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Blackhawks down, Flames skate to 3-1 home victory
A complete team effort by the Calgary Flames on Friday night paved the way to an impressive victory over the recently struggling Chicago Blackhawks. As one would expect, it was the captain leading the offensive charge as Jarome Iginla tallied a goal and an assist to help the hometown Flames triumph by a 3-1 score.
Calgary - February 4, 2012 - A complete team effort by the Calgary Flames on Friday night paved the way to an impressive victory over the recently struggling Chicago Blackhawks. As one would expect, it was the captain leading the offensive charge as Jarome Iginla tallied a goal and an assist to help the hometown Flames triumph by a 3-1 score.
A dormant ten minutes of hockey to begin the game saw both teams struggling to find their range and as a result it provided a very small amount of excitement to the viewer. This however would change at the 12:24 mark of the first period when Olli Jokinen received a drop pass from Jarome Iginla and proceeded to absolutely wire a slap shot over the shoulder of goaltender Ray Emery. At first glance the puck appeared to strike off of the crossbar but upon further review it was determined that the shot had actually hit the back bar inside of the net. For the remainder of the first period Chicago would push offensively which ended up paying dividends with less then thirty seconds remaining on the clock. A brilliant display of patience and vision by one of the top playmakers in the league saw Patrick Kane spot defensemen Brent Seabrook sneaking in from the point for his fourth goal of the season.
The second period truly belonged to the home team as Calgary outshot the Blackhawks by a 16-6 margin while also managing to out chance the opposition by a 13-3 total. This display of dominance would not go unrewarded as Calgary was given the opportunity they needed to blow the game open when Michael Frolik was assessed a four minute penalty for high sticking. On the ensuing man advantage Jay Bouwmeester would net his fourth goal of the season when he pounded a Mikael Backlund rebound past Ray Emery with just over a minute left to play in the second frame. This was without a doubt the most impressed I have ever been with Jay Bouwmeester’s offensive game since joining the Calgary Flames two seasons ago. When he commits himself to being active in the offensive zone he becomes a legitimate threat for the opposing team to focus on, and as a result of this it opens up time and space for likes of Jarome Iginla and Mike Cammalleri.
The third and final period proved to be a much more competitive twenty minutes of hockey as neither team was ready to let up on the evening. Unlike in the past few home outings Calgary was able to avoid any huge defensive breaks downs as they finally showed an intensity that will keep their playoffs hopes alive moving down the stretch. The newly reunited tandem of Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla would put the game out of reach when Tanguay executed a perfectly placed breakout pass that sprung the captain on a breakaway. From that moment on it was all Jarome Iginla as he out waited the goaltender and slid a gentle backhand into the gaping net for his 19th goal of the season.
The Chicago Blackhawks would proceed to pull their goalie with two minutes remaining in the game but were unable crawl back into the mix of things as Calgary recorded their 24th victory of the season.
GAME DAY NOTES
- Miikka Kiprusoff set a franchise record for most games played by a goaltender in the Calgary Flames organization with 527 starts passing the great Mike Vernon.
- Lee Stempniak has been placed on the IR and is expected to miss up to six weeks with a high ankle sprain.
- Journeyman forward Krys Kolanos played his first NHL game in over three years after being unable to play hockey at all for over a year due to having microfracture surgery on his left hip. Making things even better for Kolanos the Calgary Flames signed him to a two year, two way contract that will give him the opportunity to become a fixture for his hometown team that he grew up watching. So far this season Kolanos has accumulated 40 points in 34 games with the Abbotsford Heat of the AHL.
- Olli Jokinen finally got on the score sheet after only scoring once in the past 15 games.