Sutter hits jackpot shuffling deck

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:20 PM ET


 Darryl Sutter's juggling act was a winner last night.

 After the Flames generated just two shots on Tampa goalie Nikolai Khabibulin in the first period, Calgary's coach starting swapping to find some winning combinations.

 The best move was promoting centre Marcus Nilson to the top line, adding left-winger Chris Simon, in place of Martin Gelinas, with Jarome Iginla on the right side.

 Centre Craig Conroy dropped to the second line with wingers Chris Clark and Gelinas.

 The offence came alive with Simon netting a powerplay winner while recording three shots on net. Iginla had a couple of shots on goal in addition to hitting the post after Simon's goal. Iginla then netted an insurance marker with the man-advantage in the third, assisted by Simon.

 "I thought we played well," said Nilson before underselling his own talents.

 "Iggy's used to playing with a playmaker but (last night) he had to play with a plugger. I thought it went pretty good."

 Nilson recorded two shots on goal while logging 20 minutes of ice time.

 "Teams juggle all the time, that's just part of the game and everybody rolls with it," shrugged Conroy after the game, adding winning is the only thing that matters.

 Sutter is acclaimed for juggling lines in search of more scoring punch from a lineup that isn't flush with scoring stars.

 He said last night's moves weren't intended to send a message to players who aren't producing.

 "It wasn't the only one we changed or use," Sutter said.

 "It's part of coaching, I think. I mean, they probably used 25 different combinations tonight. Our guys are used to playing with everybody."

 Sutter added he never considered scratching Simon these playoffs, despite the rugged winger's habit of taking bad penalties earlier this spring.

 "Not even once," Sutter insisted.

 "(Simon had) four goals coming into tonight, three powerplay goals in the playoffs. He's missed 11 games, I think, due to injuries."


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