Flames Find OT Magic Again 

Final Home Game of Season Ends on Right Foot 

April 4th, 2003
D'Arcy McGrath

The Saddledome faithful filed out of the local arena for the last time this season knowing that this year, like the six before it, finished with a scheduled date and not a playoff performance.

Lowry Conroy Clark
Saprykin Drury Clark
Gelinas Yelle Donovan
Nichol Betts Sloan
Mondator Lydman
Leopold Regehr
Mrozik Commodore

At least they were sent packing with 23 sweat soaked hockey jerseys and another strong dose of overtime magic as the Calgary Flames turned back the LA Kings for the third time this season, this time by a 2-1 margin.

It was the battle of the depleted an down trodden - as both the Kings and Flames were missing key players and hope for a playoff showing this season.

The Flames walked out a defensive core consisting of four players that have played chunks of the season in the American Hockey League, and two chaperones that could hardly be described as National Hockey League gray beards.

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 Florida Nikolai Zherdev
5 Atlanta Braydon Coburn
6 Buffalo Eric Staal
7 San Jose Andrei Kastsitsyn
8 Calgary Anthony Stewart
*ranking: Red Line 3-27-03

In fact, it was the rookie, Rick Mrozik playing his first National Hockey League game that held the distinction of eldest Calgary defenceman, with a birth year of 1975 compared to that of Toni Lydman's 1977.

The Kings jumped on Calgary territorially, and if not for the play of the oft criticized Roman Turek would have likely walked away with things.

The clubs played through a scoreless first period before the Flames jumped on the board in the second period.

Chris Clark took the puck up the half boards, dropped it to Oleg Saprykin who fed Steve Montador on the point. Montador, who secured his first point of the season with a goal against Columbus last week, fired it at the net and off of Chris Drury for the goal. For Drury it was his 23rd of the season.

The Kings tied the score just over two minutes later when Ziggy Palffy completed the sizzle end of a give and go to blow the puck past Turek to make it 1-1.

Both teams had some good chances in the third period but couldn't get the puck past the duo of Roman Turek and French rookie Cristobal Huet.

Calgary won the game in overtime when Flame captain Craig Conroy picked up a Martin Gelinas board bounce and flipped the puck over Huet to give the Flames the win.

The victory moves the club back to one game under .500 Darryl Sutter with one game remaining, a road date with Edmonton tomorrow night.




Calgary Flames 2
Los Angeles Kings 1

1 Roman Turek - Gave the club the type of goaltending they'll need to make a charge up the standings next season. 

2 Ziggy Palffy - With Iginla still fighting the puck since his shoulder injury, Palffy was clearly the best player on the ice. 

3 Craig Conroy - Great jam all night, scored the overtime game winner to notch his 20th of the season.

Steve Begin came a long way to crunch LA defenceman Tomas Zizka into the glass on a forecheck in the third period.

With just over a minute left to play on the clock, LA rookie Alexander Frolov was sent in along on Roman Turek. Turek managed to foil the youngster's backhander by getting his catcher up and sending the game to overtime.

The Flames played their last home game of the season, a season once again without the playoffs. Want a silver lining? The night also marked the official elimination of the 85 million dollar New York Rangers when they dropped a 2-1 contest to Jersey. The Flames may have lost misery cousins the Tampa Bay Lightning who have matched Calgary's skid year for year through the last six seasons, but the Rangers aren't far behind - this will be their sixth straight season out. ... The Flames can close out the season a .500 club under Darryl Sutter with a win in Edmonton. On home ice the Flames are 10-7-6-0 under Sutter, a huge turnaround of fortune on home ice. The wins came with excitement with five of the 10 victories coming in overtime. ... The Flames were out shot 31-26 on the night ... The usually dot dominant Flames were bested in the face off circle winning only 33 of 69 draws. ... The win moves the Flames past the Sharks and into 13th spot in the West and virtually eliminates them from a top five pick. Atlanta would have to win both of their games, and have Buffalo and San Jose both win their final contest. 


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