Calgary - February 12, 2012 - A strong start to the game Saturday night by the Calgary Flames saw the team quickly jump out to a 2-0 lead before squandering that goal cushion in the latter half of the hockey game. After the Vancouver Canucks managed to scratch and claw their way back into the game, an exciting overtime frame would follow yielding no winner which ultimately led to Jarome Iginla scoring the game winning shootout goal.
The first period would begin with a bang at the six and a half minute mark when forwards Lance Bouma and Mike Duco decided to drop the mitts in a fight that saw both players attempting to land a haymaker that would end the tilt early. That however was not the case as neither combatant was able to land that punishing blow and as a result the fight ended with a takedown by Bouma. Offence was tough to generate in the first period by both teams but a good shift in the dying moments by the Calgary Flames subsequently lead to Mike Cammalleri scoring his 12th goal of the season.
Calgary would carry that momentum over into the second as the recently called up Roman Horak would score his third goal of the season when Lance Bouma was able to find the youngster wide open in the slot before hammering a shot past the clueless body of goaltender Roberto Luongo. Just minutes after the goal was scored things would begin to get nasty as Vancouver defensemen Andrew Alberts would go on to make a questionable hit on Blake Comeau before “fighting” an unwilling and smaller Mikael Backlund. Blake Comeau was initially stunned by the hit and would remain in the game, but Mikael Backlund was not so lucky as he injured his shoulder on the play when he was pummeled to the ice. After spending six minutes in the penalty box for his actions, Alberts would then have to fight a willing dance partner in Tim Jackman who would end up feeding him a face full of fists. After that was all settled, Vancouver would begin to take over the game as they were rewarded for there efforts just minutes before the end of the second period. Rookie forward Cody Hodgson would score his 15th goal of the season when he chipped in a rebound that Miikka Kiprusoff was unable to control.
The third period consisted of Calgary chasing the Canucks around the ice while trying to defend the lead. This would obviously not work as the power house Vancouver team would eventually tie the game at two’s thanks in large part to a lucky bounce that would land on the stick of David Booth for his 9th goal of the season. Another well executed time out by Brent Sutter would settle the Calgary Flames down but there philosophy would not change. Vancouver continued to push hard in the last ten minutes of play but a strong effort by Miikka Kiprusoff would salvage at least a point for the home team. One last gasp effort by the Calgary Flames saw Jarome Iginla streak in on a breakaway in the final minute of play but he was thwarted on the opportunity by the big glove of Luongo. For the third time in five games this month the Calgary Flames would be heading for overtime.
Overtime would begin with both teams being penalized for what could be coined as “weak calls” considering the stage of the game. Nonetheless this resulted in a 3 on 3 format that would completely open up the ice surface. Two different strategies would be deployed by both coaches as Calgary chose to roll two defenders and one forward, while Vancouver decided to use two forwards and one defenseman. This ultimately gave Vancouver the edge as they easily out chanced the Flames during overtime but were unable to muster the game winning goal.
Olli Jokinen - Goal
Alexander Edler - Miss
Alex Tanguay - Miss
Alexander Burrows - Goal
Jarome Iginla - Goal
Mason Raymond - Miss
Calgary would go on to win the shootout 2-1 due to a couple magnificent shootout attempts by Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla. With the win Calgary moves just two points behind the Phoenix Coyotes for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
INJURIES, INJURIES, INJURIES…
Mikael Backlund - Reported separated shoulder, out indefinitely.
Blair Jones - Fractured Ankle, out indefinitely.
Curtis Glencross - MCL Sprain, expected to return in early March.
Lee Stempniak - High ankle sprain, out 4-5 weeks.
David Moss - Ankle injury, out indefinitely
Derek Smith - High ankle sprain, expected to return in early March.
Calgary sits 2nd in the league in man games lost to injury trailing only the Pittsburgh Penguins.