Lombardi Caps solid effort

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:54 AM ET

Matthew Lombardi was a factor in more ways than one.

He scored the winning goal in the Calgary Flames' 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals last night at the Saddledome.

That was huge.

Just as big was the hit he took when slammed from behind into the boards by Caps blueliner John Erskine in the second period.

"Fine," Lombardi said when asked how he was feeling after that smack.

"We got a powerplay, so it's good. If you can get some powerplays and some calls that way, it's fine."

Jarome Iginla scored during that man-advantage to tie the game at one goal apiece.

Lombardi scored his first of the season 1:42 later on a wrist shot that zipped over Jose Theodore's shoulder.

"I just got it away as quickly as I could," he said. "Boydie (Dustin Boyd) made a good heads-up play and Gio (Mark Giordano) was driving the net and it opened up a lane for me. I just tried to get it off as quick as I could, and it found the back of the net.

"It feels good to help out and chip in. All around, everybody had a part in that game."

Wayne Primeau had a big night killing penalties, twice stripping Alex Ovechkin and hitting iron the other way. Iginla's goal was big, and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff looked like, well, the Vezina version of Miikka Kiprusoff.

"You go down the line and everyone chipped in," said Lombardi, who joined the top line between Iginla and Todd Bertuzzi after his goal and finished with 19:58 of ice time -- his highest total this season.

Head coach Mike Keenan said he made the move because of the jump Lombardi showed in the first half of the game.

"He came through a real long stretch where he had a medical problem. A lot of scrutiny has been placed on him. We're not going to disclose that to the media, but he was put in a situation that was difficult for him to play. That's why his ice time was spotted," said Keenan, who seemed to allude to something more serious than the flu Lombardi battled in the pre-season.

"Tonight, he had a lot better health. We started him on right wing and he showed that he had the skating we expect from him, and that's when I made the adjustment.


Videos

Photos