Post Game Report: Flames and Hawks
|With the Flames on a power play to start the second period, the puck hops over Adrian Aucoin's stick at the Hawks blueline. Patrick Sharp jumps on the puck and beats Kiprusoff on a breakaway, giving the Hawks a 2-1 lead. It was Sharp's fifth SHG of the season.|
|STATS AND NUMBERS|
- 800 games for Jarome Iginla in the NHL, all for the Flames
|THE BIG SAVE|
|In the third period Nikolai Khabibulin stops an Alex Tanguay slap shot and then robs Craig Conroy who was racing in for the rebound to keep the Hawks ahead 2-1.|
|THE BIG HIT|
|In the first period Eric Nystrom was chasing down a loose puck on the boards and was mashed by Hawk d-man James Wisniewski. The bone-rattler sent Nystrom to the ice but he quickly popped back up and jumped into the rush|
|The Flames recalled Dustin Boyd earlier in the day and he drew into his first game of the season starting on a line with Stephane Yelle and Eric Godard. However, he did centre the top line for a spell in the second period|
|The Flames travel to Denver for a date with the Avs, Saturday 5 p.m. MT.|
Notes, quotes and anecdotes from the Flames-Hawks game Thursday at the Pengrowth Saddledome.....
Two bad breaks. Two goals.
That's all it took for the Chicago Blackhawks to down the Calgary Flames 2-1. That and a hot goalie.
The Hawks scored two shorthanded goals -- they have a league-leading 10 this season -- and that was all the offence they needed.
"The first one was a miscue on a line change. The second one was just a bad break," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla.
Patrick Sharp and Jacob Dowell did the damage, scoring in similar fashion by pouncing on loose pucks in the neutral zone and scoring on breakaways, unassisted.
"Two bad breaks for Calgary," said Sharp. "But you can talk about the shorthanded goals all you want. Without Nik (goalie Nikolai Khabibulin) in there tonight, Calgary comes away with a win."
The Flames outshot Chicago 31-14 and pressed right to the end but Khabibulin was in his Bulin Wall mode.
"It's devastating as far as momentum," said Calgary head coach Mike Keenan of the two shorthanded goals against. "Then we couldn't get it by Khabibulin at the end."
Iginla said the Flames did what they wanted to do defensively.
"To play that well defensively...We have to score more than one goal. That's not going to get it done," said Iginla, who scored the Flames lone goal.
On the second shorthanded goal Iginla had flipped a pass to Adrian Aucoin on the blueline and it hopped over his stick.
"It came off the wall and bounced. It was just a bad break," said Aucoin. "They didn't get many good chances. We had an opportunity to tie it a few times. We generated some good offence. The game-winning goal was just a bad bounce."
An experiment in 3-D
Calgary coach Mike Keenan is not shy about juggling lines, that much we know.
On Thursday he tried something totally different, placing three defenceman out on a second period power play. With Anders Eriksson and Robyn Regehr manning the points, Dion Phaneuf was let loose as a power forward to crash, bang and get in front of the net.
Consider the experiment a success as Phaneuf went behind the Hawks net and backhanded a pass to Jarome Iginla who tapped home his 13th of the season from the doorstep to tie the game 1-1.
The formation was used again late in the second with Phaneuf getting off one of his rocket blasts from the half boards that nearly fooled goalie Nikolai Khabibulin.
"He gave us some energy, some compete up front on the power play," said head coach Mike Keenan.
Lethbridge product makes NHL debut
Kris Versteeg played three seasons in the WHL for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, his hometown.
He was recalled from the Hawks farm team earlier this week and made his NHL debut at the 'Dome on Thursday with plenty of friends and family in the house.
"Growing up in Lethbridge, to be playing my first game in Calgary is an absolute dream," said Versteeg.
He was drafted by Boston, 134th overall, in 2004 and was acquired by the Hawks last February in exchange for Brandon Bochenski. In 16 games with Rockford of the AHL this season he had two goals and nine assists.
Another Hawk, Jacob Dowell, made his NHL debut Thursday, too. And he made it count, picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone and scoring on a shorthanded breakaway in the second period.
"It's a great feeling. This team is on a great high right now," said Dowell.
No hard feelings
Blackhawk coach Denis Savard once played under Mike Keenan in Chicago (1988-90).
The two had a relationship you might want to term as turbulent in which Keenan pushed Savard hard.
He benched him, took away his captaincy and eventually traded him to Montreal for Chris Chelios.
Savard, who coached against his former coach for the first time Thursday, said he harbours no ill-will.
"Mike's a good coach and he had to do what he had to do then and that is just the way it goes," he said.