in the Desert
It was an epic collapse, not their worst defeat of the year but
certainly their most demoralizing.
Calgary Flames looked to be dusting their hands over a Coyote corpse
after building a 3-0 lead by the 16:34 mark of the first period last
night but ended up improbably on the short end of a 6-3 score, dropping
them within four points of ninth place Phoenix in the Western
The Flame's record drops to 16-11-6-2, good for 40 points while
counting a missed opportunity to move within two points of first place
The decisive moment in this game came in the first period when Robyn
Regehr, only seconds after Phoenix had closed the gap to 3-1,
staggered briefly but long enough to spring Michael Handzus free on a
breakaway. Handzus took his time in waiting for Calgary starter Roman
Turek to commit then wristed a shot home at 17:46, bringing the
Coyotes to within one and leaving the Flames on their heels the rest of
From there it seemed only a matter of time before the Flames collapse
was complete, Phoenix taking the measure of play and adding two more in
the second to take the lead for good.
Coyotes finally jumped over the falling Flames when Claude Lemieux
put a shot just under the bar at 19:00 of the third period.
The defeat shouldn't have been particularly surprising since the old
axiom of "Winnipeg always beats Calgary" held true once again.
Flames have beaten Phoenix only once in their last 17 games.
Worse, Calgary has won only three times in its last 14 games as their
freefall in the West continues.
As has been usual of late, the Flames lost this one because they gave
it away more so than the other side took it, a crime worse than being
Flames opened scoring early when Toni
Lydman flipped a simple wrist shot from the slot that handcuffed
Phoenix starter Sean Burke at 2:14.
Bob Boughner bumped the Flames into a 2-0 lead when Craig Conroy
squirted the puck loose on the boards and hit Boughner with a nifty pass
in the slot. From their Boughner beat Burke with a point blank wrist
shot at 14:25.
Lydman padded the Flames unusual offensive outbreak with his second
of the game when Burke caught only a glimpse of yet another wrist shot
from the point at 17:34 with Rob Niedermayer providing a perfect screen
Phoenix began their long comeback when Claude Lemieux deflected a
Dani Markov point shot past Calgary netminder Roman Turek at 17:34.
Seconds later, Regehr bobbled the puck and Handzus brought the
Coyotes within one while the Flames visibly sagged.
Lemieux pounded Flames newcomer Petr Buzek in the corner, squirting
the puck to a charging Shane Doan who blew a shot past Turek at 6:07 of
the second, tying the game 3-3.
The Flames knew it wouldn't be their night when Turek attempted to
advance the puck up to Conroy on a Flames powerplay, only to have the
puck bounce off the Flame centre straight to Daymond Langkow for an easy
goal which gave Phoenix an insurmountable 5-3 edge at 13:19 of the
Doan added his second of the night and Coyotes sixth straight goal on
a late power play.
Turek faced 29 shots on the night while Burke handled 20 Calgary
Flames were zero for five on the powerplay and have only two goals in
their last 49 man advantages. Phoenix had two goals on five power-play
Attendance was 11,921.
Next up is Colorado on Friday.
1) Claude Lemieux - if he keeps it up he might actually
get to work his magic in the playoffs.
2) Shane Doan - Alberta boy does good with a
couple of goals.
Lydman - don't blame this guy. Two goals and a plus two on the night.
OF THE GAME
should have been the
decisive moment in
the game but a total
later took the fun
out of it. With the
Flames up 1-0 Brad
May was confronted
with a gaping top
half of the net but
Turek managed to
whip a glove in
front of his shot. A
few minutes later
Boughner put the
Flames up 2-0 and
the Flames seemed to
be on their way.
OF THE GAME
was an old trick,
Brad May sweeping in
on Bob Boughner,
tossing the puck
into the feet of the
then running him
over when Boughner
was looking down.
nice to see the
goals. I always like
to see high-scoring
Former Flames GM and
now Coyote architect
Cliff Fletcher on
TEAM960. . . . . . .
Newly acquired Petr
Buzek was teamed
with Boughner. . . .
. . Iginla was moved
Savard/Lowry line to
start the third
period then later
found himself with
Wilm as a winger. .
. . . . Lowry has no
points in 19 games.
. . . . Lydman led
the Flames with
21:53 in ice time
and Regehr only
seconds behind at
Teppo Numminen led
the Coyotes with
24:09 in ice time. .
. . . . . Calgary's
dominance in the
faceoff circle is
becoming a fading
memory as Flame
centres were again
on the short end of
managed to come in
at 50% but Conroy
and Wilm were 45%
Letowski was 72% for
Phoenix . . . . . .Boughner
and Dan Focht led
teams with six hits