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Todd Bertuzzi scores his first pre-season goal for the Calgary Flames on goalie Tomas Vokoun from...

Todd Bertuzzi scores his first pre-season goal for the Calgary Flames on goalie Tomas Vokoun from the Florida Panthers in NHL hockey action at the Pengrowth Saddledome in downtown Calgary. (Stuart Dryden/Sun Media)

STEVE MACFARLANE

, Last Updated: 1:17 PM ET

On a night David Moss exploded for four points, leave it to Todd Bertuzzi to steal his thunder.

Taking first-star honours -- Moss was the runner-up after scoring twice in the third period to blow things wide open in an 8-2 thrashing of the Florida Panthers -- Bertuzzi's spectacular style outshone Moss' workmanlike evening.

Big Bert's deft backhanded touch pass to Cammalleri early in the second period for what would stand as the winning goal dropped jaws across the Saddledome.

Those mouths roared in approval later when Bertuzzi scored his first as a Flame after taking a pass from Matthew Lombardi, splitting the Panthers defence and tucking the puck past a faked-out Tomas Vokoun early in the third period to make it 5-2.

Struggling to find his game in his previous pre-season outings, chemistry found Bertuzzi in the form of Lombardi and Cammalleri after the obviously overwhelmed 19-year-old Mikael Backlund was bumped off the line and onto the pine in favour of Lombardi for the final 40 minutes.

"Me and Bert were just talking. It's nice when you're able to make some plays and get some creativity. We're kind of just looking for each other and we've got our heads up," said Cammalleri, whose locker-room stall is right beside Bertuzzi's.

"We definitely had some chemistry."

That was apparent on Cammalleri's goal. As the diminutive winger charged toward the slot, Lombardi sent a long, hard pass to Bertuzzi along the boards.

Hardly looking at the puck, Bertuzzi deflected it with the back of his blade over to Cammalleri in front of the net.

Cammalleri made no mistake and swatted the puck into the far side off Vokoun's body for his second goal in as many nights.

Believe it or not, he figured it was coming his way.

"I came off the bench ... as it was going down, I saw Bert look at me as I was going up the middle and he just made -- that's one of the best passes you're going to see in a long time," Cammalleri said.

Four of the Flames' eight goals were scored by newcomers.

Free agent addition Curtis Glencross and former Chicago Blackhawk Rene Bourque both tallied in the first period to stake the Flames to a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

Bourque set the tone on the game's opening shift as he bashed everything that moved on the forecheck. Leaving the game early because of a minor leg injury, Bourque's statline read one goal, three shots and a plus-one rating in 5:52 of ice time -- not a bad night's work for a guy striving to be a second-line winger.

So is Glencross.

So is Moss.

And Dustin Boyd is, too. All he did was add another pair of assists to push his NHL pre-season-leading point total to six in three games.

"I think it's a good problem to have," said Moss, who scored twice in the third period. "As players, I think we're going to push each other hard this year."

Wayne Primeau and Cory Sarich added late goals for the Flames, while Ville Peltonen and Mike Duco scored for the Cats.

Once the most-booed man in the building as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, Bertuzzi was cheered feverishly again when announced as a star.

Good way to cap off a great night.

"It's awesome. It's kind of a little bit different than what I envisioned it was gonna be," said an appreciative Bertuzzi.

"You've got to go out and play hard. That's all these fans want is you to go out to compete hard, play hard.

"If you can do that, I'm pretty sure even myself can win someone over."


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