SUN Hockey Pool

Kids earn Hollywood stars

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:28 PM ET

LOS ANGELES -- It was a night of firsts for the Calgary Flames.

First NHL game and first goal for David Moss.

First NHL goal for Richie Regehr.

First NHL point for Dustin Boyd.

First win of the season for back-up goaltender Jamie McLennan.

And first place.

Thanks to last night's 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center, the Flames overcame a load of adversity and moved themselves to top spot in the tight Northwest Division for the first time this season.

"It's unbelievable for some of these young guys to come up and contribute," McLennan said. "It's a tribute to the organization we've got really good young depth and it's nice for young guys to get a taste of it and have success early."

Moss's second-period goal that opened a 4-2 lead, capped a dream night for the rookie.

"You wait your whole life to try to get a shot in the NHL and scoring your first game, I could never dream of something better than that," Moss said.

Though expected in the Stampede City as a fait accompli, that climb to the top of the division is a heady accomplishment considering their situation.

A putrid start, only three wins in the first 12 games, put them in a big hole, while their road woes have been an ongoing theme all season.

Calgary's burgeoning injury brigade rose to a half-dozen regulars with left wingers Alex Tanguay (charley horse) and Jeff Friesen (hand) downed after Monday's loss in Anaheim.

Credit the Flames, playing their third game in four nights, for putting those potentially crippling problems behind them.

Credit the kids, too, for rising to the occasion.

"I talked to the guys individually before the game, really quickly, and told them not to worry about being flashy and keeping it simple," said Stephane Yelle, who centred Moss and Boyd. "Just use your legs and use your skills and have fun, and they did awesome.

"It was fun. They're two good kids, they're good players and doing well in Omaha. For them to come up and play the way they played, it shows a lot about their character and their skill. It was a fun night."

Needing an early spark, the Flames received one just 84 seconds in.

Tony Amonte sent what should have been a harmless slapper from just outside the blueline but Dan Cloutier, returning from an injury of his own, misplayed it with his trapper.

It didn't get any better for Cloutier and the Kings three minutes later when Regehr, playing his 19th career NHL game, sent a seeing-eye shot by the screened netminder for a powerplay tally.


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