HIT OF THE GAME
Glencross sent Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to the ice in a heap at center ice when caught the Oilers youngster watching his own pass.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Bouwmeester made an incredible pass to Stempniak to set up the game-winning goal in the third period. After taking a great feed from Jiri Hudler, the blueliner walked around Ladislav Smid and dished the puck off to Stempniak. The winger had an open net and scored his third goal of year.
The Flames have been known to take their foot off of the gas pedal after gaining a lead in the past but the team put forth a consistent effort on Saturday, continuing to push after posting a couple of goals against their rivals.
"We did a good job of sticking with it tonight," Stempniak said of the consistency.
Hudler and Roman Cervenka made their Flames debut, skating on a line with Matt Stajan on Saturday. Hudler played 17:36 and notched one assist. Cervenka, in his first NHL game, logged 17:44 of ice time, put two shots on net and went three-for-three in the faceoff circle.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
"This win is for us but it's also for our great fans," Hartley on the Flames first victory of the season.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
In addition to leading all players in scoring on Saturday, Stempniak also led all skaters in shots on net with five.
The Flames have a rare four day stretch without a game. They will host the Colorado Avalanche, who fell 4-0 to the San Jose Sharks tonight, on Thursday night at 7:00 PM MT. Sportsnet West will be broadcasting the divisional battle.
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