Outage Costs Flames
Another missed opportunity.
For the second time in three games the Flames jumped out to a
significant lead only to have it taken away, ahead 2-0 midway through
the second period but ending up on the wrong side of a 3-2 score last
night in Edmonton.
The loss dropped the Flames to 16-12-7-2 on the season and left
Calgary six points behind the Oilers in the NHL's Northwest Division.
Combined with a Phoenix tie earlier in the night, the Flames are now
only four points removed from being out of the playoffs and are winless
in their last four games.
Calgary has never beaten Edmonton on Boxing Day, now 4-0-1 on
The loss wasn't as dramatic or as demoralizing as that suffered last
week in Phoenix when the Flames jumped to an early 3-0 lead before being
blown away 6-3 by the time the final seconds had ticked away.
In contrast, this was a well-fought and even affair but the
difference, as has often been the case lately for Calgary, came down to
The Flames were given ample opportunity to put the Oilers out of this
game early with five straight penalty calls in their favour but in the
end it was Edmonton which would tally twice on three power play
opportunities while the Flames were only one for seven.
Calgary's power play has managed just three goals in its last 59
chances through 14 games, an abysmal rating of only 5%. In contrast, the
opposition has garnered 13 goals in the same time frame.
That, in turn, pretty much sums up the Flames efforts through the
With the game tied 2-2 late in the third Scott Nichol took an
interference penalty at 14:53. Only ten seconds later, Eric Brewer
pounded a slapper past a screened Calgary starter Roman Turek, putting
the Oilers ahead for good at 15:03.
Jarome Iginla opened scoring at 2:52 of the second period. Dean
McAmmond corralled the puck behind the Oiler net and spotted a pass
through a maze of legs to Craig Conroy 10 feet in the slot. Conroy was
stopped on his initial shot but Iginla, cruising in the crease area, was
able to lob a backhand past a down and out Salo.
Flames took a 2-0 edge with a rare power play goal at 9:08 when Marc
Savard patiently pulled the puck from a scramble in front and backhanded
a shot over Salo for only his fifth of the year.
But Calgary allowed the Oilers back within one only 44 seconds later
when Rem Murray and Josh Green sprang loose on a two on one after a poor
decision by a Flames defenceman at the Edmonton blueline. Green finished
off a textbook passing play at 9:52.
The goal is typical of the problems the Flames have been creating for
themselves of late, giving the opposition momentum turning chances
rather than forcing the other side into earning them.
The Oil completed the comeback after Ron Petrovicky, on a bad penalty
for slew footing an Edmonton defenceman, and Clarke Wilm for clipping
another Oiler, left Calgary short two men. The Oil, who had worked on
their power play for half an hour before their regular practice earlier
in the day, whizzed the puck around before finding Mike Comrie with a
wide open net at 11:58.
Georges Laraque, the Edmonton monolith, managed to get himself
penalized three times by the 9:07 mark of the first period, finally
earning a game misconduct with a ridiculous attempt to cripple Denis
Gauthier on a vicious hit from behind.
Flames almost opened scoring as the zamboni's were being parked when
Savard threw linemate Jeff Shantz in alone on a nifty pass. But Shantz
creased the outside of the post.
A minute later Turek had to stop a Jochen Hecht breakaway.
From there the game settled into a fairly even defence oriented
Calgary is 2-10-2 in its last 14 games in Edmonton.
Edmonton outshot the Flames 26-19 on the night.
Attendance was 16,839.
- Eric Brewer -
Lived up to his
- Jason Smith -
- Marc Savard -
the coach for
not doing so
setting up plays
and scoring on a
OF THE GAME
through the third
period in a 2-2 tie,
rifled a quick wrist
shot from 20 feet in
the slot on a Flames
power play but Tommy
Salo was able to
stab a pad out to
keep the game
minutes later his
team took the lead.
OF THE GAME
not sure what was
going through the
head of Georges
Laraque in the first
period when he gave
himself a 20 foot
run to cross-check
Denis Gauthier from
behind. The hit
launched the Flames
first into the
boards from about
five feet - almost
identical to the
Alexandre Daigle hit
on Gauthier in the
QMJHL so many years
ago that put the
defenceman in the
violated an NHL rule
by having a practice
- an equipment check
- on Christmas Day
and will likely be
disciplined. . . . .
. Toni Lydman missed
the game with a bad
case of the flu,
compounded by the
continued absence of
Derek Morris, still
expected to miss
another two to four
but maybe not with
Lydman and Morris
out, Petr Buzek led
the Flames with
23:58 in ice time.
Janne Ninimaa led
the Oilers with
24:41.. . . . .There
were smiles and
slaps on the back
all around through
the holidays and
maybe everyone meant
it because the
opening faceoff at
Skyreach saw Marc
Savard at the centre
ice dot after an
earlier and very
public demand to be
traded. . . . . . .
The hit count in
this game should be
an embarrassment to
the NHL, with the
Oilers credited with
only 10 hits and the
Flames nine. The
actual count should
have been triple
that for both teams.
Bob Boughner was
credited with three
while Brewer and
Smith had two each.
. . . . Todd
the faceoff circle
for the Oilers with
a 64% win percentage
while Clark Wilm was
71% for the Flames.
Overall the Oilers
were 53% on the
night and the Flames
47%. . . . .