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Lackluster Long Island performance snaps Flames four game win streak
A stagnant effort from the Calgary Flames Thursday night resulted in the team’s first loss in four games as they fell 3-1 to the hometown Islanders. The Flames appeared to lack energy from the drop of the puck when the Islanders pressured early and often as they continued to establish their dominance for the remainder of the game.
Calgary - December 30, 2011 - A stagnant effort from the Calgary Flames Thursday night resulted in the team’s first loss in four games as they fell 3-1 to the hometown Islanders. The Flames appeared to lack energy from the drop of the puck when the Islanders pressured early and often as they continued to establish their dominance for the remainder of the game.
Former Islander Tim Jackman tallied his first goal of the season just a minute into the hockey game as a Tom Kostopoulos pass attempt redirected off of his skate and past the forgotten Evgeni Nabokov. Unfortunately that marked the highlight of the game for the Flames as from that moment on the New York Islanders took a firm grasp on the flow of the play. The isles tied the game in the early moments of the second period when Kyle Okposo found defensemen Andrew MacDonald roaming alone in the slot as he one timed a snap shot past a hopeless Miikka Kiprusoff.
After being heavily outplayed for the opening forty minutes of the game, the Flames found themselves in a comfortable position heading into the third period on the road with the score tied at ones. If their play to this point in the game was not large enough of a concern, things were made worse when the always steady Derek Smith suffered what seemed to be a lower body injury when he attempted to make a defensive zone pivot. An impressive individual rush by budding superstar John Tavares put the home team ahead at the three minute mark of the final stanza when he victimized Flames defensemen Chris Butler. This play helped solidify the worries many have about Butler’s ability to matchup against the premiere players in the NHL on a nightly basis, he is far more suited to play in a lesser role at this point in his development as he is clearly not ready to handle top paring duties alongside Jay Bouwmeester.
Veteran Brian Rolston dashed all hopes of a Flames comeback late in the game when he scored just his fourth goal of the season into an empty net. I certainly don’t want to blame the officiating for the loss tonight as they were not responsible for the team’s effort, but a blatant call was missed late in the game that would have put the Flames on an extended two man advantage. Nevertheless those calls generally find away to even out over the course of the season as the Flames will now focus their energy on starting a brand new win streak tomorrow in Ottawa.
Game Day Notes
- Olli Jokinen’s seven point streak is snapped as the top line failed to generate an offensive attack the entire night.
- Anton Babchuk was activated from injured reserve and will likely make an appearance tomorrow night against the Senators due to the injury suffered by Derek Smith.
- It is expected that Leland Irving will make his third start of the season on Friday.
- Blake Comeau played his first game against his former team since being claimed on waivers.
- The Flames last victory in Long Island was over five years ago in 2006.
1. John Tavares
2. Miikka Kiprusoff
3. Travis Hamonic
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