Moss-terful combo

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

All eyes were on the big line.

It just turned out to be a different combination than most expected.

Dustin Boyd, Jamie Lundmark and David Moss earned that honour in the Calgary Flames' first game of the pre-season at the Saddledome last night.

Boyd showed quick hands to score the Flames' first goal, then set up Jarome Iginla late in the second period for a go-ahead marker, although the Flames eventually dropped a 3-2 decision to the Florida Panthers.

"We had a good effort from Boyd," said Flames coach Mike Keenan. "He showed some skills tonight and he's worked very hard during the off-season in his preparation. I think he was one of our better forwards tonight.

"I hope he continues to move along that path."

While Iginla, Todd Bertuzzi and rookie hopeful Mikael Backlund looked rusty, the line of Boyd, centre Lundmark and right-winger Moss was the team's best unit.

Missing out on a few great chances in the opening frame, Boyd got them on the scoreboard at 13:02 of the second period, when Moss' forecheck forced a turnover that was gobbled up by Lundmark -- a former Flame who rejoined the team after spending time with Moscow Dynamo and then the AHL's Lake Erie Monsters.

Lundmark shot, Boyd scooped the puck out of goaltender Craig Anderson's feet, pulled it to his forehand and roofed it to tie the game.

"We definitely had our opportunities to score. There were some there that we just missed," said Boyd. "Lundy nearly took Anderson's head off with a bullet. We had our opportunities and could've used a couple more (goals)."

The 22-year-old Winnipeger is expected to suit up again tonight in his hometown. Hopefully he saved a little for his family and friends.

"Well, we'll see if I'm in the lineup. A lot of family would be there in the stands," said Boyd, who was excited to score in his first outing.

"It's definitely a bonus. I don't think I scored a pre-season goal last year. It's nice to get one right away. Hopefully, I can keep rolling and the pucks will keep going in the net."

Lundmark also hopes to make an impression in his second stint as a Flame. Keenan said the talented centre needs to change some of his defensive habits, but hopes he'll push for a job in the spirit of competition.

"It was a step. I think our line played pretty well tonight, and you can't ask for anything more except for a win," said Lundmark.

Backlund showed some offensive skills alongside Bertuzzi and Iginla, but also turned the puck over at times in his own end.

Still, Keenan saw some positives from the 19-year-old Swede.

"I think he held his own for the most part of the game," he said.

Jay Bouwmeester was the hero for the Panthers late in the third period, deking Iginla from the blueline and banking the winning goal off Curtis McElhinney and in.

Rostislav Olesz and David Booth also scored for the Cats.

REPORT CARD

Goaltending

Curtis McElhinney -- Made a few nice saves. Not stellar. B-

Defence

Cory Sarich -- Good work with his stick, but like many Flames was a little rusty. B-

Adrian Aucoin -- Kept it simple and earned an assist on the powerplay. B-

Adam Pardy -- Looked pretty comfortable. B-

Anders Eriksson -- Giveaways hurting his chances to make the team. C-

Robyn Regehr -- Quiet night for the bruising blueliner. C+

John Negrin -- Looks strong in the offensive zone but gets caught up ice. C+

Offence

Dustin Boyd -- Showed hustle and skill, earning a goal and an assist. A

Jarome Iginla -- Slow start but scored a beauty on the powerplay. B+

David Moss -- Had a couple of great setups for Boyd and Lundmark. B+

Jamie Lundmark -- Chemistry with linemates. Nearly scored twice in the first half of the opening period. B+

Wayne Primeau -- Hard worker. Good on faceoffs. B

Todd Bertuzzi -- Didn't show much finish in his first game as a Flame. B-

Rene Bourque -- Finished every check and dove in front of pucks. C+

Matthew Lombardi -- Brief flashes of confidence. Long periods of invisibility. C+

Mikael Backlund -- First impression: Needs another year in Sweden. C+

Eric Nystrom -- Some good penalty killing. C+

Brandon Prust -- Spent most of his night on the bench. N/A

Curtis Glencross -- Threw more hits than the old No. 20. C


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