'Nucks Recover From Stalled Start 

Canadian Clubs Tie On Hockey Day

February 15th, 2002
Rick Charlton

Lowry Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Drury Saprykin
Niedermayer Yelle Clark
Begin Johansson Sloan
Gauthier Boughner
Lydman Regehr
Montador Ference

Deliberately named by his boss earlier in the day as the reason why the Flames lounge in last place in the NHL's Western Conference, Roman Turek responded with one of his better efforts of the season last night.

Although Calgary coughed up a two goal lead and had to settle for a 2-2 tie with visiting Vancouver, it was Turek and Canucks starter Dan Cloutier who turned an entertaining tilt into a cliff-hanger, both netminders coming up big at various key points in the game.

For Turek the contest was a critical test given Flames GM Craig Button had stated in a newspaper article earlier in the day that Calgary's primary problem this horrific season has been inconsistent to awful goaltending.

The Flames outshot the Canucks 39-32 on the night and both netminders - Cloutier early and Turek later - had to stand on their heads as both teams went toe-to-toe in generating chances.

"It was a hard fought game," conceded Canucks Ed Jovanoski, who netted the tying goal in the third period, on FAN960. "They jumped on us early. It was a big point for us."

The key save of the evening was undoubtedly Cloutier's miraculous - and somewhat lucky - stab at shot from the stick of Jarome Iginla three minutes into the third period. The Vancouver netminder, whom many said was Vancouver's Achilles Heel at the beginning of the campaign, never gave up on the shot, diving across the crease and extending his reach by thrusting his stick out in desperation. Iginla was astonished to see his shot hit the flat of Cloutier's stick and skitter away, preventing the Flames from taking a 3-1 lead.

"He's been our MVP this year," said Jovanovski of Cloutier. "In the first period, when they had that shot barrage, he's the guy who kept us in it."

The tie did little to help Calgary's already hopeless position in the standings, the Flames two points in arrears of Phoenix for the basement in the NHL's Western Conference.

Calgary is 14 points out of playoff spot.

Flames dominated the opening frame, outshooting the Canucks 17-6 and picking up a 1-0 lead when Chris Drury struck for his 16th of the season, deflecting a Denis Gauthier point shot on the power play through the legs of Cloutier at 11:41.

Calgary appeared to take a two goal edge at the eight minute mark of the second period but a puzzling phantom call by referee Kerry Fraser waved off a Craig Conroy marker, Faser apparently ruling Cloutier had been interfered with by Rob Niedermayer in a rare call of "coincidental contact" where the Flames winger wasn't penalized yet the goal denied.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Buffalo Nikolai Zherdev
2 Atlanta Marc Andre Fleury
3 Carolina Eric Stall
4 Calgary Nathan Horton
5 Florida Milan Michalek
*ranking: McKeen's 2/13/03

But Calgary overcame that obstacle only two minutes later, Jarome Iginla batting his own rebound out of the air and behind Cloutier at 10:20 to give the Flames a 2-0 margin.

It was Iginla's eighth goal in the last six games and his 23rd on the year.

Vancouver pulled to within one again when Brent Sopel picked up a loose puck at the blueline on a Canucks powerplay and whipped a wrister past a screened Turek at 13:14.

Jovanovski then tied it at 12:01 of the third when Matt Cooke's cross-crease pass found the stick of the Canuck defenceman for an easy tap-in.

From there both goaltenders were forced to come up with several large saves, not the least of which was Turek on Trent Klatt, the Canuck winger all alone for a sharp backhand opportunity with a minute to go in regulation.

Flames were two for six on the power play while the Canucks scored once on three opportunities with the man advantage.

There were 18,252 in attendance, an SRO audience, the eighth of the season for one of the worst teams in the NHL. That in itself qualifies as a miracle.

The Flames travel to St. Louis for their next game, the start of a five game road trip.

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Calgary Flames 2
Vancouver Canucks 2

1) Dan Cloutier - Without him, the Canucks would have been blown out of this one earlier. And then a great save on Iginla early in the third period. 

2) Roman Turek - Without him, the Flames would have been blown out of this one in the third period. And then the game-saving stop on Trent Klatt with a minute to go. 

3) Jarome Iginla - Healthy and apparently motivated, the Flames winger showed a glimpse of the physical form that made him a dominating player last year. Ten shots on goal and one of them goes in.

It might be the Save of the Year as Jarome Iginla's shot towards an open net was defeated by the flash of Dan Cloutier's stick, the Vancouver netminder diving across his crease to keep his team within reach.


Matt Cooke caught Andrew Ference behind the Calgary net and laid the slight Flames defenceman out with a huge hit in the first period.

Todd Bertuzzi entered the game on a 12 game point streak, generating 14 points in that span. The streak was snapped when an assist on the opening Canuck goal was withdrawn. . . . . . With the resurrection of Robyn Regehr, Micki Dupont drew the short straw and was sent to Saint John . . . . . Flames are now 6-4-4 under Darryl Sutter at the Saddledome, a huge improvement over the worst home record in the league generated under the tutelage of Greg Gilbert. . . . . . . Canucks had won five straight at the Saddledome before their tie last night but Calgary wins the season series, 3-1-1. . . . . Petr Buzek continues to languish on the sidelines with a concussion injury. . . . . . Jordan Leopold, after leading the Flames in ice time only a few games ago, was a healthy scratch, as was Scott Nichol and Craig Berube. . . . . . Steve Montador continues to be suicidally game, challenging monster Matt Johnston of Minnesota a month ago and now Canucks tough guy Darren Langdon in a decent tilt last night. . . . . . "Roman (Turek) has to be the best player on our team every night in order for us to win and tonight it looks like he's on his game," said Craig Conroy after the first period on FAN960. . . . . . . Dave Lowry left the game and didn't return with an unspecified ailment . . . . . Flames dominated the faceoff circle, winning 68% of their draws. Craig Conroy, Mattias Johansson and Chris Drury were all over 70% success rate. Brendan Morrison was the top Canuck at 52%. . . . . . . Toni Lydman has resumed his dominant placing in ice time, logging 28:06 last night to lead the Flames. Brent Sopel led the Canucks with 26:12.


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