SUN Hockey Pool

We have a Donovan sighting

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:59 AM ET

Shean Donovan skated with a little extra zip yesterday.

That's what happens when a player turns his game around.

"Yeah, it sure felt a little lighter in the practice," said the Flames right winger.

Yes, Donovan still has to snap that nasty goal-scoring drought of 21 games but his third-period assist combined with a stronger outing Wednesday has him believing his game is back on the right track.

"It was nice to get back in there and contribute. I felt a lot better and was able to be part of a win," he said.

Having potted 18 goals in 2003-04, hopes were high Donovan would display an even better scoring touch this campaign, especially with the obstruction crackdown allowing him to use his speed and size. Instead, on the heels of going 20 games without a single point, he found himself a healthy scratch earlier this week in Colorado.

His return to the lineup Wednesday peaked when he dug the puck amidst a gathering along the boards and fed a pass to Robyn Regehr, who wristed the go-ahead goal from the point.

"It probably wasn't the prettiest play," Donovan said. "I'll always remember it as dangling through three guys and going back door to the guy breaking in for the assist but really I just gave it back to Reggie and he pounded in the shot."

Just as important for Donovan was the fact he did a better job driving to the net.

"Lots of guys have been telling me, my mom and sister, too, 'Why don't you take it to the net' so I said enough is enough. Plus, if you take it to the net, somebody will have to haul you down or somebody will follow you and score on the rebound. For me to help the team, I have to do that."

Darren McCarty was thrilled to see his teammate back in form.

"We've all been through stretches like that. The bottom line is we're winning and he's a big part of it," McCarty said.


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