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Title - Liam Carter
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Follow Me on TwitterLiam Carter is the Calgary Flames' correspondent for OurHometown.ca. He is an avid hockey fan who loves his Flames! If you have questions or wish to contact Liam, you can email him at lcarter@ourhometown.ca
Calgary’s struggles continue in 3-1 loss to Washington
Liam Carter
OurHometown.ca

Calgary’s struggles continue in 3-1 loss to Washington
For the fourth consecutive game, the Calgary Flames found themselves on losing end off of the scoreboard as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. Specialty teams ended up being the deciding factor in the outcome of the game as the Washington Capitals scored the first two goals of the night via the powerplay.
PHOTO CREDIT - CalgaryFlames.com

Calgary - January 3, 2012 - For the fourth consecutive game, the Calgary Flames found themselves on losing end off of the scoreboard as they dropped a 3-1 decision to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night. Specialty teams ended up being the deciding factor in the outcome of the game as the Washington Capitals scored the first two goals of the night via the powerplay.

Unlike the past few games on the current road trip the Calgary Flames stumbled out of the gate when Alexander Ovechkin scored just a minute into the game after Rene Bourque was called for holding on the opening shift of the night. From that point on Calgary struggled to generate a push back as they only managed four shots on net through the first twenty minutes of action. Washington forward Troy Brouwer netted his eleventh goal of the season at the 8:49 mark of the second period while on the powerplay to extend the deficit to two goals.

A few shifts after falling behind by a pair of goals, Curtis Glencross scored his team leading 16th goal of the season when a Jarome Iginla pass redirected off a defenders skate before finding its way onto the stick off Glencross as he shoveled it past a scrambled Tomas Vokoun. While that play was unfolding Olli Jokinen found himself involved in a back and forth skirmish with grizzled veteran Jason Chimera which nearly led to the only fight off the game. It was amusing to see Jokinen continue to yapp away at Chimera as he celebrated the team’s first goal on the night. A sloppy shift by the defensive pairing of Cory Sarich and Scott Hannan led to a breakdown that saw Dennis Wideman convert on a one time pass that beat Miikka Kiprusoff through the five hole just minutes before the second period came to an end.

The Flames were rewarded with some opportunities in the third period as they were given three powerplay chances in the last eight minutes of the game. Like usual however a disorganized offensive attack garnered very little in terms of offensive pressure and scoring chances. This game certainly did not lend itself towards the viewer as both teams seemed rather stagnant over the course of the sixty minutes. Offensively this team is not performing up to their capabilities as it seems that only a handful off our forwards are producing on a game to game basis. It is quite apparent that the losses of Alex Tanguay and specifically Mark Giordano are taking a toll on the results of this team.

A slight lineup change by Brent Sutter saw him utilize Blake Comeau at center as he feels that his current group of pivots are not playing physical enough and are struggling in the defensive zone because of it. Although I agree that Comeau provides a nice jolt of physicality into the middle of our lineup, I am not so sure he has the hockey smarts to play such an important position. It is becoming increasingly obvious to the followers of this club that this team is not really capable of playing at above the level they have demonstrated through out the first half of the season. Calgary will now head out to Boston in hopes of ending this grueling seven game road trip on a positive note.

Three Stars

1. Nicklas Backstrom (3 Assists)
2. Alexander Ovechkin (1 Goal, 1 Assist)
3. TJ Brodie (1 Assist)


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