Flames Bow To NHL's Elite

Hot Stars Continue Flame Slide

January 29th, 2002
D'Arcy McGrath

Lowry Drury Iginla
Gelinas Conroy Begin
Niedermayer Yelle Sloan
Berube Johansson Nichol
Lydman Regehr
Boughner Gauthier
Dupont Buzek

Winning in the NHL is hard work.

Winning a hockey game on the road on the second night of back to back games is a step up from that.

Winning games in the home rink of the hottest team in the league when you, yourself sit near the bottom of said league's standings?

Just next to impossible.

A potential blow out? A laugher? Mail in the points?

That's why they play the games, as the plucky Calgary Flames put up a solid road effort despite dropping a 4-1 contest to the red hot Dallas Stars on Wednesday night.

Once again the opposition made the most of their chances, while the Flames missed on all but one of their own.

Once again the team at the other end of the ice received better goaltending than the Calgary squad.

Once again the opposition's star players were their best players while the Calgary core struggled along.

The loss marks the second in two nights for the Flames, an outcome that continues to cement the club to last place in the Western Conference standings, and keep them within earshot of last overall, and the first overall pick for the first time in franchise history.

Hey, you have to hope for something!

The two teams played a back and forth first period with neither team managing to score on either of the two former Eddy Belfour backups, Marty Turco or Roman Turek.

The Stars got on the board first with a Jiri Lehtinen goal just past the two minute mark of the second period. Lehtinen's goal, his 20th of the season came when the Finish winger fired home a slap shot from just outside the face off circle.

The Flames carried the play for the majority of the second period, taking the lion's share of close in opportunities but were continually turned aside by league statistical leader Marty Turco.

Instead it was the Stars that were rewarded near the end of the period when Sergei Zubov converted a one timed powerplay point shot past a Roman Turek to make the score 2-0 Dallas.

The Stars received two third period goals from Stephane Robidas and another from Lehtinen to sandwich a Calgary counter from Scott Nichol to round out the scoring.

The Flames now enter the all star break with a 17-25-7-3 record good for 44 points and sole position of last in the West. They sit 28th overall but have played three more games than 30th place Buffalo, who have 40 points.

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Dallas Stars 4
Calgary Flames 1

1) Jiri Lehtinin - Two goals to lead the Stars. 

2) Marty Turco - Solid first and second period setting up the three goal win. 

3) Mike Modano - Two assists on the night.

Roman Turek stoned Sergei Zubov in the first period when the Russian defenceman pounced on a Aaron Downey chance but failed to beat the Czech stopper.

Once again we go to a fight for the hit of the game with Steve Begin deciding to not go down quietly by getting into a tussle with the Stars' John Erskine after the final buzzer.

Toni Lydman appeared to respond well to Darryl Sutter's disparaging words after the Phoenix game last night, as the defender was jumping into the play and creating chances all night. Lydman had four shots from inside the hash marks in the second period alone. ... The Flames actually out shot the Stars by a 27-26 margin. ... The game was a very cleanly contested match with only three minor penalties called all night. The Stars were 1 for 2 on the powerplay while the Flames came up empty on once chance. ... The Flames were edged in the face off circle by a 31-29 margin (52-48%). Craig Conroy was gold in the dot however, winning 68% of his draws. ... Jarome Iginla, Craig Conroy, and Chris Drury combined for just under 56 minutes of ice time with no goals, no assists and five shots on goal. ... Another Toni Lydman redemption note. After being benched in Phoenix, Lydman played over 30 minutes on the night. He finished -1, with five shots on goal. ... Anyone else find it funny in a season where nothing has really worked that not one but two coaches refuse to try that Drury, Iginla, Conroy line that was so effective in the preseason?


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