Lombo joins scoring parade

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:23 AM ET

It would be wrong to call it a sophomore slump but Matthew Lombardi is the latest Calgary Flames player to score his first of the season.

The speedy centre tore down the ice on a two-on-one with teammate Shean Donovan while killing a penalty in the second period and finished the play with a nifty backhand deke, depositing the puck between Edmonton Oilers goaltender Jussi Markkanen to tie the game at 3-3.

The Flames went on to win 6-5 in another high-scoring Battle of Alberta and Lombardi was thrilled to score for the first time since April 2, 2004.

"It was good to get that off my shoulders. It's been a long time since I scored a goal," said Lombardi, who downplayed the picturesque deke he put on the Oilers goaltender.

"It's just something that happens, I guess, flying across like that and hopefully find a hole there through the five-hole."

The 23-year-old also gave credit to Donovan, who finished the night with a pair of goals and an assist and now has three goals in two games, for setting up the play.

"Dono made a great play, a great pass," said Lombardi. "He's on fire. It's good to see."

Lombardi had a promising rookie campaign in 2003-04 -- fifth on the team with 16 goals -- and was one of the team's best players early this year before suffering a serious setback when he crashed into the boards feet first at the Saddledome during a game against the Phoenix Coyotes Oct. 17.

He was diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain and missed 24 games over two full months before returning to the ice against the Boston Bruins Dec. 17.

He potted an assist in his first game back and tallied six helpers in 12 games prior to last night but turned another corner with his goal last night.

"My ankle feels good," said Lombardi, who flashed his blazing speed a few time after scoring.

"I want to pick my game up but I've just got to get my legs moving and use my speed and that's going to help me."

A few more chances followed and he and Donovan were back on the ice for the next Oilers powerplay.

Lombardi said the special-teams play was key in the high-scoring contest. Scoring while shorthanded was a bonus for him.

"You want to be putting pressure on those guys and we got a chance," said Lombardi.

"You've got to take advantage of those chances."


Videos

Photos