Turek Struggles Flames Lose 

Iginla Picks Up Three Assists In Defeat 

March 29th, 2003
Rick Charlton

The progress of the Darryl Sutter era, measured by the best Calgary March in 11 years, was halted dead in its tracks by the only team behind the Flames in the NHL's Western Conference standings.

Lowry Conroy Clark
Gelinas Drury Clark
Begin Yelle Donovan
Saprykin Betts Nichol
Gauthier Boughner
Leopold Regehr
Lydman Commodore

Geoff Sanderson netted four goals, including a natural hat trick hat trick in the second period, wiping out a sudden but short-lived Flames rally and giving the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets a 6-4 win in front of 16,007 fans at the Saddledome.

The loss was a bitter one for the Flames, the local club entering the game 8-3-2 in March, a time of year when they would normally stumble, fading into obscurity as the competition gets tougher down the stretch run.

But the ingredients which had led to their recent success, solid goaltending, good team defence and timely scoring, went out the window early against the Blue Jackets, Calgary down 2-0 before the anthems had finished echoing thanks to a marginal effort from starter Roman Turek.

For Columbus, it was the second straight time they had whipped the Flames in Calgary, the Blue Jackets punching out the Flames 7-2 in mid-January on Saddledome ice.

Flames initiated a sharp comeback early in the second period, rifling three goals behind Columbus starter Marc Denis in only 2:01.

But Columbus ground that lead away with three of their own, all by Sanderson, before the period was done, restoring the two goal lead and coasting home for their third victory over Calgary this season.

The loss dropped the Flames to 27-35-12-4 on the year, good for 70 points but only four ahead of the hapless Jackets for 15th and last place in the Western Conference.

If you're an optimist, however, you could also say Calgary is still only four points out of ninth spot with four games remaining on another lost season.

As well, if you're keeping track, Calgary is now 17-17-7-1 under Darryl Sutter.

After a morose first period in which Columbus netted at 2-0 lead by the 5:04 mark on goals by ex-Flame Andrew Cassels and Matt Davidson, Calgary took the lead in a big hurry.

Craig Conroy skated from the corner and lifted a soft shot through a crowd up and over a sprawling Denis at 2:42.

Steve Montador then scored his first goal and first point of the year, picking up a rebound from a blistering Oleg Saprykin slapper and wristing a shot past Denis at 3:15.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Carolina M.-A. Fleury
2 Pittsburgh Nathan Horton
3 Columbus Milan Michalek
4 Buffalo Nikolai Zherdev
5 Atlanta Braydon Coburn
6 Florida Eric Staal
7 San Jose Andrei Kastsitsyn
8 Calgary Anthony Stewart
*ranking: Red Line 3-27-03

For Montador the goal was a relief, breaking the longest pointless streak in the league this season.

Martin Gelinas then finished a two on two with Jarome Iginla, the latter taking out two defencemen to allow Gelinas a one-handed opportunity he buried at 4:43.

The three goals didn't come remotely close to the club record of 36 seconds, set in 1993 in San Jose by Ron Stern, Chris Lindberg and Gary Suter.

From there, Columbus took over, on the scoresheet at least, tying the game again on a power play, Sanderson down low putting it through a slow moving Turek at 6:20.

Sanderson then took advantage of another Flames defensive miscue, uncovered and walking straight into the net on a faceoff to deposit his own rebound behind Turek at 12:38, giving the Jackets a lead they would never relinquish.

Sanderson then scored the natural hat trick at 16:03 on a power play, Ray Whitney on the point firing the puck on Turek and Sanderson depositing a fat rebound into an open net.

Calgary brought the game into doubt at 17:56 of the third, Gelinas scoring his second of the game and 20th on the season, lofting another puck high over Denis' glove after a seeing eye pass from Conroy.

But Sanderson replied with his fourth into an empty net at 19:33.

Calgary was zero for five on the power play while Columbus was successful twice on five attempts.

Turek allowed five goals on 25 shots, an effort that was as bad as it looked statistically while his counterpart Denis stopped 35 of 39 shots directed his way.

Next up is Minnesota on the road on Monday night.




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Columbus Blue Jackets 6
Calgary Flames 4

1 Geoff Sanderson - Four goals and an assist for the Jackets pretty much cinches a first star on most nights. 

2 Andrew Cassels - A goal and four assists. The only way you lose a first star is when your four assists all go to goals scored by the same guy. 

3 Marc Denis - Hard to believe a goalie can give up four goals and still wind up a star but without him this one might have been different.

Denis kept his eye on the ball, waiting for a pop fly to come down from the rafters when he was run over by Martin Gelinas, the latter the victim of retaliation hit and run from Luc Richardson seconds later.

Denis came up with a huge skate save early in the third period, his team ahead 5-3 at that point and Iginla trying to give his team some hope.

Bob Boughner was called for diving. Denis Gauthier, Scott Nichol and Oleg Saprykin have also been called for diving since the NHL announced it would fine players it describes as flagrant offenders. . . . . . . Calgary's next game is in Minnesota and yes, Doug Risebrough, fired all those years ago, must be getting a good laugh out of his Wild in the playoffs with a 40+ win season given the Flames have been rebuilding since he left. Risebrough could well be named the NHL's executive of the year. . . . . . . . . . . . As per usual, Toni Lydman led the Flames with 26:46 in ice time while Jaroslav Spacek led the Jackets with 27:59. . . . . . Strangely, Bob Boughner was plus three in this game, a statistical oddity. . . . . .Flames dominated the faceoff circle with a 62% success rate, led by Stephane Yelle's 68%. Mike Sillinger was 80% for the Jackets.


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