SUN Hockey Pool

Line of fire hot

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

If it wasn't obvious on their first goal, it sure became clear on their second.

The Calgary Flames' top line of Tony Amonte, Daymond Langkow and Jarome Iginla is going to be good.

Probably great.

Making their Saddledome debut last night during a 3-0 pre-season victory over the Edmonton Oilers in front of a sellout crowd of 17,439, the ALI line showed the kind of chemistry Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter was hoping to see when he teamed them up.

"Amonte has been very good right from Day 1," said Sutter after the win.

"I think he was the sparkplug on the line tonight. Clearly our best forward."

The trio was dominant -- especially in the second period, when all of the scoring took place.

With the Flames already up by a goal, Iginla made a tape-to-tape pass to Amonte from the side of the Oilers net. Amonte snapped it past goaltender Devan Dubnyk on the short side at the 4:15 mark.

Little more than four minutes after their first strike, the top line made its presence felt again.

Amonte, this time the setup man, worked hard in the corner and centered a pass to Langkow in the slot. The former Phoenix Coyotes forward made no mistake, roofing the puck over Dubnyk's shoulder.

"I just think we're making better decisions with the puck," said Langkow of the improvement over their opening game together in Chicago last week. "We were moving our feet tonight and we capitalized.

"You put three guys together and can't assume they're going to click right off the bat. I think we knew we had to be better and we were tonight.

"Sometimes it just takes time."

Iginla agreed timing between the three will get better as the regular season approaches.

"We're talking more," he said. "Everybody likes to do certain things or certain plays. Some guys like to stay wide, some like to drive to the middle. We're just trying to feel that out. It's not really about hard work, it's really just about getting to know each other. It was a good step for us today.

"This was a quicker game than our last game, that's for sure. It was fun to bring the tempo up."

Eric Nystrom opened the scoring in the second period when he deflected a Steve Montador point shot past Dubnyk just two minutes into the frame. Dubnyk, who came off the bench after Ty Conklin played the scoreless first period, finished with 20 saves. Former Hitmen star Brent Krahn made 22 saves for the Flames, earning a shutout in his bid to win the backup job behind Miikka Kiprusoff.

Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr set an early physical tone with a big bodycheck on the first shift and didn't stop until the third period, when he rested his sore hip.

By the time the third period was drawing to its conclusion, the Oilers were obviously exhausted.

That may have been a product of the relentless pounding Edmonton's forwards took from Regehr and rookie blueliner Dion Phaneuf who seemed to have a favourite target in Raffi Torres.

- - -

CALGARY FLAMES: 3

EDMONTON OILERS: 0


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