The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Blues

Five key elements from the Flames-Blues tilt

Friday, 01.04.2011 / 9:05 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Blues

TAKEAWAY ONE: Langkow's return

The veteran pivot missed 88 games after suffering a serious neck injury last March and made his highly anticipated return to action on Friday night.

Those 375 days out of action didn't seem to faze Langkow as he came out with an extremely strong performance. After starting out on the fourth line, he was inserted onto the top line in the third period thanks to his play in the first two frames.

The line move paid off for the Flames as Langkow earned an assist on the Alex Tanguay equalizer at 8:01 of the final frame.

Overall, Langkow amassed a +2 rating, one point, one shot on net and two hits in his 14:56 of ice time.

TAKEAWAY TWO: Costly penalties

After killing off an interference call to Mikael Backlund early in the first period, the Flames took a too-many-men minor and that unnecessary penalty was extremely costly thanks to some uncharacteristic lethargic penalty killing.

Miikka Kiprusoff made an exceptional save and the rebound went directly in front of the netminder. The Flames lost possession of the puck in the scramble and weren't hungry enough when it came to collecting it as it bounced around in the scramble.

Matt D'Agostini made the Flames pay and sent the errant puck flying past Kiprusoff 12:20 of the first period.

Late in the second period Tim Jackman was called for cross-checking and the Blues made them pay once again. Curtis Glencross blocked a shot that sent the puck to Kevin Shattenkirk. The defenceman was able to dish it off to David Backes and he buried it as the Jackman infraction expired.

TAKEAWAY THREE: 1000 shades of awesome

The Flames come-from-behind victory in St. Louis can be credited to their captain, who not only had a three-point night but managed to hit a tremendous milestone in the process.

The captain opened the scoring for his club with five minutes left in the second period, notching his 38th of the season.

In the second period, Iginla assisted on Tanguay's tying marker and is now just a single point away from 1000 points in his career.

The captain not only notched the game-winning goal against the Blues but his breakaway tally late in the third period was his 1000th NHL point.

Iginla is now one tally shy of hitting the 40-goal mark for the fourth time in his career.

TAKEAWAY FOUR: Line shifting, new face on defence

Head coach Brent Sutter has never been shy about switching up his lines but recently, the Flames have been fairly consistent in this area.

With his team down by a goal in the second period, Sutter opted to shake things up thanks to certain players performances in St. Louis.

In his first game since injurying his next last season, Daymond Langkow started out on the fourth line but was shuffled up to play with Iginla and Tanguay on the top unit. Olli Jokinen, Rene Bourque and Glencross stayed together while Mikael Backlund centered Tom Kostopoulos and Tim Jackman. Rookies Lance Bouma and Greg Nemisz played on the fourth line with Matt Stajan.

There was also a change on the blueline as veteran Steve Staios sat out and Brett Carson played just his third game as a Flame.

TAKEAWAY FIVE: What the West looks like

With a Chicago Blackhawks win, the Flames are three points out of a playoff position with. The Blackhawks have two games in hand on Calgary.

Chicago is currently eighth in the conference with 92 points, the Flames are ninth with 89 points while the Stars are tenth with 87.