CALGARY 3 VANCOUVER 2
GAME AT A GLANCE
CALGARY — After a rough first period that saw two Canucks goals in a span of 12 seconds, the Flames rebounded and scored three unanswered goals to win the game and sole possession of the Northwest Division.
Jarome Iginla got the Flames on the scoreboard early in the second period. Adrian Aucoin’s shot from the blue-line was stopped by Roberto Luongo but Daymond Langkow picked up the rebound and tapped it across the crease to a waiting Iginla. His 49th of the season came at 2:11.
The third period saw the Canucks get caught up in penalty trouble. After being called for too many men on the ice, Taylor Pyatt took down Iginla and was sent to the box for hooking. The first five-on-three didn’t result in any goals but shortly after the initial penalty expired, Alex Burrows knocked the net off its moorings and gave the Flames another five-on-three power play.
The two-man advantage didn’t last for long. Daymond Langkow put home his 29th of the season with a tip-in from Alex Tanguay. With Flames swarming the net, Tanguay slid the puck right through to Langkow, who was waiting right in front of the net. The goal came just 21 seconds into the five-on-three power play, at 10:46.
“It’s such a tough play for the goaltender. I’ve got the puck and I’ve got different options. I don’t think he had much of chance to react to it,” said Tanguay.
Dion Phaneuf scored the game winner 41 seconds later, taking a stretch pass from Adrian Aucoin and blasting it over Luongo’s shoulder. The Canucks were in the middle of a line change at the time, giving Phaneuf just enough time and space to get in the zone and shoot. After the game, Phaneuf said that he knew where he wanted to put the puck when he received the quick pass.
“I tried to beat him up top, he came out and luckily I got it up over him,” said Phaneuf.
The Pengrowth Saddledome exploded into cheers after the go-ahead goal and Phaneuf credited the fans for being a motivator.
“We’ve got some of the best fans in the league and for them to cheer the way they do and as loud as they get, it’s great support and we’re very lucky to have it.”
The first period wasn’t as kind to the Flames as the following two. They were outshot 21-7, the most shots they’ve given up in a period all season, and gave up two goals. The Canucks dominated the period and after the first 20 minutes had finished, it looked like Vancouver were going to have another win in the season series.
Iginla said that the team was too tentative in the first frame but thought the team rebounded well after several big penalty kills at the end of the first period.
“We got some big kills to give ourselves a chance to stick with it. We were on the body and we just kept coming.”
The only fight of the night came just five seconds into the game. Jim Vandermeer was put on the point for the third game in a row and dropped the gloves with Taylor Pyatt as soon as the puck dropped. The fight was long and both men landed several hard shots before being pulled apart.
The Flames meet the Canucks once more this season, on April 5th, in Vancouver.
THE BIG SAVE: Miikka Kiprusoff robbed Taylor Pyatt twice after the Canucks forward snapped a wrist shot right in front of the net and then picked up his own rebound. Iginla had just scored the Flames first goal of the night and a third Canucks goal would have made it hard for Calgary to bounce back from.
THE BIG HIT: Jarome Iginla helped keep the momentum going in the third period when he leveled Alexander Edler behind the Canucks net. The defenseman was thrown to the ice from the force of the hit and the crowd let the captain know they loved the hit with some deafening cheers.
THE TURNING POINT: The Canucks penalties came back to bite them in the third period. On their second five-on-three, the Flames managed to score the equalizer. Daymond Langkow made a beautiful tip-in on a pass from Alex Tanguay at 10:46.
QUOTABLE: "We felt like ‘Hey, we’re coming back, this is playoffs, this is how you do it’. The only way to win is to regroup, not worry about what just happened but what we should do. I think the guys responded to that,” – Craig Conroy on the how the Flames rebounded from a 2-0 deficit.
THE ROSTER: The Flames scratches were D Rhett Warrener (ankle), D David Hale, F Mark Smith, F David Moss and F Kristian Huselius.
WORTH NOTING: Matthew Lombardi shook up Luongo late in the third period. His wrist shot hit the netminder in the net and he stayed on the ice for several moments before getting back up … Eric Godard and Jeff Cowan were ready to scrap off of a faceoff but they were halted by the referees. Both men took unsportsmanlike conduct penalties before the puck was even dropped … Kristian Huselius was a healthy scratch and missed his first game of the season. Dustin Boyd took his place.
BY THE NUMBERS: Iginla now as 11 goals in 11 games … With his assist on Dion Phaneuf’s goal, Adrian Aucoin now has 300 points in his career … Owen Nolan has no goals in 19 games … The Canucks goals were separated by a mere 12 seconds … Jim Vandermeer and Taylor Pyatt got the game started with a fight 5 seconds into the first period.
UP NEXT: The Flames host their bitter rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, on Hockey Night In Canada on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.