Grinders producing for Flames

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

CALGARY - The power of the fourth is with the Calgary Flames.

Over the past few weeks, the most consistent line combination has been that of Tim Jackman, Tom Kostopoulos and David Moss.

It's not Jedi mind tricks they've employed but a work ethic that the fourth line is using to create havoc -- and with it has come scoring chances.

Jackman leads the way with four points over the past three games, including goals in two straight, which hardly surprises New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.

Capuano coached Jackman when both were with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, the AHL affiliate of the Islanders, and he has a great deal of respect for what the grinder does.

"He practises like he plays," said Capuano, whose Islanders face the Flames Monday night at the Saddledome. "He gives it everything he's got.

"He has worked his way to where he is at right now, and he deserves everything he's accomplished. Whether it was in practice in Bridgeport or in the games there, he was the best player every night."

Jackman spent three seasons in the Islanders organization and never really found out if the team wanted him to stay this past off-season when he became a free agent July 1.

Moments after the free-agent window opened, he had an offer from the Flames and jumped on it.

With his fifth goal Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers, the 29-year-old equalled a career high he set two seasons ago on the island.

The combination of Jackman, Moss and Kostopoulos has stuck over the past 10 games or so because they forecheck well and keep the puck out of their own zone.

"I feel like our line can con-t ribute offensively," Jackman said. "We have all scored goals in the past, no matter what league we've played in. It's something we work on in practice, trying to score, and our line has a good feeling right now."

LAWSON BROUGHT HOME

The timing couldn't have better Saturday for goaltender Nathan Lawson when the Islanders traded Dwayne Roloson. With the veteran netminder gone, Lawson got the call up and will back up Rick DiPietro, likely for the rest of the season.

The former Calgary Royals midget star will suit up for his second NHL game, the first being a start Dec. 16 against the Phoenix Coyotes.

"I'm glad (my family) can see me reach this level," Lawson said. "When I got the game the other week, it gave me confidence that I can play at this level. I'm just excited for my next start."

PARDY GETS PHYSICAL

If there was any question Adam Pardy was over the shoulder injury that kept him out 25 games, it came Saturday night against the Oilers.

The Flames blueliner was

STARTING LINEUPS

nailed by Oilers winger Jean-Francois Jacques early then came back to drill Zack Stortini with a hip-check on the same shift.

"It makes it a bit easier to get into a game when you are physically involved like that," Pardy said. "Of course, you don't want to get pushed around like that. It helps to get a couple of hits early because it loosens things up. It took time (getting back) -- my season started in early December. Every game that goes by, I'm feeling a little better."

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