Spurred on emotionally by Ference's early game scrap with NHL penalty minute leader Matthew Barnaby, the Calgary Flames got two goals from Amonte on their way to posting a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars. "That was an unbelievable fight. That thing, it never seemed to end," said Amonte. "It's tough to do, especially for a guy that doesn't do it very often, to take on a bigger guy like that. He definitely inspired his teammates tonight with that one."
Less then a minute after the spirited bout that brought most of the sellout crowd of 19,289 to their feet, Amonte opened the scoring taking a drop pass from Marcus Nilson and snapping a shot inside the far post past goaltender Marty Turco.
"That's all part of the recipe for us," said Ference. "The first couple shifts in the first period, we had a couple hits, guys were going good, and that's what we've been trying to do for so much of the early season and we drew from that."
Calgary wins consecutive games for the first time this season.
After notching a career-low 14 goals in his first season with the Flames, Amonte was off to a similar start this year with just one goal in 13 games before breaking out for his first two-goal game since Mar. 27, 2003 when he was a member of the Philadelphia Flyers.
"It was the first game in a long time where I was really on and it felt good," said Amonte. "It felt good handling the puck and when you get a goal early, everything seems to click."
Kristian Huselius with an empty net goal also scored for Calgary (5-7-2). Antti Miettinen replied for Dallas (11-4-0), which has lost two straight games for the first time all season and has scored just twice in those two defeats.
"It's a concern because we lost both of the games," said Stars captain Brendan Morrow. "In the past, it wasn't a concern because we were finding ways to win when we weren't scoring goals."
Thirty-three seconds after Dallas had tied the game 1-1, Amonte put Calgary ahead again, deflecting Dion Phaneuf's slap shot over Turco's shoulder at 5:29 of the second period.
Miikka Kiprusoff did the rest, shutting out the Stars for the final 45 minutes to finish the night with 25 saves.
"Kipper played outstanding, especially in the third period," Amonte said. "We could have gotten a few more power-play goals but all-in-all the effort was there. Those are the kinds of efforts we need especially in this building, to be successful."
One of the most dangerous chances down the stretch came with the Stars on the power-play late in the third but Kiprusoff, while down on the ice, managed to thwart Mike Modano from directly in front.
The Stars finished up 1-for-7 with the extra man while Calgary was 0-for-7.
"Our power-play hasn't been very good at all lately and in tight games like this, those are moments that really matter," said Miettinen. "If you can get that goal, or get that second goal, then maybe you get a win."
Bidding for his first hat trick since 2000, Amonte had two great opportunities but was stymied on both occasions. He was stopped from the side of the net by Turco late in the second period, and early in the third while shorthanded, he burst down the wing only to see his 40-foot slap shot rattle off the far goalpost.
"He was flying tonight, using his speed and getting in the right places," said Ference. "That's Tony, he's an exciting player to watch when he's high-stepping and has the crazy legs going."
Dallas entered the night having won seven of the eight meetings with the Flames over the previous two seasons.
Notes - Calgary improved to 14-2 all-time when Amonte scores... LW Jeff Friesen (flu) and D Andrei Zyuzin (groin) were out of the lineup for Calgary, the first game missed this season for each of them... The Flames led after the first period for just the third time in 14 games... Calgary has allowed just 17 even-strength goals, which ranks them second in the NHL behind Detroit (11). The Stars began the night one better than Calgary but after giving up three to the Flames have now allowed 19... Dallas entered the night having earned at least one point in 12 of its previous 13 games against the Flames.