SUN Hockey Pool

Richie Regehr sets up game winner

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:43 AM ET

A mind-numbingly slow start didn't prevent the game from finishing in dramatic fashion.

Shean Donovan and Jason Wiemer, a pair of Calgary Flames who have struggled to produce offensively this season, both scored to help their team pull off a 4-2 win over the stifling Minnesota Wild at the Saddledome.

Richie Regehr also played a big role in his first NHL game of the regular season, sending a hard shot on net that Steve Reinprecht tipped past Dwayne Roloson at 11:47 of the third period for what proved to be the winning goal.

"I threw my stick out and it bounced off it. It was a great shot by Richie, hard and on the net," said Reinprecht, who wasn't in a hurry to tell the referees he deflected it in. "It's his first game. If they see it, they see it and I'm not too worried. We got the win and that's what's important."

Wiemer added insurance with a great shot over Roloson's shoulder with three and a half minutes left to end the Wild's winning streak at three.

It was Wiemer's first of the season and he was happy both he and linemate Donovan could contribute.

"You can't rely on the big guns every night to produce," said Wiemer. "The guys like myself and Dono have got to step up a little bit and fortunately tonight we did."

While the Flames showed spunk early in the first, the Wild soon slowed the pace to their comfort level and caught up in the shot count.

The Minnesotans are nothing if not a patient group.

Their patience paid off 1:20 into the second when Calgarian Kyle Wanvig sent a bad-angle shot toward the Flames net and got a lucky bounce off Daymond Langkow's foot for the first goal of the game.

The Flames cashed in on the next powerplay opportunity to draw even when Tony Amonte smacked Dion Phaneuf's rebound through Dwayne Roloson's legs.

But a long bomb from Wild defender Willie Mitchell to Pascal Dupuis gave Minnesota a late lead in the back-and-forth period. Dupuis outwaited Miikka Kiprusoff and lifted the puck high into the net with 2:11 to go.

Donovan brought the Flames back with his second of the year -- and first in 35 games -- a backhand wraparound that slipped under Roloson's stick and through his legs with 42 seconds on the clock.

Donovan's face lit up as he busted out the celebration that made him a fan favourite during the 2004 playoff run -- a spinning leap into the glass -- before being mobbed by teammates.

"It's been a long, long time. It's a pretty awesome feeling," said Donovan, who formed arguably the best line of the night with Wiemer and Chris Simon. "I knew it was going to come. Wiemer and Si were playing so well."

Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said both Donovan and Wiemer deserve credit for working through their struggles

"It's good to see them get rewarded, finally, because ... there are players that cave in at some point," said Sutter.

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CALGARY FLAMES: 4

MINNESOTA WILD: 2


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