Devils Rebound, Sink Flames

D'Arcy McGrath

January 9th, 2002

It didn't have to go this way.

The Calgary Flames, playing the second night of back to back games in the Tri-State area were actually in this one.

The scoreboard final reads 5-1 New Jersey, but much earlier, when things were still up for grabs, the Flames were very much in it.

The testy New Jersey Devils, fresh from a disappointing loss to the upstart L.A. Kings and mired in daily trade rumours were bound to be up for the game.

They didn't disappoint.

The defending Eastern Conference champions brought their "A" game in this one in turning back the Flames and evening the Calgary squad's road trip at one and one after two games in  a three game jaunt.

The Devils opened the scoring with a couple of minutes left in the first period. Petr Sykora burst through the middle of the ice as he was squeezed by the Calgary defence and center Marc Savard. His harmless shot was turned aside by Roman Turek but Savafd let him go, and Sykora fired his rebound into the empty cage.

Early in the second period the Devils doubled their lead when Scott Niedermayer popped his first of two in the period. On the play Niedermayer took a pass from Scott Gomez and fired a well aimed screened shot past Turek, high on the glove side.

Just over two minutes later the resilient Flames cut the lead in half when Craig Conroy set a career mark in goals by notching his 15th of the season. Conroy, using linemates Dean McAmmond and Jarome Iginla as decoys, fired a wrist shot high, short side on J.F. Damphousse to make the score 2-1. Iginla picked up an assist on the play to move his  NHL leading point total to 53.

Ten minutes late the Devils rebounded with the aforementioned controversial goal, essentially sealing the fate of a tired road team.

The Flames attempted to bring the game closer in the third period, out shooting the Devils by a 9-4 margin, though their attempts on net were less than grade A opportunities.

The Devils managed two additional goals and a goals post on their four shots as Roman Turek struggled in letting the game slip away.

The Devils made it 4-1 when Sergie Nemchinov slid a puck along the ice to beat a sliding Turek on the far side. Bob Boughner was riding the Devil forward when he released the puck but he still managed his 3rd goal of the season.

To add insult to a rather serious injury, trade bait target Jason Arnott notched his 14th of the season when he turned at the face off dot and fired a short side wrister past Roman Turek to make the game a runaway.

The game was refreshingly referee free with only three powerplays handed out through the course of the game. The Flames had two chances and the Devils had one, all three came up empty.

The loss moves the Flames record to 19-15-8-2, and their three game road record to 1-1 after two contests.

Next up for the Flames are the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night. The Thrashers are the NHL's worst hockey team, sitting with only 24 points, giving the Flames an excellent chance at a winning road junket.





New Jersey Devils 5
Calgary Flames 1

Box Score


McAmmond Conroy Iginla
Petrovicky Savard Clark
Lowry Wilm Allison
Begin Shantz Berube
Boughner Regehr
Montador Buzek
Lydman Kravchuk


Scott Niedermayer - Canadian Olympian scored two second period goals including the game winner. 

Christian Berglund - Devil rookie was solid all night, notching an assist on the first Devil's goal. 

3) Jason Arnott - On the trade block by all reports, center chipped in with a goal and an assist.


With the score sitting 2-1 New Jersey, Flame captain Dave Lowry fired a back hander at J.F. Damphousse creating a hectic goal mouth scramble and two key saves for the young Devil goaltender.


Instead of picking the highest impact hit, I'll choose the most important hit ... Bobby Holik on Jarome Iginla in the second period resulting in an unmolested point shot from Scott Niedermayer and a 3-1 Jersey lead.


The loss still leaves the Flames with only one win this season in the second night of back to back games ... in eight tries. ... The Flames lost the battle of the dot to the Devils on the night, winning only 48% of the draws on the evening. Craig Conroy and Marc Savard were well above the break even point, but were held back by the rest of the crew including the seldom used Jeff Shantz at only 14%. Only Jason Arnott at 38% was under par for the New Jersey side. ... The Flames out hit the Devils by a margin of 36-31, led by Bob Boughner and Robyn Regher with five apiece. Regeher has been criticized for his lack of physical play of late, but played the body all night. The Devils were led by Mike Commodore with five. Later Commodore fought Chris Clark. ... The New Jersey Devils blocked 15 Flame shots on the night compared to the Flames 11. ... The Flames out shot the Devils by a margin of 24-23 on the night. ... The Flames didn't recall any reinforcements from Saint John to fill the void for injured center Rob Niedermayer, instead inserting center Jeff Shantz and defenceman Jamie Allison to play up front.



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