Giant Awakes; Flames Smoked 

Detroit Pounds Five Past Kiprusoff For Win 


April 24th, 2004
D'ARCY MCGRATH

Just remember, they got the split.

The bumper sticker for the Calgary Flames playoff odyssey into Michigan for the second round of the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoff second round.

The loss, a 5-2 shellacking by the wired up Detroit Red Wings will sting a bit, granted, but in the end the road team in this series, the Flames got the job done and will bring the series back to Calgary notched at a game apiece.

This one was never that close.

The Flames followed the same script from their game one 2-1 overtime victory by giving up too much in the first period. The shot total in this frame, 15-3 for the home side, though the Flames did show more life than in the first stanza of game one.

The "TSN" turning point of the game was an inadvertent high stick by Detroit captain Steve Yzerman on Calgary defender Rhett Warrener.

The Flames, without the services of other top five blueliners Toni Lydman and Denis Gauthier were already stretched to the max coming into the series, but having to play their 7th and 8th defencemen in the top five for 40 minutes was just too much to bare.

The Wings got on the board early in the second period when Wing slot pest Tomas Holmstrom deftly deflected a point shot through Miikka Kiprusoff to put the homeside on the board.

A few minutes later the Wings doubled their lead when Steve Montador, the club's 7th defenceman chased Detroit defender Mathieu Dandenault behind the net and fed the puck out front to Steve Yzerman who scored his first of two on the night. Shean Donovan appeared to have Yzerman in his sites, but followed Montador behind the net leaving the dangerous Wing captain all alone.

The Wings made it 3-0 when the Flames bottom half of their blueline depth chart was victimized again by Yzerman, this time with Mike Commodore and Andrew Ference leaving the veteran all alone.

Down by three in the league's most dangerous hostile ice surface is sure to result and that was the case this afternoon, despite Donovan's quick one handed deflection to make it 3-1 a few minutes later.

The Flames kept it close in the third period, playing a fairly inconsequential third frame with neither team getting a whole lot done until a Calgary penalty parade turned the game into a laugher.

First Donovan took a slashing penalty for pounding the lumber out of Jiri Fischer's hands. Then Mike Commodore was penalized for cross checking Holmstrom in a series of stick infractions that likely featured three slashes and 11 cross checks.

Brett Hull put the Wings up 4-1 when he scored with the Flames down two men on a one timer through Kiprusoff's legs.

Seconds later Robyn Regehr was banished for a similar stick assault to Commdore's exploits, and soon after Brendan Shanahan deflected a point shot over Kiprusoff's shoulder to put it way out of reach.

The game ended somewhat fiery from a Calgary perspective with a late goal by Martin Gelinas - due to the net crashing drive by Chuck Kobasew - and a frustrated donny brook from Calgary captain Jarome Iginla.

The Calgary captain was held shot-less on the afternoon, and now pointless in the series, and was clearly frustrated, picking and successfully finding a fight with Detroit defenceman Darian Hatcher.

From a Red Wing perspective the late game display would suggest that they've successfully "gotten" to Calgary's best player, knocking him off his game.

A Calgary spin would suggest the captain has had enough and is ready to bounce back with a monster game in Calgary on Tuesday night.

No matter how you slice it, the Saddledome should be a rocking in three days with the home town crowd welcoming their team back after successfully eliminating the Vancouver Canucks and gaining a split in Motor city.

An angry captain, and a Miikka Kiprusoff looking to bounce back from another five goal disaster? Just the recipe that has made the Flames a post season success.

Now just to get those damn talented Wings to cooperate.

 

 

SCOREBOARD

RED WINGS 5
FLAMES 2



1. Steve Yzerman The NHL's longest serving captain scored twice in the second period, including the game winner to lead the way. 

2. Darian Hatcher The principal reason Jarome Iginla was a non-factor in game two of the series.

3. Chuck Kobasew The best Flame this afternoon. He threw his weight around, came to the aid of Iginla and was pivotal on the team's second goal.



With the game still up in the air Curtis Joseph got his trapper up to deflect a Martin Gelinas blast midway through the second period.



Oleg Saprykin stapled the ancient but effective Chris Chelios into the boards in the second period, sending the helmet-less veteran off the ice holding his shoulder. Chelios returned in the third period.


Three late penalty calls on the Red Wings evened the game score to five powerplays for the Flames and six for the Red Wings, but doesn't mask some of the first period missed calls including the high stick on Warrener by Steve Yzerman and Kzys Oliwa getting hit from behind into the boards. Maybe Sutter is on to something. ... The Flames bounced back in the face off circle taking 51% of the draws this afternoon. Marcus Nilson returned to his struggling way, winning only 5 of his 17 faceoffs to drag down the team. The other Calgary centers were all between 54 and 66%. ... With the injury to Warrener, Mike Commodore played over 18 minutes for the Flames, too much for the training camp 8th defenceman. Robyn Regehr led all Flames skaters with 25:48 of ice time. Nick Lidstrom led all game skaters with 27:47. ... The Detroit players and media masterfully played up the Jarome Iginla, best player in the NHL, angle this week, even getting some Calgary scribes to bite hard on the theory. A veteran team, the Wings have a firm grasp on how not to motivate the opposition, something the Vancouver Canucks couldn't quite get straight in the first round. ... The loss sets up a huge two game set in Calgary. Should the Flames manage back to back wins they will have a great chance to advance to the Western Conference Final, but a Detroit sweep would suggest a Wing win in five in this series. Should be fun. 

LINES 
Saprykin Conroy Iginla 
Gelinas Nilson Donovan 
Nieminen Lombardi Clark 
Oliwa Yelle Kobasew

Regehr Leopold 
Gauthier Warrener 
Montador Commodore

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