SUN Hockey Pool

Prust's scraps lit fire under Flames

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:42 AM ET

CALGARY — Rick Rypien’s reputation around the NHL is among the best pound-for-pound fighters in the league.

Maybe even the best.

So what does it say about the job Flames winger Brandon Prust did against the Canucks forward in Saturday night’s 3-2 shootout win on the road in Vancouver?

“He’s obviously not the toughest guy in the league, because Prust is,” said Flames defenceman Cory Sarich.

“The only reason Rypien fought him the second time was trying to save face.”

Among all the great game-within-the-game aspects of Saturday night’s clash was the pair of scraps between Prust and Rypien.

Rypien was cut in the first scrap. Prust had a few marks on his face, and all kinds of kudos from his teammates for giving a huge boost to the squad.

Or, as he said, lighting a fire.

“From our side of things, especially that first one, it gives you a boost of confidence,” said Sarich. “It was a setback for their team. You can change momentum like when you score goals. Sometimes it works for you and sometimes it works against you.”

Jamie Lundmark’s game-tying goal came on the ensuing faceoff after round two between Prust and Rypien.

After he cut Rypien in the first fight, Prust knew he had to drop the mitts again.

“You’ve always got to be on your toes. I wasn’t sure it was going to be that early or what, maybe next game, but he came right after me,” he said. “The second time, he kinda came after me. Wanted his revenge. I wasn’t going to back down.

“He’s a tough kid. One of the toughest, especially for his size. You fight everybody differently and you’ve got to do your homework with some of those guys.

“We had a couple of good ones.”

Lundmark the finisher

Jamie Lundmark has played eight NHL games this season for the Flames during a couple of stints with the big club.

He has one game-winning goal and two shootout winners — one in Saturday’s win and the other in November against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Lundmark was summoned from the AHL Abbotsford Heat because Craig Conroy is out of the lineup with what’s believed to be a foot injury, and the call-up could very well be making it tough for the team to send him back down to the minors should the club be fully healthy.

“He had an opportunity to play earlier in the year and played well. He’s someone that brings skill, and it’s always nice to have that,” head coach Brent Sutter said.

The skill has been front and centre in shootouts. Lundmark has scored in both attempts this season.

It’s a pressure-packed position, knowing the game is on the line, but for some reason Lundmark, who will turn 29 this week, seems to excel.

“It’s a tough spot to be in but it’s a great challenge,” Lundmark said. “I think after the goal last time, the confidence was pretty high going in.

“All you do is what’s in your mind and if it goes in, it goes in.”

Lundmark isn’t the only Flames skater who is proficient in shootouts. Olli Jokinen is 4-for-6 this season, while Nigel Dawes is 3-for-6.

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca


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