Four Wins In A Row

Flames Continue Run Against Lowly Pens 

December 7th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

Just a couple of nights after a nail biting win over the Minnesota Wild - a game that took 59 minutes and 38 seconds to salt away - the Calgary Flames entertained their fans and made short order of the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 6-1 victory.

Beating up on the Penguins ordinarily wouldn't be much of a story in itself - the Penguins sit 30th overall in a 30 team league - but for a Calgary team missing five regulars it was somewhat unexpected.

Green Yelle Iginla
Gelinas McAmmond Donovan
Saprykin Lombardi Clark
Oliwa Morgan Kobasew
Regehr Leopold
Gauthier Warrener
Montador Ference

Unexpected in that the win came in a game without their number one goaltender, leading defenceman in terms of minutes per night, their two best centers, and their face off leader.

Also unexpected in that it did come over a weak and beatable hockey team, a game that the Flames have always mailed in in season's past, somehow looking past a night such as this or resting on their recent laurels.

But that was before Darryl Sutter came to town.

The game marked a change to the red hot Calgary speed line, with the injured Craig Conroy taking to the sidelines and replaced by fellow speedster Dean McAmmond.

The line didn't miss a beat.

Shean Donovan, as everyone in Calgary must know by know, has scored six goals in his last five games, but put a giant cherry on top of his weekly sundae scoring three more time and adding an assist. That's 11 on the season for a guy that has a career high of 12, and nine in his last six games.


His linemates didn't have a bad night either. Martin Gelinas continued his hot hand by adding three assists, giving him seven points in the last four games. While Dean McAmmond chipped in with two assists.

Calgary received singles from Jordan Leopold, Stephane Yelle and Oleg Saprykin - Milan Kraft replied for the Penguins.

Surprisingly, Jarome Iginla had his goal and point streak snapped at four, as the captain failed to hit the board despite the number of pucks to sail into Pittsburgh nets.

The victory pushes the Flames to five games over .500, gives them points in 10 straight games and send them to Minnesota for a game on Tuesday riding a four game win streak.

The biggest advantage games like Sunday night provide, however, is a cushion, as the club can't expect to roll along without a hiccup with so many regulars out of the lineup.

These are heady times for the seven times bridesmade Flames as they use the victory to vault into a tie for 5th place in the West with the Los Angeles Kings.





1 Shean Dovovan - First career hat trick to add yet another chapter to one of the NHL's most intriguing stories.

2 Martin Gelinas - Speedy winger continues to roll, adding three assists.

3 Dean McAmmond - Great way to start! Speedy winger converts to center ice and has a two point night.

Robyn Regehr stepped into an advancing Ryan Malone and rattled him off the glass creating an uproar from the crowd.

Miikka Kiprusoff turned away a Milan Kraft offering and then through his legs toward the top of the net to rob Kraft on a rebound late in the first period. The series of saves was monumental at the time with the Flames up two in the first and looking to leave the period in good shape. Goal there and you may have had a different game.

Shean Dovovan, Dean McAmmond, Martin Gelinas and Jordan Leopold were all +3 on the night. For Leopold the plus figuere wipes out the -3 he carried into the game. ... Oleg Saprykin's goal gives the enigmatic winger six points in the nine games he's played since emerging from Darryl Sutter's dog house. Each of the nine contests haven't been keepers, but he appears to be finding some consistency. ... The Flames came at the Penguins in waves tonight, out shooting the visitors 21-9 in the first period and 43-22 overall. Nine different Flames had at least three shots in the game, and only three players (Krzys Oliwa, Robyn Regehr, and Jason Morgan) failed to garner at least one shot. ... The one goal against gives Calgary's new number one man six one goal games in seven starts as a Flame. The club has picked up at least one point in every contest. Kiprusoff's goals against average fell to 1.71 after tonight. His save percentage moved up to .928. ... Calgary was two for six on the powerplay, while the Pens came up empty on two tries. ... Six goals moves the Flames to the middle point of the NHL (16th) in terms of goals scored with an average of 2.52 per game, quite a run from the bottom three weeks ago. The club sits 9th defensively with 2.32 goals against. 

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