Canucks Powerplay Sinks Flames 

Flames Start 03/04 Much Like 02/03 

October 9th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

The Calgary Flames were exactly as advertised in kicking off their 2003-04 NHL season.

McAmmond Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Yelle Donovan
Lowry Betts Kobasew
Oliwa Lombardi Clark
Ference Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Gauthier Warrener

Long on try, but a bit short on finish, and atrocious on special teams - an early reminder to past transgressions as the club dropped a 4 - 1 decision to the powerful Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.

For 16 of the opening 20 minutes the Calgary Flames were the dominant team, taking the play to the home side Canucks by bottling them up deep and working the puck down low.

Martin Gelina, Dave Lowry, Sean Donovan and Craig Conroy all had great chances to open the scoring but failed to beat the Canucks stopper Dan Cloutier.

It's those pesky other four minutes where the Flames had their fits.

The Canucks were handed two first period powerplays - one on a questionable call to Martin Gelinas when Daniel Sedin went down with great ease, and another to newcomer Krzysztof Oliwa.

The NHL's most potent man advantage squad of last season made short order of the Flames penalty killing crew striking twice, first by Todd Bertuzzi, then a late goal by Artem Chubarov.

The visitors crawled back into it just past the halfway point of the second period when the Flames scored a powerplay goal on their second opportunity of the game. Near the end of the advantage coach Darryl Sutter tossed his third string group on to the ice and the move paid off when Chris Clark converted a tipped point shot from Jordan Leopold to make it 2-1.

A few minutes later the Canucks landed a back breaker when Jarkko Ruutu tipped a well placed pass from Sami Salo past Roman Turek. It was a play that Turek got a good piece of and would likely love to have back.

The third period was all Vancouver, with the Canucks only solving Roman Turek once despite carrying a large margin of play.

The loss makes for a very similar start to this season as last, as the Flames dropped their opener a year ago to Vancouver by a margin of three goals.

The Canucks out shot the Flames 25 - 23 on the night on the strength of a 10 - 5 third period count.

Vancouver was two for five on the powerplay while the Flames scored their only goal on one of three chances with the man advantage.

One game is one game, but the Flames did little to solve a lot of their past demons by giving up four, only scoring once and getting out played on special teams. 

The club will have tighten up considerably if they want to get off to a good start and have a good season.






1 Jarkko Ruutu - Nuck superpest good on the score sheet tonight scoring once and adding an assist. 

2 Dan Cloutier - Was very good early when the game was in doubt and the Flames carried the play. 

3 Jason King - Canuck rookie scores a beauty for his first NHL goal in the third period.

Jarkko Ruuto caught an unsuspecting Craig Conroy from behind to fell the former Flames captain towards the end of the second period.

With the score sitting at 3 - 1 Vancouver in the third period, Dan Cloutier sealed it when he bested Craig Conroy twice on a Calgary two on one.

Flames fans that didn't manage to make it down to the Dome in the preseason caught their first glimpses of many new Flames on the boob tube. Rhett Warrener broke up two on one in the first period off the deadly duo of Brendan Morrison and Markus Naslund. Krzyzstof Oliwa took a needless roughing penalty that led to a Vancouver goal. The other new face, Matthew Lombardi centered the fourth line but also saw some time on the club's second powerplay unit. ... The Flames sat Mike Commodore, Steve Montador and Oleg Saprykin for their first contest of the season ... Denis Gauthier had a rough night for Calgary, blowing his coverage on the Bertuzzi goal and taking a silly penalty in the third period. ... Everyone on the Flames bench with the exception of Oliwa (2:32) saw a good deal of ice on the night. Chris Clark, the team's only goal scorer saw the second least amount of time with 9:23. ... Craig Conroy had five of the team's 23 shots on goal. Jarome Iginla only managed on shot, which came in the third period. ... Dave Lowry led all players or should I say trailed all players with a -2. ... Hey, it's early, but Roman Turek's save percentage sits at .840.


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