McLennan Shuts Out Bruins

Flames Score Five on Few Chances

December 18th, 2003
Rick Charlton

The contrast was remarkable.

In the aftermath of taking a physical beating in their 3-2 victory Tuesday in Philadelphia, the Flames encountered fair weather and the big, bad teddy bears in Boston, the Bruins scarcely wiggling a leg to signal they were alive before rolling over dead as Calgary blew through Beantown in an easy 5-0 victory.

Taking advantage of a Bruins defence corps that might have been the softest the Flames have encountered this year, Calgary's speed proved more than Boston could handle, or cared to handle, the Flames scoring three times in the second to add to an earlier 2-0 edge in the opening frame.

Saprykin Lombardi Iginla
Gelinas McAmmond Donovan
Green Yelle Kobasew
Oliwa Morgan Clark
Regehr Leopold
Gauthier Warrener
Montador Ference

"It wasn't a very pretty game by us ... but we capitalized on our chances," analyzed Flames defenceman Denis Gauthier after the game on FAN960.

Jarome Iginla scored twice for the Flames while Matthew Lombardi, pointless in his previous 10 games, notched a pair of assists, both players taking at least a step out of coach Darryl Sutter's dog house, the latter deriding the pair as "meant for each other" in pre-game comments on FAN960 given their lack of recent production.

Dean McAmmond, Jordan Leopold and Josh Green added singles for the Flames while Martin Gelinas picked up two assists and Shean Donovan extended his point streak to four games with an assist.

Astonishingly, the shot clock read 21-10 after two periods, yet the Flames were up 5-0, mostly the result of the confused Bruins standing around gawking in disbelief as agile Calgary players skated and weaved among them with scarcely a physical challenge.

Iginla's second goal was perhaps symbolic of the entire night, Lombardi streaking down the wing, getting a free ride on the outside on Travis Green, then Brad Moran leaving his post to compensate, leaving Iginla wide open in the slot for an easy mark.

The Bruins eventually finished with an 30-14 advantage on the shot clock, hardly believable and perhaps wisely so given the local boys barely looked threatened in this one.

The shutout was the third of the season for Jamie McLennan, something of a surprise starter given this was expected to the tougher of the back to back games, including Columbus tomorrow night, the Flames were to play.

"What a great character game for him," said Gauthier. "That was the difference for us today. Our goaltender was a lot better than theirs."

McLennan is 8-3-1-2 on the year.

The victory leaves the Flames with a 16-9-2-3 record, good for 37 points on the year, only one point behind Colorado for fifth spot in the NHL's Western Conference.

Flames have a four point edge on seventh place San Jose with a game in hand as they continue to power ahead, now six points into the playoffs and showing little sign of slowing down.

With a number of critical players on the sidelines with injuries, the Flames seemed set for a pratfall these last three games, facing powerhouse teams in Colorado, Philadelphia and Boston.

Yet Calgary emerged miraculously with five of a possible six points as Sutter's "system" continues to generate answers for any problems the fickle finger of fate might throw at it.

Are the Flames, now seven games over .500 a third of the way into the season, for real?

These last three games, character games all with a sweep only prevented by Iginla pounding the goalpost in overtime against Colorado, seeming to indicate the answer is "yes."

The Flames are 6-4-0-1 on the road and now 6-1 against the Eastern Conference.

Both teams were zero for four on the power play.

Next up is the Blue Jackets tomorrow night in Columbus.





1) Jamie McLennan - Comes in after three weeks and throws a doughnut, stopping Green on a one-time ten footer from the slot with the Flames holding a 2-0 lead. 

2) Jarome Iginla - Amazing what he can do when no one is leaning on him. 

3) Matthew Lombardi - Speed and skill came to shine on this night.

Flames are up 2-0 in the second period when a quick feed from behind the net found Travis Green, but the quick one-timer is stopped by Jamie McLennan's flashing right pad. From there, it was no contest.

Was it even a hit? Martin Lapointe was tangling with Rhett Warrener and when they separated the valuable Flames defender immediately headed for the dressing room and never returned, a leg injury yet indeterminate.

It was the first time the Flames had shut out the Bruins since coming to Calgary in 1980 . . . . Only 10,590 showed up for this one, Bruins fans, no dummies at any time, probably had this one figured out in advance. . . . . . "It doesn't seem to be too bad now," said Gauthier of battery-mate Warrener, predicting Warrener might be available in Columbus. . . . . "Sapyrkin, Iginla and Lombardi have to pick their play up more, all over the ice. Right now they're meant for each other," said Sutter sarcastically before the game, commenting on putting the trio together as a line. . . . . .Flames were only 48% in the faceoff circle, but Stephane Yelle and Jason Morgan were both 60%. Thornton was 68% for the Bruins. . . . . . Thornton, Dan McGillis and Glen Murray were all minus three on the night. Lombardi was plus three for the Flames. . . . . Jordan Leopold led the Flames with 22:32 in ice time while Jeff Jillson was 23:16 for Boston. . . . . . Flames pay per view made its debut with this game, announcers Roger Millions and Jim Peplinski electing to go with the homey approach, referring to players by their first names being one highly noticeable feature. For a second there, I thought I was watching Ron McLean talking about the Leafs on HNIC.

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