Langkow snaps goalless slump

STEVE MACFARLANE, Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:35 AM ET

Earning his first point as a member of the Calgary Flames was a relief.

Christopher Higgins was more excited about the 5-3 win over the New Jersey Devils — and the fact his linemate snapped a slump that lasted a quarter of the season.

"He's been pressing a bit," Higgins said of centre Daymond Langkow, who went 21 games without a goal before earning his 12th of the season to tie the game 1-1 early in the second period.

Langkow has been a 20-plus goal scorer in all four of his previous seasons with the Flames. It won't be easy to reach that mark again, but Friday night's effort is a solid start for the man who has twice reached 30 tallies for this team.

"Obviously, you're thinking about it," Langkow said of the lengthy drought. "Especially when you're losing.

"You feel like you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing out there. And then maybe you change your game a little bit and it just gets worse.

"It felt great to get that. It's been a while."

Higgins took the puck to the net and rang it off the post. The rebound came to Langkow in the slot and he brought it to his backhand and beat Devils goalie Martin Brodeur.

"I think it fooled Brodeur," said Langkow, who nearly got a second score later in the period but watched his off-balance shot flip over the crossbar. "He thought it was going far side and it went five-hole."

It was his first goal since Jan. 5.

The timing of it couldn't have been better in the game. Coming just 1:43 into the second stanza, it changed the complexion of the contest.

"Coming into the second period down a goal, I'm sure the fans were thinking, 'Here we go again,' " said Langkow.

"The guys did a great job tonight. We stuck with it. Got that first goal and went from there."

Going two months without one is tough for any individual player.

When you're the team's second-line centre, a cold snap that long plays even more on your mind.

"It gets to be a burden on a player," said head coach Brent Sutter. "They're human beings. It's something that weighs on you.

"As difficult as it is, it's important you stay focused on other parts of your game so it doesn't affect other parts of your game.

"I'm sure that deep down he's relieved to get it over with, but we need guys to continue on here. We need everyone every night."


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