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The five game takeaways

The key points from the Flames-Hurricanes tilt

Tuesday, 11.01.2011 / 7:01 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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The five game takeaways

RALEIGH, NC -- In a wild, back-and-forth affair, the Calgary Flames saw themselves fall behind by three goals before battling back and pushing the game to a shootout where they fell 6-5 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

Miikka Kiprusoff allowed four goals before being pulled. Henrik Karlsson took over at 5:37 of the second period and made 21 saves.

Jay Bouwmeester and Jarome Iginla picked up first period goals with Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen replying for Carolina.

The second period saw the Hurricanes score three goals before the Flames pushed back late in the frame. Erik Cole, Eric Staal and Jokinen gave the home side a 5-2 lead before Niklas Hagman scored his ninth of the season.

Curtis Glencross and Rene Bourque completed the Flames comeback with third period markers, pushing the contest to extra time.

The Hurricanes nearly ended the game in the dying seconds of overtime when Jokinen sent a wrist shot towards a wide open net with Karlsson sprawled on the ice. Somehow, the netminder managed to get himself up high enough to block the shot with his body to send the game to a shootout.

Youngster Jeff Skinner scored the lone goal in the shootout, giving the Hurricanes the 6-5 win.

TAKEAWAY ONE: A quality shift

The Flames were able to open their four-game road swing in fine fashion thanks to an excellent shift by Bouwmeester in which he helped prevent a goal right before scoring one.

Eric Staal dished the puck to Zach Boychuk at Flames blueline and the youngster got behind the defence. He looked like he had all the room in the world to shoot but Bouwmeester used his speed to get back into the play, taking away an passing lanes for Boychuk.

After the puck was sent into the neutral zone, Bouwmeester took off. He jumped into the play in the offensive zone and was in the perfect spot for Jarome Iginla to pass him the puck. With Olli Jokinen right in front of him, distracting the defence, Bouwmeester wired a shot from the slot and beat Cam Ward high stick side at 4:13 of the opening stanza.

It was Bouwmeester's fourth tally of the season and his first goal in 19 games.

TAKEAWAY TWO: Tip top line

The Flames first line, led by Iginla, was on fire against the Hurricanes. Iginla and Olli Jokinen assisted on the Flames opening goal and then gave them the go-ahead goal nine minutes later.

Alex Tanguay won a battle along the half-wall and passed it off to Iginla, who was waiting by the faceoff circle. The captain skated towards the net, faked a shot and passed it back to Tanguay.

The winger quickly passed it back to Iginla, who had moved into the slot and he let a hard wrist shot go. Ward made the initial save but Iginla grabbed his own rebound and threw it in the net, scoring his 18th of the year. Iginla's two point period pushed him to 39 on the season.

The trio continue to generate chances all evening, combining for nine shots on net and five points.

Iginla's assist on Bouwmeester's goal was his 500th career helper.

TAKEAWAY THREE: Penalty killing prowess

The Hurricanes enjoyed the game's first four minors called in the contest, including a 53 second five-on-three opportunity, but Calgary was up to the task with some textbook penalty killing.

Led by a fiesty Glencross, the Flames often had more chances during Hurricanes power plays than the home team did.

During one sequence, Hurricanes captain Staal broke his stick at the blueline, decided to dump the puck and skate back to his bench to grab a new one. Glencross seemed to sense what Staal was about to do and went with his instinct. He skated towards Staal, saw him drop his stick and then nabbed the puck. He took off towards the offensive zone with Jeff Skinner hot on his heels and was able to get a shot off. The puck nearly went over Cam Ward's glove but the goaltender was able to grab it just before it fell behind him.

Overall, Glencross had three of the Flames five scoring opportunities on the penalty kill on Tuesday night.

TAKEAWAY FOUR: Not Kipper's night

Despite his stellar play season after season, like any other netminder, Miikka Kiprusoff has off nights and he wasn't quite on his game on Tuesday night.

Kiprusoff allowed four goals on eight shots and while the first two Hurricanes goals could not be blamed on him, the second two he allowed are goals he'd like back.

First, Cole had a puck bounce off of him thanks to a Jussi Jokinen pass from behind the net. The puck bounced past Kiprusoff to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the game at 2:16 of the second period.

The second soft goal came when Staal sent a shot from a sharp angle that trickled in between Kiprusoff's legs as he shuffled over to the hug the post. That goal ended the Finn's night in net and Henrik Karlsson took over.

TAKEAWAY FIVE: Scoring by committee

Knowing they cannot rely on one line to produce offence night after the night, the Flames have said they need to have every line generate chances each game. They got just that on Tuesday.

Every line had at least a single point in the game and the defence contributed a goal and an assist. That kind of offensive production was essential to the Flames comeback in the third period, with Glencross and Bourque finding the back of the net in the final frame in regulation.

Overall, 10 Flames players were able to contribute points in the shootout loss.