Flames back bold words

Daymond Langkow (left), Jarome Iginla and Kristian Huselius celebrate the Flames second goal...

Daymond Langkow (left), Jarome Iginla and Kristian Huselius celebrate the Flames second goal against the Red Wings on Tuesday. (Sun Media/Al Charest)

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:52 AM ET

The Calgary Flames talked the talk leading up to the big event.

The time is now. We have to turn up the intensity. Our destiny is still in our own hands. Blah, blah, blah.

But with the Detroit Red Wings in town the local heroes had to walk the walk, too, or face the possibility of their tenuous hold on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference dwindling to just two points before they laced up their skates for the next game.

It appears they took their declarations seriously as they earned a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Wings at the Saddledome last night to snap a three-game slump.

"It's a must-win," said Craig Conroy, who was back in the lineup after a four-game absence. "We talked about it, you say it, but until you actually do it ...

"A lot of people had us written off by losing this one and then Nashville. That's not the way this team thinks. It was fun to see the guys respond and play as well as they did."

With a one-goal lead in the third period on the strength of two powerplay goals, the Flames battled bitterly in the corners, raced to recover in the defensive zone and hung on for a win they needed as badly as any all season.

At least, according to the public.

"It's really nice (to get the win). Especially since you guys (the media) say we can't do it anymore," the always playful Rhett Warrener said with a laugh. "Guys were committed to getting the job done tonight. We've got to see that the rest of the way.

"I don't care about the score as long as there is the win. And even bigger is the effort, committment by everyone to play strong in the little areas, to be a hard team to play against."

Daymond Langkow, who opened the scoring less than two minutes into the game, said the defensive-mindedness in the third period was a big step forward as the Flames face their final nine games of the regular season.

"I thought we played with a lot more confidence with a one-goal lead," he said. "It's a good boost for us. Hopefully we realize that's the way we've got to play every night."

The work ethic the Flames promised was there from the start in the first period.

Langkow earned the Flames a 1-0 lead 1:47 after the drop of the puck with a powerplay goal that gave him 30 tallies in a single season for the first time in his career.

Kristian Huselius notched his 31st of the year a day after his second daughter Nova was born. He said he didn't feel any relief, though, because he believes the team's confidence hasn't dipped despite all the outside pressures.

"I don't think so," he said. "We are still in the playoff spot and we haven't thought about it. We're really positive in this locker-room. We know what we can do and I think we showed everybody we can play well tonight."

Pavel Datsyuk scored the lone goal for the Wings.


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