Drury-less Flames Lose In D.C.

Flames, Gilbert Sink Further into Abyss

November 27th, 2002
D'Arcy McGrath

AP Photo

Oh for Two: Flames come up empty in D.C.

The most if only satisfying thing about coming off a severe goal drought and a 7-2 pasting at the hands of the Boston Bruins?

No matter what the outcome of your next game, it has to be an improvement ... granted to find optimism after a 4-2 loss in Washington is really, really stretching it.

The Calgary Flames wasted an utter offensive explosion by Rob Niedermayer in dropping their 8th game in their last nine decisions.

A goal and an assist by Niedermayer in one game is something that only comes a long every couple of years like the Olympics or an El Nino weather system, an eclipse or a memorable meteor shower.

Perhaps the Flames to a man were so busy watching the historic event they lost sight of the actual aim of the evening ... winning a hockey game.

The first period was scoreless, though Roman Turek was mostly the hero in the frame, turning aside all 13 Washington shots and giving his squad a legitimate chance to win. The previous night in Boston, both Turek and his battery mate Jamie McLennan were somewhat suspect in their efforts under siege by the streaking Bruins.

The second period, however, was a different story.

The Capitals blitzed the Flames for three goals on 12 additional shots staking themselves to a 3 - 1 lead after 40 minutes.

The Caps opened the scoring on a powerplay, despite the absence of their two top gunners, Jaromir Jagr and Peter Bondra, on a point blast from special team specialist Sergei Gonchar.

Five minutes later Gonchar doubled the lead and essentially put things out of reach with an even strength goal.

Before the period was over Rob Niedermayer and Glen Metropolit swapped markers to send the Flames to the third down two.

Niedermayer's goal was a powerplay marker.

Just four minutes into the third period the Flames appeared to make it interesting when the seldom used Steve Begin scored to bring the game to within one.

Any plans for a full comeback were put on hold however when the Caps went back up two goals less than a minute later, with ex-Flame Michael Nylander doing the honors.

The loss moves the Flames under .500 on the road for the first time this season with four wins and five losses.

More importantly, the loss drops the Flames six points out of a playoff spot, and puts the club five games under .500 for the first time this season. 

Since the club will likely need at least 90 points to make the playoffs, the club will need 72 points in their next 59 games - a pace that requires them to play 13 games over the break even mark.

Next up the Flames travel to St. Louis to take on the Blues.



Washington Capitals 4
Calgary Flames 2

Niedermayer Conroy Iginla
Gelinas Drury Kobasew
Sloan Yelle Clark
Nichol Johansson Berube
Lydman Regehr
Montador Gauthier
Buzek Leopold

1 Sergei Gonchar - The league's top offensive defenceman didn't disappoint with a two goal performance. 

2 Michael Nylander - One goal, three assists, and a hand in all four goals. 

3 Roman Turek - Without his work in the first period this one could have been similar to the Beantown fiasco.

Gonchar could have had the hat trick by the end of the first period had Turek not robbed him on a back hander with six minutes to play in the frame.

The Flames dropped the battle of the special teams once again, but at least this time it was close. Both clubs struck once with the man advantage ... Washington on five chances, the Flames on six. ... The Flames were good on 58% of the face offs on the night. Stephane Yelle led the way for the visitors with a 63% win rate, and Craig Conroy (61%) and Scott Nichol (60%) weren't far behind. ... Jarome Iginla had seven shots on goal to lead all shooters.


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