SUN Hockey Pool

Holy 'Kow!

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:51 AM ET

They entered the clash looking to see how they stacked up against the Beasts from the East: The mighty Ottawa Senators.

Turns out the Calgary Flames have no reason to sell themselves short when it comes to measuring against the club pegged as the NHL's best.

With as much buildup of a potential Stanley Cup preview as you can have in mid-December, the Flames proved last night they are indeed a squad to reckoned with by beating the Sens 2-1 in overtime.

As performances go, it was a total team effort, exactly what Calgary needed to beat a strong Senators side that can play both high-scoring and tight-checking games when the situation dictates.

"We talked about it today, with the type of team we were playing it would take four lines and might take until the third period to get a lead, or the last five minutes," said Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter. "Hey, it's a good win."

Turns out he was only half right.

It took until late just to draw even and then a little OT to finish the job.

Daymond Langkow played the hero before the sellout Saddledome crowd of 19,289, whacking home a rebound on his second chance with 82 seconds remaining in the extra frame to complete the comeback.

"I got one rebound and luckily I had a second crack at it," said Langkow, who notched his ninth of the season.

It wasn't the run-and-gun affair fans may have been expecting from the Senators and plenty of credit for that can be sent the Flames way.

Ottawa is known for its league-leading offence but can also slam the door, as the first 50 minutes showed.

However, in a one-sided third period that saw Calgary hold an 11-2 edge in shots, the tide couldn't be stemmed forever.

With just over seven minutes remaining in regulation, Tony Amonte began the Calgary comeback with an easy tap-in off an incredible pass from Shean Donovan.

Not only was it a game-tying goal but it was No. 400 for Amonte.

"Feels good, feels good," Amonte said. "It mattered because it was a big goal, that's the only thing. That's all that matters. You want to score goals that mean something and that was one that meant something tonight."

While Ottawa's defence is earning rave reviews, the Flames also showed to be more than adept at holding the fort.

Consider the fact Ottawa's lone goal came on a Peter Schaefer deflection on the powerplay and the big line of Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza was held off the scoresheet. That trio combined for only four shots on goal.

Said Sutter: "Our focus playing Ottawa was we wanted to shut their big line down and we were able to do that and felt after that we had a chance at beating them."

On the heels of a 20-save performance from Miikka Kiprusoff, Calgary regained top spot in the Northwest Division with its 18-9-4 record.

An extended break sees the Flames get a week off before returning to the ice next Saturday night against Boston.

- - -

CALGARY FLAMES: 2

OTTAWA SENATORS: 1

OVERTIME


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