The next big fling

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:55 PM ET


 There's no name for it yet.

 Maybe the Donovan Dive.

 The Shean Spring.

 Head-Smashed-in Donovan Jump.

 OK, so it doesn't sound as flashy as the Lambeau Leap but it doesn't matter to the Saddledome faithful so long as they see it again and again.

 Especially if it comes at crucial times, as it did last night.

 Only 40 seconds after watching his team lose its lead, Shean Donovan potted the game-winner midway through the second period to give the Calgary Flames a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings.

 Donovan followed the goal with his now-trademark leap into the corner glass, delighting the frenzied 19,289 fans on hand.

 "I don't know what I'm doing after I score but I just went over there and jumped up," Donovan said with a grin.

 "It's awesome when you can do that.

 "You just want to be a big part of it and help the team win. Getting a goal like that, it's awesome."

 The Flames have a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal, with the fourth match slated for tomorrow night.

 An exciting middle frame featured five goals scored, the last being Donovan's highlight reel marker.

 With his line using its speed to create space off the cycle, Donovan was sprung loose thanks to a seeing-eye pass from Marcus Nilson.

 Donovan made the most of the golden chance by slipping a far-side deke past Wings goalie Curtis Joseph.

 "Marcus did a play right before that, draw his guy into the corner and chip it," Donovan said. "The second time he did it ... I kinda got lost (by their defenders) and did it.

 "It kind of looked like we knew what we were doing."

 Can't argue that.

 The duo wasn't alone in that regard either, as this was as much of a team win as you'd find for the upstart Flames.

 The entertaining clash featured an endless stream of great saves, matching nearly all of the amazing offensive chances generated.

 But the key for Calgary was finally displaying relentless forechecking and a steady stream of hard hits.

 Capping it off was a gritty display from Calgary's defensive corps.

 Rookie Brennan Evans made his NHL debut in place of the injured Rhett Warrener but only for 32 seconds, so the five other rearguards collectively earned the club's Hard Hat award. Robyn Regehr, Jordan Leopold, Andrew Ference, Mike Commodore and Steve Montador held the powerful Wings squad to only two goals.

 "It was unbelievable," said goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.

 "Some guys didn't play too much during the season but now they're jumping in and look like they've been there the whole year.

 "They all played a solid game.

 Of course, it didn't hurt Kiprusoff ensured his seemingly overmatched squad would come through.

 He made 27 saves, a dozen of which came in the third period.

 "He's confident in there," Donovan said.

 "You can see that little jump in his step and you like that when you're one of his teammates.

 "You could just see he was in that zone and you're confident you can do the things you need to do."

 After yet another scoreless first period in which Calgary held the edge in play, Robert Lang opened the scoring but Calgary used goals from Stephane Yelle and Jarome Iginla to vault ahead.

 Jiri Fischer scored to even the count but, ultimately, all it did was set the stage for Donovan's game- winner.

 "It goes to show you every second counts in the playoffs," said Joseph after a 24-stop performance.

 "Give them credit, they worked hard, got their opportunities and got a few goals."


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