OT Gaff Negates Lydman Goal 

Flames Come From Behind But Bow In OT

February 12th, 2002
Rick Charlton

Lowry Conroy Iginla
Clark Drury Saprykin
Gelinas Yelle Sloan
Berube Begin Nichol
Lydman Boughner
Leopold Montador
Gauthier Ference

The moroseless mathematics of their situation has finally caught up to the sinking hearts of their fans.

Calgary Flames are 15 points in arrears of a post-season berth after a 4-3 loss last night in Anaheim, their season essentially over, the next meaningful game for this franchise now eight months in the future.

The only calculating left to do is figuring out the most direct route to the nearest golf course come April.

The end came in typical Calgary fashion, the Flames pointing a gun at their own feet and pulling the trigger.

Jarome Iginla will wear the goat horns, retrieving the puck deep in his own zone only seconds into overtime but then losing it in lame fashion to Steve Rucchin who fed a wide-open Mike LeClerc for the point blank game winner.

This after Toni Lydman had dramatically brought the Flames even with only a tenth of a second left in regulation.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Buffalo Milan Michalek
2 Carolina Nathan Horton
3 Atlanta Braydon Coburn
4 Calgary Marc Andre Fleury
5 Nashville Nikolai Zherdev
*ranking: Redline Report 1/27/03

The loss drops the Flames to 18-27-8-4 on the season, preventing Calgary for the second straight game from moving out of last place in the NHL's Western Conference.

With only 25 games left and a 15 point deficit not even an egghead with a slide rule would be willing to calculate the odds of ending seven-tenths of a decade of futility.

Anaheim opened scoring on a broken play, Rucchin collapsing in a heap in front of the Flames net after taking a stick in the face, distracting enough Flames for a split second to allow Patrick Kjellberg to corral a loose puck and beat Calgary starter Jamie McLennan short side at 10:37 of the second period.

But Oleg Saprykin swooped in from the left side and drifted a rocket through the wickets of an astonished Jean Sebastien Giguere at 17:06 to tie the game through 20 minutes.

Calgary took a 2-1 lead on a two man powerplay when Chris Drury's blast from the point eluded a screened Giguere at 3:01 of the third.

But Sykora then tied the score at 6:09 before giving Anaheim the lead at 10:11 with another point blank drive on Flames starter Jamie McLennnan.

From there it was two goals within 11 seconds - one-tenth of a second left in regulation and 10 seconds into overtime for the Anaheim win.

Flames outshot the Ducks 33-24.

Calgary was one for six on the power play while the Ducks were one for four with the man advantage.

Next up is LA Thursday night.

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Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4
Calgary Flames 3

1 Petr Sykora - Rumoured to be a Flame at one time last summer, the ex-Devil was a dominating presence. 

2 Paul Kariya - Still not the points whiz of the mid-90's but not a bad imitation this night with two assists and buzzing all night. 

3 Oleg Saprykin - First goal in fifteen games, added an assist and dangerous on most shifts.

Martin Gelinas sprang Iginla alone on Giguere in the first period but the ex-Flame stopped two hot drives to keep the game scoreless.


Lydman and Saprykin combined to paste Adam Oates into the end boards midway through the third period. The downside was freeing up Sykora for a 3-2 Anaheim lead.

Calgary entered the game winless in seven at Arrowhead Pond . . . . .Denis Gauthier returned to the Calgary lineup . . . . . Stephane Yelle played 9:14 of the first 20 minutes . . . . Craig Berube played five seconds of the first period. I wonder who had the stopwatch on that guy. . . . . Newcomer Andrew Ference earned 23:55 in ice time, gathered an assist on Drury's powerplay goal and was even on the night. The recent acquisitions of a number of puck moving defencemen plus the ballooning ice time of previously out of favour Jordan Leopold should signal the Flames are trying desperately to fix their woeful lack of offence from the back line. Lydman led all Flames with 24:10 in ice time. . . . . . . . Ruslan Salei led the Ducks with 22:44 in ice time. . . . . .Drury was a sensational 76% in the faceoff circle and Craig Conroy 66% as the Flames finished with a 53% success rate overall. Adam Oates was 64% for the Ducks. . . . . . .First the Pens get $4 million in cash from the Rangers then Mario says he might retire. Will the Pens make it to 2004? Does anyone else think Mario is thinking of bailing out early? . . . . . . Four shutouts around the league on the night but TSN analyst Pierre McGuire says the obstruction crackdown is still in force. Minnesota's continued stellar results might back that up although others would protest. Not the most talented bunch but certainly one of the speediest, Minnesota is an ideal beneficiary of a continued crackdown. Wild are now tied with Detroit in the standings and who would have thunk that at the start of the year. . . . . . .


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