Crippled Flyers Stone Flames
Flyers 1 - Flames 0 (SO)

Kris Fernet
December 6, 2005

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The Flames continue their 5 game Eastern Conference road trip tonight in Philadelphia.  They face a decimated Flyers team who have their top forward, defenseman and goalie all out with injuries.  In fact 8 Flyers are currently listed on the Injury Reserve. 

On The Line

The Flames continue to jostle with the Vancouver Canucks for first place in the Pacific division.  Philly, with a handful of games in hand, is playing catch-up against the Atlantic Division leading New York Rangers.  The Flames are looking to improve on their below 0.500 road performance while the Flyers will be trying to maintain an impressive 10-3-2 home record.

The Flow

Speed, speed and more speed.  The tempo of the game was impressive right until the dying moments of overtime.  Calgary started out controlling the play with hard hits and some great end-to-end action.  Philadelphia would step up their own play in the second period and continued that trend into the third.  The Flyers were out shot in the first period 11-8 but would go on to dominate on the shot clock finishing the game ahead by a tally of 37-28.

Three Stars

1 – Miikka Kiprusoff.  Had it not been for a stellar performance by the Flames goalie this game would not have seen overtime.  Kiprusoff made a number of very impressive saves all night, including a beauty in the shootout against Flyers rookie forward Jeff Carter.

2 – Mike Richards.  The rookie Flyer had an impressive game and gave his team two points with his goal in the shootout.  He made the most of his 18 minutes of ice-time by managing four shots and going 50% in the face-off circle.

3 – Antero Niittymaki.  The struggling Flames offense didn’t make life too tough for the rookie goaltender tonight but he did turn away all 27 Flames shots including all 3 shootout attempts.

Big Hit

Flames defenseman Roman Hamrlik caught Mike Richards chasing the puck behind the Flames net.  The perfectly timed hit sent Richards to the ice and allowed the Flames to regain control in their own zone.

Big Save

Miikka Kiprusoff had a number of spectacular saves tonight.  His best save of the night came at 6:15 of the third period.  While he was sprawled on his back he managed to get the outside of his glove on a quick shot from just outside the crease by Sami Kapanen.  Kapanen had the entire net to shoot at but Kiprusoff came up big to keep the game at 0-0.

The Goat

The anemic Calgary power play continued its lackluster performance of late going 0-6 on the night.  After tonight the Flames are 2-32 on the power play in the last six games.  Honorable mention goes to Roman Hamrlik for his lack of shots while on the power play and his giveaway late in the game that almost cost the Flames a point.

Mr. Clutch

Despite an impressive performance by both goalies the nod goes to Mike Richards for his solid play throughout the game and his game-winning goal in the shootout.

Odds and Ends

Since moving to Calgary the Flames have a 10-15-3-0 record in Philadelphia…Paging Chuck Kobasew.  The Flames forward only saw the ice for 12 minutes tonight and did not make the most of it.  This was possibly his least impressive game of the year…While we are calling out players how about the lack of execution by captain Jarome Iginla?  He is now goalless in his last 7 games and showed very little creativity tonight.  He was given an excellent chance to score and keep the game from going to overtime but he simply could not solve Niittymaki…Newly acquired Kristian Huselius was unable to repeat his impressive first game outing.  The lack of chemistry between Huselius and Daymond Langkow tonight was palatable…With all the injuries the Flyers have suffered they’ve been forced to play a number of rookies who otherwise would not be seeing quality amounts of NHL ice time.  Including Niittymaki, the Flyers dressed 7 rookies: Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Ben Eagner, Matt Ellison, R.J. Umberger, and Freddy Meyer…Face-offs were even on the night with the Flames winning 51%.

Next up – New Jersey Devils.  Wednesday, December 7.  5:30 pm MST.  Available on TSN and FAN 960.

Lines -

Huselius – Langkow - Iginla
Nilson -  Yelle - McCarty
Kobasew - Reinprecht - Amonte
Simon - Ritchie - Donovan










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