SUN Hockey Pool

Back from the brink

STEVE MACFARLANE, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:38 AM ET

DALLAS -- Two flashes of speed, two huge goals for Matthew Lombardi.

The fleet-footed centre led the Calgary Flames back from the brink of another loss with two goals, including the overtime winner, to give his team its first win of the season last night.

It was a hard-fought battle head coach Mike Keenan said resembled a playoff game, and his Flames felt a lot like winners of one in the locker-room after struggling to an 0-2-1 start.

"That feels good. That feels really good," said captain Jarome Iginla wearing a huge smile as the music blared through the visitors room at American Airlines Center.

"I thought from the start of the game, we were better tonight. We stuck with it."

After Lombardi squeezed the puck under Marty Turco's arm in the third to tie it, he got a gift from Brenden Morrow in overtime when the winger dropped a pass just outside his blueline that was easily picked off by Lombardi.

Unsure he was about to rip home the winner, Lombardi hustled down the wing and unloaded to stun Turco and the home crowd.

He admitted he was wide-eyed at the opportunity.

"Yeah, you don't expect that," said Lombardi. "Just to see that, I jumped on it. I didn't even know what kind of shot I was going to get off. I got lucky, I think."

A much more consistent effort got the Flames through a rash of penalties in the second and third period.

Stars head coach Dave Tippett said after the morning skate he expected a tough game.

"It's gonna be a hornet's nest," said Tippett. "They're a team that's trying to get things going."

The Flames feel rejuvenated after the win.

"It was a really hard game and I'm really proud of the way the team played. It was our best game, for sure, this year on a consistent basis," said Keenan, who earned his first victory as Flames head coach.

"We played against a very confident team."

Iginla and Keenan both raved about Lombardi's speed. "For sure, he's a top five fastest in the league. His speed is amazing," said Iginla. "It was great to see. Everybody's pushing, everybody's pressing to help out. A big win like that goes a long way. To be able to come back in the third and win in OT, it feels really good."


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