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Cammalleri's hat trick ignites Flames to 7-4 win over Stars

The SportsXchange

CALGARY, Alberta -- Michael Cammalleri insisted his game was rounding into form just before he suffered a hip flexor injury.

The Calgary Flames' left winger proved it during his first game back after missing three outings.

Cammalleri snapped his goal-scoring drought with authority, netting a hat trick, including his 200th NHL goal, and adding an assist to help lead the Flames to a 7-4 victory over the Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Talk about gaining momentum from finally scoring.

"Something is psychological about the human body. You get a goal and the legs feel a little lighter, you're playing with your head up a little more, you've got more jump in your stride, you're making better decisions with and without the puck," Cammalleri said.

"The key is to try and create all those habits when you don't feel that way, but something about scoring a goal or getting a point or contributing in whatever way it is you do as a player really helps that."

Cammalleri, who scored 39 goals in the 2008-09 season, was unable to light the lamp in his first seven games this year.

Moreover, he was hardly generating scoring chances for himself and almost no shots on goal.

He did, however, net three assists in his last outing before being knocked out of the lineup for a week, and he carried that momentum against the Stars.

Jay Bouwmeester, Jiri Hudler, Roman Cervenka and Curtis Glencross also scored for the Flames, who won just their second game on home ice this season.

Cammalleri wasn't alone in showing some extra determination.

Captain Jarome Iginla had struggled offensively out of the gates, with just one goal in the first 11 outings, but he collected a pair of assists. To top it, he was a physical force and showed determination to be a difference maker.

A day earlier, former teammate Rhett Warrener, who is now a radio host, said the Flames' captain wasn't competing hard enough.

Iginla wouldn't speak after the game, but teammate Alex Tanguay admitted the franchise's all-time leading scorer was motivated.

"He's a guy with a lot of pride. With the amount of shots and the way he's played since the start of the year, I'm not worried about Jarome," Tanguay said. "He's getting his chances. He's working extremely hard. He's got too much talent. If he keeps working the same way he did tonight, look out. He's going to be just the Jarome we know."

The Flames staked a 3-0 lead by the midway point of the first period and never relinquished it, despite the craziness of a high-scoring affair against a Stars team trying to come from behind all night.

"Soft with our sticks. Soft with our plays. We weren't ready," Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I thought they played a solid game, but I didn't think they came guns a-blazing. I think we were just soft."

Brenden Morrow scored twice for the Stars, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped, while Eric Nystrom and Cody Eakin added singles.

"We were too late forechecking. We were too late backchecking. We were always one or two steps behind. It cost us," Dallas forward Jaromir Jagr said. "Every time we scored, they answered right away."

NOTES: After claiming G Joey MacDonald off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings, the Flames sent G Danny Taylor to the minors. They also summoned C Paul Byron from the AHL Abbotsford Heat and sent C Ben Street down. Byron started on a line with Jarome Iginla and Glencross but left the game late in the first period after suffering a fractured left hand. ... The Stars went 1-14-2 last season when playing the second game on back-to-back nights. Wednesday's game was their first in that situation this season. ... Jagr and Flames first-year C/RW Roman Cervenka were teammates a couple of seasons ago in the KHL with Omsk Avangard. Cervenka led the KHL with 31 goals in the 2010-11 season. ... The four goals in the first period was high for the Flames this season. In fact, that outburst matched the season high for a game this year.
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