Midway through a tight game against a division rival, the Calgary Flames needed a boost. The Flames’ most recent outing saw the visiting San Jose Sharks dominating a game they led 2-1 and were on the verge of breaking wide open. Flames coach Glen Gulutzan needed to find a way to inject some fight into a lineup struggling to get out of its own zone. Not generally the type to mix up his lines like most other coaches, Gulutzan decided his top trio needed help. Enter Sam Bennett. Gulutzan promoted Bennett to the left side of the top line in exchange for Johnny Gaudreau, the NHL’s third-leading scorer, who moved to Mark Jankowski’s third unit for the remainder of the game. It worked. “We were looking for a spark and I thought we got it,” said Gulutzan, whose club wound up tying the game in the third before a late giveaway cost them the game. “It speaks to the fact (Bennett) has played pretty well and I didn’t think the top line was winning many battles. Benny is a guy who can win a lot of battles and it helped them out in the third. Both lines created a little bit.” Gaudreau converted a Garnet Hathaway pass to score the game-tying goal and Bennett helped lift Sean Monahan’s line out of its funk with some good offensive forays.
Move to wing helping Flames’ Sam Bennett reach lofty expectations
Sportsnet | Dec 16