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Calgary Flames defenceman Dougie Hamilton celebrates his goal with teammates against the St. Louis Blues during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Dec. 20, 2017.Sergei Belski/The Globe and Mail

The Calgary Flames are becoming more confident as they keep getting rewarded for their improved play.

Dougie Hamilton scored the winner at 7:57 of the third period as Calgary pulled out a 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday.

"Believe in what we're doing and if we're playing well, the wins are going to come," said Hamilton. "We just have to stick with it and we've done that and got rewarded the last two games."

After Blues goaltender Carter Hutton stopped Sean Monahan's shot from the blue line, Ivan Barbashev had the rebound on his stick when Hamilton swung at the puck and, all in one motion, knocked it off the forward's stick and past Hutton.

"I thought a shot was coming and went to the slot to see what would come from it and it bounced out. I just whacked at it. I didn't even see it go in," Hamilton said.

Calgary had a 33-22 edge in shots and has now gone 11 games since it was last outshot. However, over that span, the Flames are just 4-3-2.

"Huge win for our team. St. Louis is a good team.," said goalie Mike Smith, who made 21 saves and improved to 14-11-3. "We're managing the puck a lot better than we have been. We've been doing it for quite some time now, but just haven't gotten rewarded for it."

Calgary head coach Glen Gulutzan says it's the type of hockey that's going to be the norm for the next 30 games with all the divisional races so tight.

The victory moves Calgary into third in the Pacific, one point up on San Jose.

"We're trying to accomplish something that's going to help us win not only now, but in the playoffs when things do get tight," Gulutzan said.

Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary (18-14-3). The Flames last game before the holiday break is Friday when Montreal visits the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Brayden Schenn had his team-leading 17th goal for St. Louis (22-12-2), which has lost four of its last five. The Blues play in Edmonton on Thursday night.

"They outplayed us. I thought we gave up a lot of chances and from there we couldn't generate anything... no energy," said Hutton, who fell to 5-3-0.

Trailing 1-0 after 20 minutes, St. Louis tied it on Schenn's power-play goal 1:26 into the second.

"It just comes down to work ethic and wanting to win," said Schenn. "You're going to have those nights where it's not going to be perfect and you've got to grind it out and tonight we just didn't have that effort to do it."

Frolik opened the scoring at 7:58 of the first when he was set up alone in front by Mikael Backlund. Hutton made the initial stop, but the rebound went high in the air, deflected off a Blues player and just crossed the line before being cleared away by Tage Thompson.

Not ruled a goal originally, play continued for about 45 seconds before the arena horn sounded and the Flames started celebrating with Frolik at the bench. The league had immediately reviewed the play and had determined the puck went in.

Calgary played most of the game with five defencemen after Travis Hamonic exited in the latter part of the first period.

"It was a little bit pre-caution with his groin. We'll see how he is tomorrow. We're not ruling him out for Montreal," Gulutzan said.

Notes: Calgary's power play was 0 for 4 to fall to 1 for 28 over the last seven games... After playing the two previous games, Jaromir Jagr (lower body) was out of the line-up again. The same nagging injury has sidelined him for a total of 13 games. His spot was taken by Curtis Lazar... The Blues fall to 6-10-1 when giving up the first goal. They're 16-2-1 when they score first.

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