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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Stars

Five key factors in the Flames-Stars game

Thursday, 23.12.2010 / 8:45 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Stars
DALLAS, TX -- The Calgary Flames were looking to end their three-game road trip with a win over the powerful Dallas Stars. Their Christmas wish was granted.

The Flames picked up their 15th win of the season with their 3-2 shootout win in Texas. Alex Tanguay notched the winner for his club and also scored the equalizer late in the third period.

TAKEAWAY ONE - OUTSTANDING DEFENSIVE PLAY

For the first 40 minutes, the Flames allowed a mere six shots on net while pelting Kari Lehtonen with 16 pucks in that span.

Their commitment to defence was seen through the forward's willingness to fully support their counterparts on the blueline. Calgary's backchecking outmatched that of their opponents, which was telling after 65:00 of play had wrapped up and the Flames had outshot the Stars 33-16.

The Flames were also quite willing to clog up the shooting lanes. Eight players dropped to the ice to block shots with the team blocking 15 overall.

Other than a few defensive breakdowns early in the third period, the Flames played a near-excellent game in their own end and for that, the win was most definitely deserved.

TAKEAWAY TWO - JUMPIN' JAYBO

Jay Bouwmeester didn't have his greatest outing in Columbus on Tuesday, posting a -3 rating in the loss, but bounced back in the Lone Star state.

The 27 year-old Edmonton native assisted on Anton Babchuk's first period goal and pushed his points total to 12 (3 g, 9 a) in 36 games.

The smooth skating defenceman jumped into the play whenever he had an opportunity, managing to get a single shot on net and had two shots blocked by the Stars, while maintaining a great level of defensive responsibility. He led the Flames in blocked shots with four and came out with a +1 rating in his 28:06 of ice time.

Bouwmeester's assist was his first point since Dec. 1.

TAKEAWAY THREE - INTENSE IGGY

The Flames captain came into the game against the team that drafted him in 1995 with a lot of jump.

At 7:19 of the opening period, Jarome Iginla dropped the gloves with youngster Jamie Benn and while Iginla sustained a deep cut that required stitches, he gave as good as he got in the long tussle. The scrap gave his club an extra boost of energy and Babchuk scored just under 4:00 later.

In 19:26 of ice time, Iginla had an assist, five shots on net, two shots blocked by the Stars and one hit.

TAKEAWAY FOUR - HIGHWAY ROBBERY

With just over 2:00 to go in overtime, Dallas nearly notched the game-winner when James Neal danced around the defence from the corner, putting a backhand on net from point-blank range. Miikka Kiprusoff made the initial pad save on the difficult shot but quick thinking saved the contest for his club.

Neal picked up his own rebound quickly and wired another shot at the open side of the net. Somehow, Kiprusoff got his glove up just in time to stone the shifty forward.

Kiprusoff also came up big for the Flames in the shootout, stopping all three Dallas shooters to send the Flames into the Christmas break with a much-needed two points.

After a strong first two periods, the Flames took their foot off the gas for a few minutes and it cost them. At 2:41 of the final frame, Brendan Morrow took advantage of the Flames inability to clear the zone and potted his 13th goal of the season, putting the Stars ahead for the first time in the game.

TAKEAWAY FIVE - NEVER DIE ATTITUDE

After falling behind by a goal early in the last period of regulation, the momentum could have easily shifted in Dallas' favour. However, the Flames didn't let that one mistake cost them the game.

They kept pressing throughout the period and their efforts paid off when Tanguay was able to skate into the Stars zone on a partial breakaway and shot a hard wrist shot high over Lehtonen's shoulder. The goal came with just 1:11 left in regulation, giving the veteran winger his 10th goal of the campaign.

Calgary kept their edge through extra time and took the game to a shootout. Tanguay netted the winner when he was able to send another shot over Lehtonen's glove.