SUN Hockey Pool

Rhett a hit in his return

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:57 AM ET

They were sitting ducks.

And Rhett Warrener was the triggerman, setting his sights on the boys in Blue and Green time after time.

A sprained knee forced the rugged Calgary Flames defenceman to miss 17 games but Warrener made quite an impact in his return.

Then another ... and another.

Warrener produced a game-high handful of crunches -- at least three of them of the highlight-reel variety -- as the Flames blanked the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 3-0 last night.

"I couldn't get out of the way of a lot of them," Warrener joked in the locker-room. "Sometimes they come to you.

"It felt good to play again."

It seemed to take Warrener a little time to get his legs up to speed but once he did, the shooting-gallery fun began.

He first lined up Joffrey Lupul with a hard shoulder plant in the chest late in the opening period. The smack left Lupul shaking his head on the Ducks bench afterward.

To kick off the second period, Warrener caught winger Travis Moen in similar fashion as the Ducks winger cleared the puck out of his end from just inside the zone. In encore performances, Warrener drilled Todd Fedoruk into the side boards and Chris Kunitz near the opposition bench.

The hit parade made an impression on Flames captain Jarome Iginla.

"What a great game," said Iginla. "In a game that didn't seem like there were a lot of hits, every hit was him. It seemed like there was probably five or six big hits and he had five or six of them."

Warrener said there was no way he was going to hold back and worry about how his knee would hold up. "You can't really ease into it, the games are too important," he said.


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