In only his sixth big-league outing and after logging only three shifts in the third period and none in the overtime session, Calgary Flames rookie Corban Knight figured he had the best seat in the house for Friday’s shootout at American Airlines Center.


His boss, Bob Hartley, had other ideas.

“I was just sitting there, kind of enjoying the view. Then, all of a sudden, I get tapped,” Knight said. “It’s amazing how fast my body reacted to that, because about a millisecond after he touched me, I instantly started shaking.”

Thankfully for the Flames, the 23-year-old saved a few shakes for when he really needed them, deking to his forehand and sliding the puck behind veteran twine-minder Tim Thomas for the decisive tally in Friday’s 4-3 shootout victory over the Dallas Stars in Big D.

A surprise ending?

Maybe for fans at the American Airlines Center who had never heard of the Flames’ fourth-line centre, but not for a handful of other recent arrivals on the visitors’ bench.

In fact, when Hartley went looking for a right-handed shot for the fourth round of Friday’s shootout, Ben Hanowski — Knight’s linemate in Calgary and roommate in Abbotsford — told him that No. 10 was his best bet.

“It was a great move, and a fantastic finish,” said Flames left-winger Michael Cammalleri, who potted a pair in regulation but was stopped in the skills competition.

“The guys that have played with him in Abbotsford called it and said that his stats were, like, 4-for-6 going in and that was his move, and he was for sure going to score. So good for him.”

The surprising part might be that Friday’s game even got to a shootout.

Thanks to second-period strikes by Antoine Roussel, Jamie Benn and Erik Cole, the Stars owned a 3-1 lead at the second intermission.

Since the Flames managed just one shot in the first half of the third frame, and especially when you consider that the fast and physical Stars had given them fits in two previous meetings this NHL season, some folks back in Calgary must have been tempted to switch the channel.

And then … cue the comeback. With this hard-working group, what else did you expect?

With just over seven minutes to go, Flames sparkplug Paul Byron trimmed the lead — a tap-in on the powerplay after a pretty feed from left-winger Curtis Glencross.

Less than three minutes later, with the scoreboard showing 4:30 remaining, Cammalleri snuck behind Thomas and knocked a puck across the goal-line to even things up with his second of the night.

“The talk going into the third is, ‘We’ve done it before -- let’s just go play hard, and if you get one, you never know,’ ” Cammalleri said. “You earn confidence — confidence isn’t given — and we’re starting to earn confidence in that aspect.”

Rookie Sean Monahan also scored in the shootout for the Flames, while netminder Joey MacDonald — finally getting another NHL look after a four-month stint with the farm club — was only fooled once at the other end. MacDonald finished the night with 22 saves -- none bigger than a pad stop on Stars sharpshooter Tyler Seguin on a breakaway early in the third period, when a goal certainly would have equalled game over.

“You know what? That’s my job,” MacDonald shrugged. “When you’re down by two, you don’t want to give them that third one, because that’s going to kill us. You just try to make the key saves at the right time, and I think I did that.