Spirited Finish Does Little As Flames Fall to Foes
2 - Flames 1

D'Arcy McGrath
November 25, 2005

The Flames mastery of the Northwest division has had a lot to due with their march up the standings, as the team has rifled off eight straight wins against key foes heading into the third installment of the Battle of Alberta on Friday night in Calgary.

For the Oilers to turn things around against Darryl Sutter and the Flames they simply had to find a way to solve Miikka Kiprusoff, who had held the Oilers to only one goal in the two previous encounters this season.

The Oilers, however, found a way to win without solving their nemesis to any great degree, turning back the host Flames in a 2-1 shoot out final.

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On The Line

Quite Simply four points. It almost seems a little to curt, a little to basic, but it's the bottom line. Calgary wins and they are five points up on their provincial rivals, lose and they are one.

The Flow

A hockey fan tends to have a myopic view of the game, that is everything from a Calgary standpoint. The Flames are playing well, the Flames are playing poorly with the opposition just well decorated pylons in the way of good entertainment value. With that said, it looked like the Flames didn't have it tonight. They didn't skate, they didn't get the puck deep, they didn't show that storming the beaches of Normandy forecheck that we've come to love - at least until the midway through the third. The Oilers, however, just may have had a thing or two to do with that.

Three Stars

1 Miikka Kiprusoff. The best player on the ice through the first 45 minutes of this one, and likely the difference between a game going to extra time and a laugher. 
2 Mike Morrison. Rookie goalie wasn't tested that much, but came up huge in the last half of the third and the overtime to keep the Oilers in it. 
3 Fernando Pisani. The third star had Dvorak written all over it, but you have to give the guy who won it some credit.

Big Hit

With Craig MacDonald trying to work the puck into the Oilers end during play in the second period, the Oilers captain Jason Smith stepped up and leveled the Flames fourth liner. The game had a few good bumps including Dion Phaneuf planting Jarrett Stoll, but the nod goes to the Calgarian.

Big Save

I'm going to mention three ... it was that type of game. Second runner up: Morrison on a Jarome Iginla hoist in the overtime period, getting his trapper on the puck. Runner up: Miikka Kiprusoff flashing the leather to rob hotdog forward Ales Hemsky during the shoot out. And the winner: Miikka Kiprusoff stoning Jarrett Stoll with seconds left on the clock in the first period and the Oilers heading for a sure 2-0 lead.

The Goat

For the first 50 minutes of this game it would be easy to blame very red clad player not wearing goalie skates, but the team came on so we can't take the easy way out. We'll choose Andrew Ference for his brutal pass that lead to the Oilers first period goal. A close second was Robyn Regehr, with bad penalties, some really bad choices offensively, and some bad coverage down low.

Mr. Clutch

Miikka Kiprusoff, ... simply unbelievable to keep this game close, and the difference once again between a team sputtering along and losing the odd hockey game, and a team that finds a way to get a point where they likely didn't deserve it.

Odds and Ends

Speaking of goaltending, what a change to see the Flames with the better keeper in these provincial matchups after years of the Oiler netminder being the difference in most games. Fuhr, Ranford, Joseph, Salo, Calgary never had an answer. ... Someone has to tell Craig MacTavish that he can't wear those fancy prescription glasses that tint in the sun when coaching in the National Hockey League. Those shaded lenses just looked odd all night. I thought I was watching the Matrix. ... Couldn't help but notice two things with Chuck Kobasew's shoot out attempt. One, once again he mishandled the puck. He just can't find the handle when he has time. They should let him circle the net and jam it in. Then he leaves the ice into a swarm of Oilers heading for a celebration and gets bumped around. All this after losing his spot on the top line. Tough night. ... Amazing that Tony Amonte, Jarome Iginla and to a lesser extent Dion Phaneuf all had very good shots on goal and yet none registered a shot in the shoot out. Nice to roll out the old carpet for the rookie tender. ... The Oilers won just under 60% of the face offs on the night, and to be honest that statistic seemed to almost favour the Flames, at least until the third period. Sportsnet put up a graphic showing the Oilers at the top of the heap, with the Flames in 9th spot. Shows you the difference between elite and above average. ... After a tough start, the Flames out shot the Oilers by a 22-19 margin over the final 45 minutes. The first period featured a 15-9 Oiler onslaught. ... The Flames out hit the Oilers 30-23, with every Calgary skater save Tony Amonte and Shean Donovan getting a hit. The Oilers had nine players that failed to register a hit. ... Did anyone get a stop watch on that Jarome Iginla overtime shift? Man that must have rivaled that cup final game five shift in Tampa Bay. ... Both clubs were ouch for five on the night with the powerplay. 

Next up The Nashville Predators on Tuesday night from Tennessee.

Lines -

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






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