End Skid; Come From Behind Against Wild
Ah, so that was the problem.
The Flames have become experts lately at blowing leads so they
decided to reverse the script by spotting Minnesota a 2-0 edge before
roaring back for a 4-3 victory over the Wild in front of 16,730
appreciate fans at the Saddledome last night.
Although not original, nor highly recommended, the approach seemed to
work as the Flames bumped their record to 17-13-7-2, good for 43 points.
Calgary moves ahead of Dallas by a point for seventh place in the
Western Conference and trail sixth place St. Louis by one. Checking the
rear view mirror, the Flames are now four points ahead of Phoenix.
And the Flames did it by welcoming back an old friend, emerging
Iginla, with only two points in his previous 10 games, but three
points on the night, including two goals.
The win was a huge one for Calgary, struggling for weeks and looking
lately like they would submarine even further. The win was only the
Flames fourth in its last 20 games and snapped a five game winless
The game started in typical fashion for Calgary, with three
powerplays in the first period but giving up two goals against,
including one shorthanded and another on the first shot of the game.
It was also a deflating opening for veteran netminder Mike Vernon,
making his third Saddledome start of the year on the 16th anniversary
of the night he made his NHL debut. Vernon was yanked after the first
period, replaced by Roman
Turek, after giving up two goals on 12 shots.
Minnesota opened the scoring only 1:17 into the game when Jim Dowd
won the faceoff back to defenceman Jason Marshall who promptly blew a
drive past Vernon on the first shot of the game.
With Willie Mitchell in the penalty box, Toni
Lydman committed a colossal blunder at the Minnesota blueline,
allowing Pascal Dupuis to get by him and race the length of the ice to
beat Vernon for a shorthanded marker at 5:31.
Iginla, with his 26th of the year, brought the Flames within one with
a rare power play goal, a blast from the hash marks that handcuffed
Minnesota starter Manny Fernandez at 6:23.
But the Flames immediately dug themselves a hole within seconds with
Savard then Denis Gauthier being penalized, putting the Flames down
two men and giving Minnesota a great opportunity to rebuild their two
The Flames survived the two man disadvantage and tied the game a
minute later when Steve Begin deposited a Scott Nichol rebound behind
Fernandez at 10:19.
After Wes Walz was given a retaliation penalty on a big Denis
Gauthier hit, Savard put the Flames ahead with his sixth of the season
It was the first time Calgary had notched two powerplay goals in a
game since Nov. 20 against Ottawa.
But Minnesota cement-head Matt Johnson picked up a Turek rebound and
tied the game at 8:56 of the third, causing the Flames to deflate
visibly for several minutes until a momentum turning shift from Savard
and Ronald Petrovicky that resulted in several Calgary chances.
The Flames fed off that shift and soon went ahead on a broken play
with Clarke Wilm outworking Ladislav Benysek on a potential icing, the
puck going to a trailing Iginla who gave the Flames the lead for good at
The Flames are starting a stretch of playing 12 of the next 17 at
home and need to make hay while they can with a nine game road trip
looming later in the year.
Savard, playing the point on the powerplay, played a key role in this
game as the Flames entered the contest with only three goals in their
last 66 man advantage chances. But the official scoresheet also scolded
him with a minus two on the night. It was a mixed performance from the
recalcitrant centre, paired for much of the game with Dean
McAmmond. For all his offensive flair Savard still has to commit to
the defensive side of the puck if he expects to continue to receive the
ice time he wants.
two goals and an
Jim Dowd -
Always a nifty
Anyone who can
powerplay with a
goal and an
not only a star,
but a halo as
OF THE GAME
20 seconds to go and
the Flames hanging
on to a one goal
lead, Turek stabbed
his leg out to stop
a Marion Gaborik one
OF THE GAME
Gauthier ran over
Wes Walz in the
second period after
the Flames had tied
the game, resulting
in a fairly uneven
fight between the
two and Walz, as a
bonus, getting the
to the Flames lineup
after missing the
previous two games
with the flu. . . .
. Wilm, Begin and
Clark were on the
powerplay early in
the second period. .
. . . Flames have
only two wins in
their last eight
home starts. . . . .
How far will the
Flames go to help
Iginla win the NHL
They're sending a
tape to the NHL head
office of Craig
Conroy's goal in
Vancouver two nights
ago, alleging Iginla
should get the assist. . . .
Conroy is tied for
fourth among NHL
assist leaders with
26. . . . . Petr
Buzek was leading
Flames defencemen in
ice time after two
periods but veteran
Bob Boughner took
over from there and
ended up logging
21:23 on the night.
Filip Kuba led the
Wild with 25:20 in
ice time. For those
wondering if Iginla
is tired these days
he logged a fairly
normal 20 minutes. .
. . . Hits were
18-10 in favour of
Calgary, Clarke Wilm
and Denis Gauthier
leading the way with
three each for
logged the hits for
Minnesota. . . . .
credited with only
two giveaways, a
Flames had eight. .
. . . .Flames were
56% in the faceoff
dot with Wilm at
58%. Dowd was 61%