CALGARY — Statistically, it wasn't a stellar night.
Two shots, one hit, no points, a giveaway and minus-1 rating in less than 11 minutes of ice time Thursday against the Kings.
But for Flames winger Freddie Sjostrom, it sure beat the zeroes posted as he watched the previous outing from the press box as a healthy scratch.
"No one wants to sit in the stands and watch — except the fans maybe," Sjostrom said with a grin yesterday.
"As a player, you want to be on the ice. You want to contribute, and you want to make the team better."
He did that Thursday in a 2-1 win over the Kings. The statistics don't tell the whole story.
His line — with Eric Nystrom centering and David Moss on the right side — was one of the Flames' best in the early stages of the game.
They flew around the ice and created chances offensively, while also keeping a pretty strong opposing young line of Oscar Moller, Brad Richardson and Corey Elkins from doing any damage until midway through the third period.
"We had a really good start to the game, maybe trailed off a little bit at the end, but overall pretty good game," said Sjostrom, who started the year on a line with Nystrom and Prust, and has played with Moss at times as well, but never both at the same time.
"I thought we had pretty good chemistry there. I think we really used our speed, and we made some plays at the right times. We got it deep and did what we needed to do."
Told after the warmup skate Tuesday he wouldn't be playing against the St. Louis Blues, the news only confirmed Sjostrom's feeling that he made some bad plays in previous outings.
"I wasn't responsible enough with the puck, and for me that's a key aspect, to be good with the puck," he said. "I kind of felt I had it coming. You deal with it and try to fix the things you've got to do."
Responding with a more determined effort, the 26-year-old Swede played more in line with the way his coaches have instructed.
"They've said clearly what they want out of me. And I know myself, too. Sometimes, I felt I didn't play up to what I had to do, play up to my standards," Sjostrom said.
"Decisions like that are going to be made. You've just got to take it the right way. You just get pissed off and you do everything you can to get back in the lineup.
"I've got to play with a lot of energy, a lot of emotion out there, and be a really good defensive guy and get on the penalty kill.
"You want to respond for yourself, but for the team. You don't want to let the guy next to you down."