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After starting on the fourth line, Lombardi moved up to the second line with Michael Cammalleri and Rene Bourque during Saturday's 5-2 loss to Detroit.
Lombardi was back with Cammalleri again Tuesday night, but this time on the top line with captain Jarome Iginla in Calgary's 6-2 victory over Los Angeles. And after Cammalleri's goal on eight shots, Iginla's goal and an assist and Lombardi's two assists, this top trio should be intact Thursday at Vancouver, and perhaps longer.
Calgary fans have been waiting for Lombardi to break out since 2006-07, when he set career highs of 20 goals, 46 points and plus-10 and followed that up by scoring a club-high 12 points in nine games while helping Team Canada win gold at the world championships.
Lombardi had a disappointing 14 goals, 36 points and a minus-6 last season. Then again, he didn't have Rick Nash and Shane Doan on his wings like he did in Russia at the worlds. The knock has been that his hands don't match his blazing speed, but he has by no means peaked at 26. We'll have to see if he makes the most of this opportunity and can improve upon the goal and three assists he has in nine games.
Lombardi's line wasn't the most productive unit for Calgary on Tuesday night. The third line of Bourque, Craig Conroy and Curtis Glencross combined for three goals, five assists and a plus-7.
It was Glencross' second consecutive multipoint game and his goal and two assists against the Kings give him four goals, nine assists and a plus-3 on the season. Conroy has three goals, nine assists and a minus-2, and Bourque's two-goal game gives him six goals, six assists and a plus-4.
Glencross, Conroy and Bourque are pretty even in points through 22 games, but Bourque's 35 penalty minutes and 56 shots understandably make him a more popular fantasy player (owned in 3.1 percent of ESPN leagues). Bourque and Glencross bear consideration in deep leagues, but they are streaky and haven't produced much in their limited time on the power play.
The second line of Daymond Langkow, Todd Bertuzzi and Dustin Boyd haven't kept pace, however. Boyd was hurt in a second-period collision and didn't return, but Bertuzzi's ice time of 15:26 was almost five minutes less than his season average, and Langkow, usually the team's No. 1 center, saw his ice time drop almost two minutes to 16:49.
Both are still getting power-play time, but Bertuzzi has gone 10 games without a goal, and Langkow has one goal and three assists in his past eight games.
|Chris Mason was pelted with shots by his old teammates, but he withstood the challenge.|