Part-time shine from big line

STEVE MACFARLANE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:42 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Jarome Iginla was a stellar setup man.

Matt Stajan and Niklas Hagman pulled the trigger.

But the fact the Calgary Flames' top trio combined for six points in the 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators means nothing without a win.

"Any game you lose is tough to swallow, especially at this time of year," said Stajan, who potted his second goal as a Flame and added an assist in the losing cause.

"When you contribute it's nice, but when you don't walk away with a win it doesn't mean anything. We've got to make sure we're doing that and winning hockey games."

It was a tease to see the forwards playing so well together, but ultimately unable to make the difference.

They might have been a little too excited about their success, and Flames head coach Brent Sutter suggested they tried to be too fancy in the second half of the game.

"They were like the rest of the team. I thought they played well for parts, and parts they had a lot of turnovers, too. They're not left off the boat, either," Sutter said.

"They scored two goals, which is huge for us and we need that from those guys, but we got sloppy in the neutral zone and they were like the rest of the team.

"Too many turnovers. You're going to lose too many games that way this time of year. It's like playoff hockey."

Deadly over the first 24 minutes, Iginla, Stajan and Hagman were each in on the pair of Flames goals.

Hagman netted his first for his new team with a blast from the high slot after taking a cross-ice feed from Iginla to give the Flames the lead late in the first period.

Stajan gave the Flames the lead again early in the second with a great move on Brian Elliott after Iginla feathered a pass under a defender with his centre grabbing it at full speed.

"The two goals they got were great goals. Jarome made great plays on both those goals," said Sutter.

"Staje driving the net on the second one.

"Hags making a great shot. They certainly did some things offensively we needed them to do," said Sutter.

"I'm looking at them overall as a team.

"The last 30 minutes isn't good enough."

STEVE.MACFARLANE@SUNMEDIA.CA


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