Tampa Bay Lightening 3 Calgary Flames 1

Goaltending, Finish Sink Flames 

D'Arcy McGrath

December 12th, 2001

When a team is down to its third string goaltender, big league stops shouldn't be expected.

And along the same lines, to blame tonight's 3-1 set back to goaltending alone wouldn't be fair.

Goaltender Kay Whitmore didn't have a stellar night manning the Flames cage, but the Flames lack of finish was every bit as much at fault than a lack of accountability in net.

If you can't score, you likely don't win, and so was the case at the Pengrowth Saddledome on Wednesday night.

The Lightening opened the scoring late in the first period when Brad Richards banked the puck off a fallen Whitmore from behind the net.

Chances in the first period clearly favoured the home-side, but the Flames couldn't cash in early, and ultimately it hurt them.

Dave Andreychuk doubled the lead when he caught Whitmore frozen in the Flame cage and put the Bolts up 2-0 six minutes into the second frame.

The Flames answered back quickly when Dean McAmmond turned a broken play into a highlight reel goal by converting his 8th of the season.

On the play, McAmmond took a pass from Craig Conroy and fired the puck over the shoulder of Nikolai Khabibulin
 to cut the lead to 2-1.

Early in the third the Lightening put the game out of reach by capitalizing on a less than impressive rebound when Tim Taylor scored his fourth of the season.

Calgary tried to force things in the end, but came up against the flawless goaltending of Khabibulin.

In the end, while the Flames were high on the "try" index, and likely out chanced the Bolts on the night, the lack of finish was their undoing.

Many a slumping player has suggested a slump isn't a concern when a player continues to get chances, but that excuse can only hold so much water.

If this roster is unable to bare down on blue chip chances the onus falls to manger Craig Button to aquire players that possess the skills that this squad has lacked to date.

Time will tell.





Box Score


McAmmond Conroy Iginla
Niedermayer Savard Clark
Lowry Wilm Hentunen
Petrovicky Begin Cowan
Regehr Lydman
Gauthier Boughner
Kravchuk Allison


1) Nikolai Khabibulin - Strong early when the Flames carried the play. Key stops led to a Bolt victory. 

2) Brad Richards - First period bank play goal started Tampa off to the victory. 

3) Dean McAmmond - Highlight reel goal, and an overall good performance in flat Flames display.


Khabulin kept the score 3-1 midway through the third period when it appeared Craig Conroy was about to cut the lead in half. Conroy, took a Jarome Iginla rebound but saw his back hand shot blocked by the extended arm of Khabibulin.


Turns out this call resulted in a penalty, but Denis Gauthier lowered the boom on ex-Flame Martin St. Louis when the Tampa forward tried to chip the puck out of the Lightenings zone.


The Flames out shot the Bolts by a margin of 29-21 on the night ... Jarome Iginla and Dean McAmmond led all Flame shooters with four shots apiece. ... Bob Boughner led all skaters in ice time with 24:06, while the Lightenign were led by Pavil Kubina at 23:56. Toni Lydman was next on the Flames with 23:59. ... The Flames were once again king of the circle, winnign 54% of the draws. ... Clark Wilm (61%), Craig Conroy (56%) and Marc Savard (53%) all won their share. ... With the Tampa game in the books, Greg Gilbert, and Scott "pip-squeak" Nichol's suspensions are now fully served. Craig Berube's exile will be completed when the Flames skate off the ice Dallas on Friday.



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