Lots to like about Mike

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

As first impressions go, Michael Cammalleri provided the Calgary Flames and their fans all they wanted to see.

In fact, he gave a little more then expected.

One of the club's big off-season acquisitions, Cammalleri made his debut in fine style by scoring the game winning goal, but his contributions went beyond that in last night's 3-1 pre-season victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in the Saddledome.

In just his second shift donning the Flaming C, Cammalleri -- all 5-foot-9 of him -- showed he's willing to do more with his hands than just score goals by dropping his gloves while staring face-to-face with Coyotes loose cannon Danniel Carcillo.

No dust-up resulted, but you have to think by combining feistiness and a goal, Cammalleri earned quick friends among his new teammates.

"If you look around this locker-room, you've got a lot of guys willing to compete in all areas of the game, and that's one of them," said the forward acquired for a first-round draft choice in the summer.

"Any time one of us is outnumbered, I'm pretty sure you'll see us trying to outnumber then."

Cammalleri's second-period tally is more akin to what's expected.

On a two-on-one break with Jarome Iginla, Cammalleri elected to pass despite seeing all kinds of room between himself and the net.

Iginla completed the give-and-go, and Cammalleri banked the puck past Mikael Tellqvist, although he's not sure if it was with his stick or a part of his body.

"It's hard to tell. I kinda threw my whole frame at the puck. I was trying to sweep my stick and I don't know if I got it but I didn't kick it," he said.

"Hey, however they go in. It's a funny thing with goal scoring ... when they come, they seem to come any way. When they don't, even when you're making great shots they don't go in."

Cammalleri wasn't the only Flames star to see game action for the first time in this exhibition season and playing to strong reviews.

Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff stopped all nine shots he faced in half the contest against an outmanned Coyotes squad with nowhere near the experience compared to the lineup Calgary iced.

"We didn't give up too many shots, but it was a nice way to start. I felt all right," Kiprusoff said.

Matthew Lombardi and Andre Roy also tallied for the host Flames last night.

Viktor Tikhonov, the grandson of the famed head coach from the Soviet Union, scored the lone goal for the Coyotes, the only blemish amidst a 13-save performance by Calgary back-up netminder Curtis McElhinney.

The Flames pre-season continues tonight with the Florida Panthers in town for the second time this week.


Videos

Photos