Rebound, Sink Flames
It didn't have to go this way.
The Calgary Flames, playing the second night of
back to back games in the Tri-State area were actually in this one.
The scoreboard final reads 5-1 New Jersey, but
much earlier, when things were still up for grabs, the Flames were very
much in it.
The testy New Jersey Devils, fresh from a disappointing
loss to the upstart L.A. Kings and mired in daily trade rumours were
bound to be up for the game.
They didn't disappoint.
The defending Eastern Conference champions
brought their "A" game in this one in turning back the Flames
and evening the Calgary squad's road trip at one and one after two games
in a three game jaunt.
The Devils opened the scoring with a couple of
minutes left in the first period. Petr Sykora burst through the middle
of the ice as he was squeezed by the Calgary defence and center Marc
Savard. His harmless shot was turned aside by Roman Turek but Savafd let
him go, and Sykora fired his rebound into the empty cage.
Early in the second period the Devils doubled
their lead when Scott Niedermayer popped his first of two in the period.
On the play Niedermayer took a pass from Scott Gomez and fired a well
aimed screened shot past Turek, high on the glove side.
Just over two minutes later the resilient Flames
cut the lead in half when Craig Conroy set a career mark in goals by
notching his 15th of the season. Conroy, using linemates Dean McAmmond
and Jarome Iginla as decoys, fired a wrist shot high, short side on J.F.
Damphousse to make the score 2-1. Iginla picked up an assist on the play
to move his NHL leading point total to 53.
Ten minutes late the Devils rebounded with the aforementioned
controversial goal, essentially sealing the fate of a tired road team.
The Flames attempted to bring the game closer in
the third period, out shooting the Devils by a 9-4 margin, though their
attempts on net were less than grade A opportunities.
The Devils managed two additional goals and a
goals post on their four shots as Roman Turek struggled in letting the
game slip away.
The Devils made it 4-1 when Sergie Nemchinov
slid a puck along the ice to beat a sliding Turek on the far side. Bob
Boughner was riding the Devil forward when he released the puck but he
still managed his 3rd goal of the season.
To add insult to a rather serious injury, trade
bait target Jason Arnott notched his 14th of the season when he turned
at the face off dot and fired a short side wrister past Roman Turek to
make the game a runaway.
The game was refreshingly referee free with only
three powerplays handed out through the course of the game. The Flames
had two chances and the Devils had one, all three came up empty.
The loss moves the Flames record to 19-15-8-2,
and their three game road record to 1-1 after two contests.
Next up for the Flames are the Atlanta Thrashers
on Saturday night. The Thrashers are the NHL's worst hockey team,
sitting with only 24 points, giving the Flames an excellent chance at a
winning road junket.
scored two second
including the game
Berglund - Devil
rookie was solid all
night, notching an
assist on the first
Jason Arnott -
On the trade block
by all reports,
center chipped in
with a goal and an
OF THE GAME
the score sitting
2-1 New Jersey,
Flame captain Dave
Lowry fired a back
hander at J.F.
a hectic goal mouth
scramble and two key
saves for the young
OF THE GAME
of picking the
highest impact hit,
I'll choose the most
important hit ...
Bobby Holik on
Jarome Iginla in the
resulting in an
shot from Scott
Niedermayer and a
3-1 Jersey lead.
loss still leaves
the Flames with only
one win this season
in the second night
of back to back
games ... in eight
tries. ... The
Flames lost the
battle of the dot to
the Devils on the
night, winning only
48% of the draws on
the evening. Craig
Conroy and Marc
Savard were well
above the break even
point, but were held
back by the rest of
the crew including
the seldom used Jeff
Shantz at only 14%.
Only Jason Arnott at
38% was under par
for the New Jersey
side. ... The Flames
out hit the Devils
by a margin of
36-31, led by Bob
Boughner and Robyn
Regher with five
apiece. Regeher has
been criticized for
his lack of physical
play of late, but
played the body all
night. The Devils
were led by Mike
Commodore with five.
fought Chris Clark.
... The New Jersey
Devils blocked 15
Flame shots on the
night compared to
the Flames 11. ...
The Flames out shot
the Devils by a
margin of 24-23 on
the night. ... The
Flames didn't recall
from Saint John to
fill the void for
injured center Rob Niedermayer,
center Jeff Shantz
and defenceman Jamie
Allison to play up