Playing with #1
Winger shines on top line
Despite two big goals by Mike Cammalleri and Dustin Boyd, the Calgary Flames are feeling the heat as their 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues puts them just three points ahead of the surging Vancouver Canucks.
"We weren't desperate enough," said Jarome Iginla, who had a two point night.
Olli Jokinen also assisted on both Flames goals, earning his first points on Saddledome ice.
The Canucks start out on a six-game road trip on Saturday, playing once before the Flames face off against the Wings on Monday.
When asked what the team needs, head coach Mike Keenan was quick with his response.
"What we're looking for is that killer instinct," he told the media, adding the team knew what to do to gain motivation.
"Look at the standings."
Boyd netted his 11th of the year in the second period while waiting patiently in front of the net. Iginla threw a shot on Mason and in the scramble for the rebound Boyd was able to shovel it in. It was his third point in two nights.
Boyd has already surpassed his previous high of seven goals in the 2007-08 season and is one point away from doubling his points total from last season.
Teammate and roommate Eric Nystrom had only positive things to say about Boyd's play as of late.
"He's been a force," Nystrom said.
The team's best period was the second where they hemmed the Blues in their own zone for most of the period, scored two goals and sent 20 shots at Chris Mason. The team was buzzing the entire frame and Cammalleri knows they're got to have that kind of energy for a full 60 minutes.
"We'll look at it," he said. "The coaches will look at it and discuss what we did well."
The first and third period showcased some very disjointed passing attempts by Calgary and Cammalleri noted the team was aware of the problem.
"We need to rely on each other to make the plays we need to make."
Cammalleri got the Flames on the board while on the power play. Jarome Iginla made a quick pass to Olli Jokinen who was waiting on the side of the cage. The defenders surrounded the heralded centerman, leaving Cammalleri wide open on the left. Jokinen swept the puck over to Cammalleri who scored with his patented on-one-knee one-timer.
The goal was Cammalleri's 35th this campaign, a career high for the 26 year-old.
He had 34 goals in the 2006-07 season with the Los Angeles Kings and had been sitting on 34 tallies this season for six games before netting number 35 Friday night.
"It doesn't feel too good right now," sighed Cammalleri when asked about the career high.
He's now eight points shy of his 80 in the 2006-07 season.
Craig Conroy, who was a -1 on the night, was disappointed but was able to find positives in the loss.
"At times I felt like we were all over them, we were in their zone, we were pressuring," he said. "Teams are battling for these points and right now we have to find a way to start winning games. And win games in bunches. We've got to put a string together."
The team has the weekend off and Conroy said it gives them the opportunity to retune their focus.
"We'll regroup and get ready for the Wings on Monday."
Adam Pardy moved up in the lineup, replacing Andre Roy on the right wing. It was Pardy's first game since Mar. 6.
David Backes was the source of extremely loud disapproval from the C of Red during the first frame. The Blue winger skated into the Flames net and proceeded to hang off the crossbar, holding Miikka Kiprusoff hostage in his net. There was no call on the play.
David Perron drew the ire of the Dome in the third period when he took a swipe at Kiprusoff. The Flames collapsed on Perron, letting the Blues know they had enough. No penalties were drawn in the scrum.
Tim Barber won the Flames Red Hot Ram contest, getting a brand new truck and Sony home entertainment system.
THE NUMBERS GAME
35 - Goals on the year for Mike Cammalleri, a career high
36:33 - Time it took for Blues to accrue their first power play
THE BIG SAVE
THE BIG HIT
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
UP NEXT: The Flames have a rare weekend off. They'll face off against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. Game time is 7:30 p.m. on Rogers Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.