Goal Halts Streak
It's a time of year when points lost and won can
both devastate and exhilarate.
And the Flames are on a downer after
surrendering the winner in Washington with only minutes to go.
Pinching into the slot, Sergei Gonchar one-timed
a Steve Konowalchuk pass through Roman Turek with 2:04 remaining to
vault the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Calgary Flames.
Derek Morris missed a wide open net in the dying
seconds to seal the victory for the Capitals.
Flames are now 1-1 on this epic nine game road
trip with a tough game in Philadelphia looming tomorrow night.
Calgary has won only twice in its last 13 visits
For a team on the playoff bubble that has to
count any loss as devastating with the season winding into the middle of
March, Calgary had to find this one particularly bitter.
Although badly outclassed in the second period,
the Flames were taking the play to Washington in the third only to allow
Gonchar's backbreaker at the decisive moment.
The loss also snapped a modest three game
winning steak, leaving Calgary at 26-25-9-3 on the season, good for 64
points and 11th spot in the NHL's Western Conference. Calgary started
the night five back of Dallas and Phoenix, tied for seventh in the West.
Edmonton got past the Lightning in Tampa moving the Oilers five points
up on the Flames.
If there was a bright spot on the night it was
Jarome Iginla extending his lead in the NHL scoring race with a goal and
an assist, now with an eight point lead over Markus Naslund of Vancouver
with 74 points.
Iginla is the first Flame to score 40 or more
goals since Theo Fleury in 1995-96, the last year Calgary qualified for
the playoffs as well. Twenty-nine of his goals have been at even
Washington opened scoring in the first period on
the power play, Petr Bondra sneaking in from the point to blow a
cross-ice Adam Oates pass through Turek at 7:33.
Flames tied it only 59 seconds later when Iginla
stripped Bondra of the puck and raced in alone on Olaf Kolzig, deking
the Washington goalie to his knees then putting the puck in the net for
his 40th of the season at 8:32.
Bondra added his second of the game only 2:19
into the middle period when Derek Morris and Petr Buzek moved to control
the troublesome Chris Simon in front of Turek, allowing Bondra to carry
the puck out front and take several swipes before lighting the lamp.
Flames were fortunate they exited the period
even remotely close, let alone tied as they racked up three straight
penalties in front of a lethal Capitals power play.
But Clarke Wilm was the beneficiary of an Iginla
pass that sprang him loose short-handed for the tying marker at 14:30.
Caps were one for five on the power play while
the Flames, with a brief glimpse of the man-advantage to close the game,
were zero for one.
The train journey continues for the Flames. They
hopped the railroad for the ride from Washington for tonight's contest
against Philadelphia after riding from New York after an earlier game
with the Rangers.
Roman Turek -
One of his best
games in a while and
terrific in the
second period when
his team needed him
to bail them out of
Petr Bondra -
Two goals and tried
to drill Bob
Boughner for good
Jarome Iginla -
showed Jaromir Jagr,
who also had a very
good game, that he's
OF THE GAME
Bondra lined up Bob
through the second
period but bounced a
fair distance off
the rock solid
We'll give him the
award for thinking
about it if nothing
OF THE GAME
his team down 2-1 in
the second period
and the Capitals
stared down Jagr in
the slot to give his
team a chance.
Lowry has flown back
to Calgary to deal
with a separated
shoulder suffered in
the Ranger game on
Monday . . . .
Flames outhit the
Capitals 24-15 on
the night with the
Boughner and Denis
Gauthier leading the
way with six and
five apiece. Simon
and Ken Klee had
three each for the
Capitals . . . . .Bondra
had scored only
three times in his
previous 19 games
before scoring twice
against Calgary . .
. . . Flames are
6-7-2-1 when tied
after two periods. .
. . . Flames coach
Greg Gilbert matched
Gauthier with Jagr,
who had 10 points in
his last five games
entering the contest
. . . . . Turek
leads NHL goalies in
scoring points with
five . . . . .
Calgary was 52% in
the faceoff circle
which didn't hide
the effort of
Nikolishin who won
12 of 13 for a 92%
success rate. Jeff
Shantz was 72% for
the Flames. . . . .
Petr Buzek and
credited with four
blocked shots each .
. . . .Capitals are
the third oldest
team in the league
behind the Dallas
Stars and Detroit
Red Wings. There is
no tomorrow for