CALGARY, Alberta (AP)—A huge first period will help Craig Conroy sleep at night.
Disappointed with his play in a home loss to Phoenix on Tuesday night, the Calgary veteran responded Thursday night with his best game of the season.
Conroy scored twice in the first period, including a short-hander, and added an assist to help the Flames build a 5-0 lead in their wild 7-6 victory over Nashville.
“When you lose, you go home and you lay there. You’re thinking about it,” Conroy said. “I haven’t been able to contribute the way I’d like and tonight I was, so tonight will be a good night’s sleep.”
Conroy was a conspicuous minus-2 in the loss to Phoenix and was caught out of position on two key goals.
“I watched the plays, little mistakes … it’s disappointing because you feel like you’re letting down your team,” Conroy said.
“Even if you’re playing rec hockey, you get a goal, you feel a little more confident, you feel better, you have tons of energy, and you just know you’re going to get some chances,” Conroy said. “Sometimes that’s all it takes, a goal, a point, a big hit, or something good to happen to you to get you in that mind-set.”
The Flames’ seventh win in their last nine games (7-2-0) kept them tied with Minnesota atop the Northwest Division.
“It really did start off on the wrong foot for us,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Everything that could happen to us in the first period happened, everything went in the net, which dug us a big hole and we just tried to battle back.”
Coming off back-to-back victories in which he turned aside 51 of 54 shots, Rinne made just six stops in the opening period before being replaced by Dan Ellis to start the second.
Trailing 7-4 late in the third, Nashville made an impressive late push getting a short-handed goal from Fiddler on a penalty shot with 3 minutes left and another short-handed goal from Weber with 20 seconds remaining.
Trailing 5-0 early in the second period, Nashville made things interesting when they stormed back with three goals in just over 5 minutes, the first two coming on consecutive two-man advantages.
“I’m proud of our team. We didn’t just let it go, we battled for 60 minutes and almost came back,” Erat said. “We’ve just got to play better defense because we know we can score goals”.
After Weber’s goal at 8:25 drew Nashville to within two goals, Calgary responded with Langkow’s redirection a minute later to go back up by three.
“In the second, we got ourselves in a little bit of penalty trouble and their power-play got them going but then we responded well and took the play back over,” Iginla said. “For most of the game, it was a pretty good game until the final few minutes when we actually had the power-plays and we lost momentum there, they went bang-bang, a couple nice goals on a couple breakdowns by us.”
Thirty-eight seconds into the third, Iginla’s second of the night—and eighth of the season—put the Flames ahead 7-3 as the captain converted a pretty passing play with Dion Phaneuf and Bertuzzi.
Sarich’s goal was his first in 64 games dating to Dec. 9, 2007… It was just the second win for Calgary in its last seven home games against Nashville (2-4-1)… Langkow extended his points streak to five games (three goals, two assists).