Calgary Special Teams Produce Win
Flames 4 – Devils 1

Kris Fernet
December 7, 2005

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Tonight is Calgary’s final game of a 5 game, 10-day road trip.  In the previous 4 games they earned 5 of a possible 8 points.  Both teams played last night and both teams lost.  

On The Line

A win tonight would put the Flames in sole possession of first place in the Northwest Division.  The club is in desperate need of some offense and has gone without a goal in their last 90 minutes of hockey.  New Jersey has been playing better of late and is finally getting out of their pattern of win one-lose one.

The Flow

For the majority of the game the Devils looked to be in control of the play.  They maintained more puck possession then the Flames and had Calgary pinned down a number of times in their own zone.  However, New Jersey was unable to capitalize on their opportunities, especially on the power play.  Calgary played an uncharacteristically undisciplined game and was fortunate that their penalty killing and goaltending kept the Devils at bay.

Three Stars

1 – Jarome Iginla.  The captain led the team tonight in points (2 goals, 1 assist), shots (3) and time on ice for forwards.  He was able to make the most of his chances and put on a good show for Team Canada scout Wayne Gretzky who watched the game from up top.
2 – Philippe Sauve.  Flames starter Miikka Kiprusoff took the night off after a stellar performance the night before in Philadelphia but there was no need for Flames fans to worry because Sauve took up right where he left off.  Just one of New Jersey’s 32 shots made it past the backup.
3 – Andrew Ference.  With an early injury to Roman Hamrlik the remaining 5 Flames defensemen were forced to pick up the slack and none of them did a better job then Ference.  With 26 minutes of ice time (the most of all the defensemen) he garnered 2 points, 3 hits and 2 blocked shots.  His ability to join the rush and play deep in the Devils’ zone helped fill the Hamrlik gap.

Big Hit

With 10 minutes left to go in the third Alexander Mogilny (I believe, TSN didn’t show the replay) made a solid hit that broke the glass inside the penalty box.

Big Save

Not many to choose from tonight.  Philippe Sauve made a very alert catcher save on a Viktor Kozlov snap shot from 27 feet out.

The Goat

The true goat of the game has to be Devils’ keeper Martin Brodeur.  At one point in the game he had allowed 3 goals on just 4 shots.  Despite his shaky performance he did man the Devils’ net for the entire game.  A very honorable mention goes to Flames forward Jason Weimer who has been a healthy scratch for weeks.  On his very first shift of the game he took a lazy and unnecessary interference penalty.  He would finish the game with just 8:36 of ice time and 8 minutes in penalties.

Mr. Clutch

The Calgary power play finally made a positive difference in a game.  Calgary has remained near the bottom of the league for power play efficiency all season.  They entered the game with just a 14% conversion rate.  Tonight they were able to improve that by scoring on 3 of 4 opportunities.

Odds and Ends

After the shootout loss last night the Flames are officially the first team in the NHL to be credited with both a shut out and a loss…Jarome Iginla went into tonight’s tilt with no even strength goals in his last 12 games and no goals in his last 9…Calgary did not register a shot until 9:30 had gone in the first period…Roman Hamrlik left the game after his first shift with a knee injury.  He did not return and is expected to be checked out when the team returns to Calgary later tonight…Calder Trophy hopeful Dion Phaneuf scored his first goal in 10 games…Calgary was out shot again tonight 32-15.  15 shots for ties a season low…Brodeur ended the game with just a 75% save percentage…Calgary had great success on the penalty kills tonight allowing just 1 goal on 10 New Jersey opportunities…The Flames also dominated in the face off circle winning 64%…After his 4th penalty of the night early in the third Jason Weimer took only two shifts the remainder of the game…

Next up – Ottawa Senators.  Saturday, December 10.  8:00 pm MST.  Available on CBC and Fan 960 am.

Lines -

Huselius – Langkow - Iginla
Nilson -  Yelle - McCarty
Amonte - Reinprecht - Kobasew
Simon - Weimer - Donovan









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