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Late Goal Sinks Flames in Columbus
Columbus 3 Flames 2

D'Arcy McGrath
March 24, 2006

Aiming for that one point against the 2nd to last place Columbus Blue Jackets isn't exactly shooting for the moon.

However, the Flames were doing just that, and justifiably so to a certain degree given the long road trip and a second game within 27 hours on the sked.

That meager goal slipped away faster than you can say "they'd better win in Dallas" when the puck got away from Dion Phaneuf and Roman Hamrlik missed a check in front of the cage as the Jackets went on to a 3-2 win on Friday night.

The loss puts the Flames trip record down to 2-3-1 with a big game in Dallas slated for Sunday afternoon if the Flames hope to bring a .500 trip back to Calgary.


On The Line

Back to back games are death valley to the Flames and most teams, but in this game the Flames had a chance to add to their shellacking of the St. Louis Blues and guarantee a .500 road trip before venturing into Dallas to play the red hot Stars. I guess it's the path less traveled once again, not a real surprise for this Flames crew. 

The Flow

The Flames for the most part iced a solid road game with good chances, they kept the shots against under 30, and the better of the play for most of the game's 60 minutes. The Jackets took advantage of their opportunities however, which was the difference in a game that saw the Flames shoot into the pads or iron in golden opportunities.

Three Stars

1 Adam Foote. His usual physically pushy hockey game sprinkled in with three assists on the three goals and a vicious hit from behind on Calgary's captain.

2 Chuck Kobasew.  Scored his 19th goal of the season and 2nd in two nights on the trip, and had good jam most of the night.

3 Jason Chimera.  Ex-Oiler was in the right spot at the right time to cash in on the game winner with the clock winding down.

Big Hit

Jacket defenceman Rostislav Klesla caught Marcus Nilson traipsing down the side boards and rudely planted him into the Flames player bench. Nilson was shaken up for a few minutes before rejoining the game.

Big Save

Miikka Kiprusoff had to be quick to get across the crease and stone Rick Nash in the first period to keep the hockey game 1-0 in Calgary favour. Stephane Yelle's first period blast called off the iron by the Sportsnet crew would have been the save of the game if my eyes are right in that the puck hit the butt of the stick and not the post.

The Goat

Blown defensive coverage has been the bane of this road trip for a hockey team that is usually air tight in their own zone. Though a better all round game for the Flames, the Phaneuf/Hamrlik duo missed their checks on the game winner sending the Flames away empty handed.

Mr. Clutch

The Jackets. For a team that is eliminated from contention for a playoff spot, the plucky team brought a huge effort and were full marks for taking two points away from the Flames. The Jackets have some great pieces in place, and could be a real challenge when they add a little depth to their roster.

Odds and Ends

The Flames won the battle for special teams on the night, going one for eight while killing all seven Jacket opportunities. The Flames' powerplay is ranked 9th in the NHL, their penalty kill 12th. Neither number is all that flashy, but actually quite remarkable when you let your mind drift back to October. ... The Flames goals against race with the Senators, hurt badly on this seven game road trip, sits at 2.29 for the Sens and 2.47 for the Flames (in second spot). ... The visitors got butchered in the face off circle winning only 41% of the draws. Unless you count one draw and a win for Tony Amonte, all the marksmen were under water. ... The games in hand count is now even with the Avalanche, which is bad, but the fact that the Flames only have one game left on this ugly road trip and still lead their division by three points is in fact very very good. Crazy times in the old Western Conference standings race. Nobody seems to be jumping up and seizing the day with the exception of those streaking Ducks. Should the Flames fall out of first in the Northwest however, they could fall a long way with Nashville, Colorado and probably Anaheim all pushing them down the standings.

Next up Gave seven of seven on this road trip goes at 1 pm on Sunday afternoon in Dallas.

Lines -

Huselius - Langkow - Iginla

McCarty - Nilson - Donovan

Amonte - Yelle - McCarty

Simon - Lombardi - Kobasew

Regehr - Leopold
Phaneuf - Hamrlik



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