Frozen in Philly; Flames Shut Out in Shoot Out Loss
Flyers 1 - Flames 0

D'Arcy McGrath
December 6, 2005

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So much for fighting off a nasty team image.

A goose egg in Philly will do nothing to quell the club image as the meager mountain-men from the west; the upper standings team that can't score goals.

A very depleted Flyers team had all the jump, as the flat Calgary Flames rode a red hot Miikka Kiprusoff through overtime and into a shoot out in a scoreless game only to fall in the end by a score of 1-0 - a game with no recorded offence.

On The Line  

With the Vancouver Canucks idle, the Flames had a shot at leap frogging their foes and into first place in the Northwest division. A victory would also assure a successful five game Eastern road swing, giving the team three victories in four starts. 

The Flow

Essentially two periods of feeling out, followed by a robust Flyer third that had the Flames relying completely on Miikka Kiprusoff's star power to get them a road point. The Flames controlled the first, faltered in the second, and fell flat in both the third and the overtime period and were lucky to find a point.

Three Stars

1 Miikka Kiprusoff. Through two periods cage iron seemed to be the more dominant force in the game as both goaltenders were beaten on a few occasions only to hear the clang of the post or a cross bar. In the third, and overtime, however, Kiprusoff stole the show putting on a clinic of astounding goaltending to steal the team a point.
2 Brad Richards. Dion Phaneuf's former World Junior teammate was the only gut to get a puck past a goaltender all night, scoring on the Flyer's first shoot out attempt to give his team the win.

3 Antero Niittymaki. Kiprusoff's countryman posted a shut out, though he didn't face the same level of work as the guy at the other end. 

Big Hit

Flame arch enemy Darian Hatcher lit up Chuck Kobasew midway through the third period as Kobasew tried to dangle past the slow moving giant. Dion Phaneuf gets runner up for this belt on former Canuck R.J. Umberger earlier in the period.

Big Save

So many to choose from; Kiprusoff stoning Sami Kapenen with the back of his glove, and then later Umberger on a nasty rebound. Niittymaki on Iginla with just two minutes left in the third and a partial breakaway, or flashing the leather on Tony Amonte in the shoot out ... but the nod goes to Miikka Kiprusoff when he stoned Jeff Carter from the slot, getting his blocker out and turning aside the point blank chance.

The Goat

Roman Hamrlik. His late third period give away could have cost the Flames a crucial point on this five game junket. He then gave it up in the overtime as well, almost keeping the game from going into overtime. I had Jordan Leopold pegged until the last five minutes for some similar indiscretions.

Mr. Clutch

Kiprusoff gets all the accolades in this one. He was simply unreal in stealing is team a road point, proving to many Eastern journalists that he is indeed the real deal.

Odds and Ends

New Flame, Kristian Huselius wasn't any where near as noticeable in this one as he was in his debut in Pittsburgh. He wasn't alone up front though, so we'll cut him some slack. He just about slid the puck through Niittymaki in the shoot out which would have moved him from invisible to potential game star. Hey, it's that kind of game. ... Amazing irony that the Flames can now boast a fourth line with a 18 and 17 goal scorer from 2003-04 and yet find themselves next to last in goal scoring in a 30 team league. Add scoring depth up front, and offence from the blueline, open the game up, and slide down the list. Odd. ... I wonder how Eric Francis' latest article on the Flames not defending Miikka Kiprusoff is coming. The argument for not delivering a pounding in the Pittsburgh game surrounded the fact that the culprit was 18 year old phenom Sydney Crosby. I wasn't aware that Jon Sim was the in fact the next one. Sim ran Kiprusoff twice in a shift and didn't get a glove in the face for it. ... Saw an ad tonight for Don Cherry 17. 17? Who still buys these things? ... Had to chuckle at Hatcher's big league hockey sense when he wristed a puck into Jarome Iginla's shin pads creating an almost game ending break for the Calgary captain. ... Completely different thing after 60 minutes when the Flames face an Eastern club. No fear of that extra point at all. ... I wonder if Darryl Sutter was impressed when Iginla, Huselius, Dion Phaneuf and Roman Hamrlik stayed on the ice for the entire two minute powerplay in the extra session. Some fresh bodies there might have meant the difference. ... Speaking of Hamrlik and Phaneuf, they simply have to work on puck movement when QBing the powerplay. Nothing is crisp, nothing on the tape, and they absolutely telegraph every intention through body language. That alone was keeping Flyer bodies in the shooting zone, they knew what was coming. ... Not a pretty game by any estimation, but the point guarantees the team a .500 record with five points earned and one game left in Jersey. 

Next up The Flames conclude their five game trip in New Jersey tomorrow night (5:30 TSN).

Lines -

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








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