A couple of late Panthers goals made for an anxious finish, but in the end Flames scored just enough on home ice to re-take the league's top spot with a 5-4 win over Nottingham.
Flames had the bulk of the territory and shots in the opening frame, outshooting Panthers by a 19-8 count, but the sides completed the set still on the scoreless start.
The shot pattern continued 18-8 for Flames in the second, but just over 2 minutes after re-start, it was visitors who opened the scoring when Matthew Myers set them to a lead. A Flames reply just 24 seconds later through Peter Crinella squared it at one each and a Ryan Tait powerplay goal near the midway mark put Spectrum’s men in front where they remained at period close.
The 3rd was not 2 minutes old when Brett Ferguson extended the led to a pair. Robert Lachowicz made it a 4-1 count at 47:11, but shortly thereafter Panthers cut their deficit with a Brett Welychka goal. At 55:40 Sam Marklund re-stored a 3 goal advantage just before a quick pair with Welychka’s 2nd and a Tanner Sorenson strike 38 seconds apart had them only a goal off the pace set up a nailbiter finish with just over 3 minutes remaining.
In the final shot tally, Taz Burman made 30 saves on 34 shots while Alex Dubeau turned away 43 of 48.
“I thought for about 56-57 minutes we were clearly the team pressing the play, but we got pushed back at the end and it nearly burned us,” explained Paul Dixon.
“We got a lot of shots, we had the puck a lot and we had stretches of play where we really were around the net and maybe could have had a few more.”
“Luckily tonight we were able to capitalize on enough to get a good lead that in the end held up. Obviously that is the main objective of the night, and we are happy to have taken 4 weekend points.”