Florida…the land of sunshine and warmth and happiness all year long. Calgary…the land of..uh, well..current conditions; 15-20 cm of snow and -20 degrees Celsius. The night couldn’t be much colder, but neither team was cold coming in. The Panthers came to Calgary to find an icy hell awaiting them and a home team coming right off a very successful road trip which saw them garner 5 out of a possible 8 points. The Panthers have won 4 straight on the road coming in, and weren’t likely to be an easy opponent this time around.
On The Line
Calgary sits just one point back of Vancouver for 1st place in the Northwest division. A win would leapfrog them over the idle Canucks in the ever lead-changing division. The Flames are looking to build on their strong road trip, but those road points mean nothing if they come home and start to get complacent. Florida is jam packed in the middle of the Southeast division and is looking to stay afloat above the .500 mark.
The teams traded chances the whole first period, with Florida having the slight edge in play until Rene Bourque found the back of the net at 16:07 while attempting to pass the puck to Matthew Lombardi. The puck was deflected by a Florida defender and floated past a helpless Vokoun. The Panthers would tie the game at 1-1 when Kamil Kreps was sprung for a short-handed breakaway and deposited his 1st of the year with a slick deke past Kiprusoff.
Jay Bouwmeester opened the scoring in the 2nd period by slapping a point shot past Kiprusoff just under 2 minutes into the frame, but the Flames answered right back when Rene Bourque potted his 2nd of the game after a beautiful behind the back feed by Curtis Glencross from behind the net completely fooled Vokoun.
Calgary upped the pressure in the 3rd period, firing 17 shots on the Florida netminder but Vokoun was game for the task and turned away every single one. Some great scoring chances went by, and the Flames skated into overtime deserving of a better fate.
Nothing was settled in overtime but both teams had great chances, including a 2:00 powerplay for the Panthers after a Lombardi high-stick. The game went to a shootout, Calgary’s first of the year.
Cammalleri – Post – wrist shot
Frolik – Missed net – forehand deke
Borque – save – wrist shot
Kreps – save – forehand deke
Iginla – save – wrist shot
Weiss – goal – deke (five-hole)
Garbage point goes to the Panthers.
- Tomas Vokoun: Faced 37 shots and stopped 35. Many huge saves in the 3rd period to get the game to overtime.
- Rene Bourque: Scored 2 goals, his 9th and 10th of the year and had a many more chances.
- Jay Bouwmeester: 1 big goal, 30+ minutes of icetime and had 5 shots on goal.
With Rene Bourque looking for the hat trick and looking to give his team the lead in the 3rd, Tomas Vokoun denied him on a 2-on-1 chance. Vokoun went on to make many saves in the 3rd, but this one may have been the most important.
Nothing stood out as big enough for a “Big hit” award, this wasn’t a very physical game at all.
The Flames and overtime/shootouts do not mix. All 3 shooters tried almost the exact same thing. Why not throw a deke in there to mix it up?
Tomas Vokoun held down the fort in the 3rd period when Calgary threw everything they had at him. He also made a clutch ( and maybe a bit lucky) stick save on Iginla during the shootout.
Odds ‘n Endds
Calgary was the last team in the NHL to take part in a shootout this season, a stat I don’t so much mind. Todd Bertuzzi had a stronger game tonight. You could tell he wanted a goal badly, taking shots at almost every opportunity and when he would normally make a pass. He will score next game, you heard it here first. Adam Pardy was finally rewarded for his solid play by recording his first career NHL point with an assist on Bourque’s 2nd goal. Jarome Iginla just doesn’t look sharp right now. He looks sluggish and indecisive. Still getting the points, but the “wow” factor is missing. Shots on goal were 37-29 in favour of Calgary. Florida was 0-4 on the powerplay and Calgary was 0-5. Dion Phaneuf led the team with 30:05 of icetime and Mark Giordano led the game with 7 shots on goal. This really was a game Calgary should have won, as well as their last game which they lost in overtime. They are still getting points, but wasting points at the same time.
Calgary gets a few days off then travels to St. louis to take on the Blues on Tuesday night. Gametime is 6:30 PM and you can catch all the action on Sportsnet West and the Fan 960.
Lines (To Start):
Cammalleri- Conroy – Iginla
Bertuzzi – Langkow – Bourque
Glencross – Boyd – Moss
Nystrom -Lombardi – Roy
Phaneuf – Giordano
Aucoin – Regehr
Sarich – Pardy