Streak Ends to Rivals

Canucks Reaffirm Lead on Division with Two Nil Win

December 26th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

For the last week the Calgary Flames have been winning game despite losing their grip on their defence first, shot limiting style.

Tonight at the Pengrowth Saddledome the Flames ironically played their best game in almost ten days, but came up on the stiff side of a 2-0 contest to the Vancouver Canucks.

For the second time this season the Flames came up empty trying to win their fifth straight game.

One would hope the team will rebound in a similar fashion to their last streak stopping loss, a game that was followed by a six game unbeaten streak to burry the ill feelings of a 2-1 setback in Minnesota.

Saprykin Lombardi Iginla
Gelinas McAmmond Donovan
Green Yelle Clark
Oliwa Morgan Kobasew
Regehr Leopold
Gauthier Warrener
Lydman Ference

The visitors were full marks for their impressive first period start.

Vancouver came in waves early and beat Miikka Kiprusoff for two first period goals; all the offence they'd need on the night, as it turned out.

First, Mattias Ohlund beat the Calgary keeper when he fired a low slapper from the point on the powerplay that worked it's way through a screen and over the pad.

Just over ten minutes later, Brendan Morrison took advantage of a defensive miscue that saw two Calgary players take out Marek Malik and leave him alone with Kiprusoff, yielding his 13th goal of the season.

The Flames were a much better team in the second period, carrying the play for the most part, and only being turned back by a solid effort by Canuck goaltender, Dan Cloutier.

Cloutier made key saves on Jason Morgan, Chuck Kobasew, Shean Donovan and a host of others in keeping the game a two nothing proposition for his club heading to the third.

Vancouver rebounded smartly in the third, gaining back some of the territorial game they lost in the middle frame.

Oleg Saprykin had the Flames best chance of the third period when he was awarded a penalty shot because of a glove in crease violation by Mattias Ohlund.

Saprykin took the puck in and fired wide, missing a great chance to put the Flames on the board and make the finish interesting.

If the missed penalty shot wasn't the killer, Denis Gauthier's knee on knee demolition of Sami Salo, an infraction that sent the blueliner off the ice for a five minute Canuck powerplay. 

The Canucks failed to score on their five minute chance but were more than happy to run out the time and take the two points.

The game draws the Flames record at even for the big six game division rival series of games, switching the focus back to Edmonton for a game on Sunday.





1) Mattias Ohlund - Scored the game winner and was once again, a thorn in Jarome Iginla's side. 

2) Dan Cloutier - Stopped 31 shots for the shout out and was key in keeping the game a two goal margin in a busy second. 

3) Andrew Ferrence - Was the Flames most effective attacking blueliner in his 21 minutes of action.

Miika Kiprusoff was cat like in his ability to stop Canuck captain Markus Naslund on one side of the cage but then dive across and halt him again with his paddle on a wrap around attempt.

Denis Gauthier caught Vancouver lifer Trevor Linden coming across the blueline with a well placed hip check.

Could this be the last Calgary game without three of their four centers? The Flames have gone 4-1-1 in the six games they've played without Steve Reinprecht, Blair Betts and Craig Conroy. Quite a feat to say the least but the charges seem to be running out of gas and in need of at least one of the three pivots. ... Speaking of which, you wouldn't know it in the face off dot as the Flames bested the Canucks by a small margin of 51% to 49% on face offs tonight. Only Dean McAmmond and Jason Morgan were under water. ... The Flames gave up over 30 shots on goal for the fifth straight game tonight, a fact that they need to amend soon if they want to sustain their winning ways. The good news appeared by way of the fact they managed 31 shots on the Canuck cage as well to tie the visitors. ... The loss keeps the Flames with the conference's fourth best point total and the fifth ranked standing. They are still five points up on the ninth place tied Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars with three games in hand on both clubs. 

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