Flames answer alarm

It was all Calgary last night at the Saddledome as the Flames' Miikka Kiprusoff stoned the...

It was all Calgary last night at the Saddledome as the Flames' Miikka Kiprusoff stoned the defending Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes. (Calgary Sun/Stuart Dryden)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:26 AM ET

The goal in the opening seconds came courtesy the top line.

The energy to help create it, said Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla, came from the crowd.

"There was a lot of electricity in the building, the crowd was fired up before the first shift," Iginla explained. "After the anthems, you could see they were excited to see the defending Stanley Cup champions and I think that translates into us -- it goes into us -- and we feel it, too."

Felt it, used it and were off and running to an eighth-straight home-ice victory, this time a one-sided 3-0 pounding of the Carolina Hurricanes last night at the Saddledome.

Facing the reigning Stanley Cup champs and looking to extend their home-ice winning streak -- knowing a victory would propel them back into a playoff spot -- the Flames were focused on a quick start.

Can't get much better than 28 seconds, which is all it took for Daymond Langkow to get the party started for the announced crowd of 19,289.

"They're one of the top teams in the East again this year and being the Stanley Cup champs, you want to come out and try to prove yourself," said Langkow, who is riding a six-game point streak. "Right from the start, we played well. I think everybody had a great effort.

"It's always nice to get a lead that early. You want to try and take the wind out of the other team's sails and I'm sure it did a bit. We played the whole game the same way."

Taking their home-ice run within one of the franchise record, the Flames had a big test with the Hurricanes in town.

There hasn't been a Cup hangover for the 'Canes but the Flames sure sent a message with a one-sided performance, out-shooting the visitors by a 14-3 count through the opening 18 minutes.

It all vaulted from an incredible first shift.

Working the play into the Hurricanes' zone right from the drop of the puck, defenceman Rhett Warrener played the puck from the blueline and the bouncing biscuit was chipped to the high slot by Alex Tanguay for the awaiting Langkow. Carolina goalie John Grahame stopped the original shot but while defenceman Mike Commodore was tangled up with Iginla, Langkow easily deposited the rebound.

"We hadn't played for a few days and were trying to make a big press on the start," said Iginla, who captured career assist No. 300 as well as an empty net goal. "To get a goal the first shift any time is a big boost for the team."

Calgary improved to 13-10-2 and vaulted Vancouver into eighth spot in the Western Conference race.

Roman Hamrlik, with a bullet of a top-corner one-timer late in the opening period made it a two-goal edge. Iginla's 299th career goal rounded out the attack for a Flames team that's outscored the opposition 27-6 in the eight-game home-ice run.

Naturally, no win can come without a great save from Miikka Kiprusoff, who collected his fourth shutout of the season.

Though not too busy, Kiprusoff stood tall with the save of the night early in the second period, holding his ground on Scott Walker in a one-on-one battle that could have brought Carolina back into the game.

"You don't want to make the mistakes and turn the puck over but it happens," said Langkow. "We have the utmost confidence in Miikka and having that confidence settles you down and helps you make the right play."


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