December 9, 2011
Comeback win for FlamesCalgary does all its scoring in third to beat visiting Avalanche
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
CALGARY - For most of his NHL career, Brendan Morrison has been known as Mo.
On his Twitter page, the Calgary Flames centre refers to himself as BMo.
After the job Morrison did first inside the dressing room and then out on the ice to help the Flames beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 Thursday night, he was being called Reg Dunlop.
"Yeah, player-coach. I heard that a few times after the game," Morrison said.
The Flames needed a spark to erase a one-goal deficit in the third period, and were given the golden opportunity with a four-minute powerplay.
Enter Morrison's contribution.
He drew up some plays for his teammates to use with the man-advantage during the second intermission. Then, he set up a pair of man-advantage markers to spark the club's moribund home-ice powerplay and send them off to a big win.
"That's how he drew it up between periods, and that's what we executed," said Lee Stempniak, who combined on a give-and-go tally with Morrison to put the hosts on the board.
"It's nice to score that way.
Even more impressive was the fact the Flames didn't take six weeks and 29 failed chances to score another home-ice powerplay goal before an announced Saddledome crowd of 19,289.
Less than 90 seconds later, Curtis Glencross redirected Morrison's pass from deep in the zone.
Morrison's plan was to work the puck from low in the zone because the Avalanche penalty killers were aggressive on the point men and players along the hash marks.
"They're really aggressive on the half-wall guy, so I figured if we could get the puck down low, we could make something happen. We were able to do it both times," he said.
A week ago, the 36-year-old centre who had major off-season knee surgery was a healthy scratch and had to be wondering whether his NHL career was in jeopardy.
Now, he has six points in two games since going back into the lineup.
"When you're feeling good, you look to make plays instead of just getting rid of the puck. The last two games, that's been the situation, playing with guys, getting in the right spots, and when guys are doing that, it makes the game a lot easier."
Still, everybody who follows the Flames knows they can't make it easy on themselves, and that lead disappeared just a couple of minutes later when T.J. Galiardi -- whose high-sticking double-minor led to Calgary's first two goals -- evened the count.
But it just set the stage of Olli Jokinen to finish a three-way play with Glencross and Jarome Iginla for the winner.
The Flames claimed a ninth straight win over the Avs, a spree which includes four meetings this season.
"We're probably in their heads like Vancouver is kinda in our heads. We feel like no matter how we play against Van, it's a tough team to beat," Jokinen said. "They probably feel the same way, Colorado, when they play against us."
More importantly, they pulled to the NHL's version of .500 for the first time this season with a 13-13-2 record.
"We wanted to get there so we can get above it," said coach Brent Sutter. "It's baby steps. We're 5-1-1 in our last seven, so it was important to get back to where we needed to be and now we can start on the course ahead."
Colorado (13-15-1) got out to a lead thanks to Matt Duchene's second-period tally, but was thoroughly outplayed, managing just nine shots on goal in the first two periods and only 18 in the game.
The Flames end their homestand with Saturday's Hockey Night in Canada clash with the Edmonton Oilers.
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak