CALGARY, Alberta (AP) – Back in action after missing three games with an injury, Mike Cammalleri had milestone night.
Cammalleri scored three goals, including the 200th of his career, in his return from a hip injury to help the Calgary Flames beat the Dallas Stars 7-4 on Wednesday night.
“It’s special for sure,” said Cammalleri, who also had an assist. “I truly feel I’m living a dream come true playing in this league. Stuff like that makes you sometimes reflect a little bit and you appreciate what we do.”
The seven goals were a season high for the Flames, who had scored four goals four times.
“We liked the energy we brought tonight and with that came some offensive production which was nice,” Cammalleri said. “As a group you want to build on something like this. We’re capable of breaking games when we want to.”
Roman Czervenka added a goal and an assist, and Jay Bouwmeester and Jiri Hudler also scored. Alex Tanguay, Lee Stempniak and Jarome Iginla each had two assists, and Leland Irving made 30 saves to improve to 2-1-1.
Brendan Morrow scored twice for the Stars, Eric Nystrom and Cody Eakin added goals, and Jaromir Jagr had two assists. The Stars had won four straight, including a 4-1 victory in Edmonton on Tuesday night.
Dallas coach Glen Gulutzan wasn’t happy with his team’s lackluster start.
“I don’t know if we weren’t ready as much as we weren’t ready to compete,” Gulutzan said. “We were soft in the beginning, soft with our sticks, soft with our play. We weren’t ready. I thought (the Flames) played a solid game, but I didn’t think they came guns a’blazin’. I thought we were just soft.”
Dallas goalie Richard Bachman made 16 saves in his second start of the season.
Bouwmeester opened the scoring at 3:11 of the first period, creeping in off the point to swat a loose puck past Bachman. The Stars had a great chance to tie up the game a short time later, but Irving made a great paddle save to deny a short-handed attempt by Ryan Garbutt.
At the other end on the same power play, Hudler one-timed a shot from the slot by Bachman to finish off a three-way passing play. Cammalleri added another power-play goal for the Flames, before Nystrom connected for the Stars. Czervenka then converted a feed from Tanguay to put the Flames up 4-1.
“We were always one or two steps behind,” Jagr said. “Next time we have to play a little bit better especially when we play back-to-back games and the other team have a rest. We can’t just give it to them in the first period.”
Just 45 seconds into the second period, Morrow scored during a Dallas power play. Cammalleri added his second of the game at 3:23 of the second, and Morrow swatted a loose puck past Irving 24 seconds later.
Shortly after Czervenka rang a shot off the crossbar, Glencross tapped a great pass from Iginla into the Dallas net behind a sprawling Bachman to give Calgary a 6-3 lead.
With Matt Stajan already in the penalty box for tripping, Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman was assessed a delay-of-game penalty late in the second for smothering the puck with his hand to give the Stars a 5-on-3 power play for 59 seconds. While the Stars didn’t cash in during the two-man advantage, Eakin scored with Wideman still in the box 1:05 into the third to pull Dallas within two goals.
Cammalleri completed his hat trick with an empty-net goal.
NOTES: Calgary forward Paul Byron left the game in the first period with a fractured left hand. Byron was called up from the AHL’s Abbotsford Heat a day earlier to play his first NHL game of the season. … The Flames chose Irving 26th overall in the first round of the 2006 draft, while the Stars took Bachman 120th overall in the fourth round that year.
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