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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Canucks

Five key elements from the Flames-Canucks tilt

Saturday, 12.03.2011 / 9:36 PM / News
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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The Five Takeaways: Flames vs. Canucks
TAKEAWAY ONE: Fourth line alteration

Winger Fredrik Modin missed the Flames morning skate for what the coaching staff called maintenance. Recently recalled Lance Bouma was inserted on the fourth line with Mikael Backlund and Niklas Hagman in his absence but assistant coach Dave Lowry declared Modin a "game time decision."

When the Flames hit the ice for the warmup, Modin was nowhere to be seen and Bouma was slotted into the lineup for his sixth NHL game.

TAKEAWAY TWO: Stealing the puck and some dignity all at once

Over the course of his first full NHL season, Backlund's confidence has steadily grown and early in the game, he showed off just how much faith he has in his abilities.

Veteran Mikael Samuelsson was hoping to get the Canucks transition game kick-started early but as he attempted to carry the puck out of his own zone, Backlund came over and stripped him of it in a dazzling display of skill.

After he had taken over possession of the puck, he cruised through the slot. Alternating from his forehand to backhand, he didn't allow Roberto Luongo to commit to a shot and the move paid off. Backlund opted to roof it via his backhand, scoring his eighth of the season at 2:14 of the first period.

TAKEAWAY THREE: Rebounding ... like a Moss

After Daniel Sedin scored the Canucks second goal of the evening, the Flames top line responded in the exact fashion any coach would want: a grueling forechecking shift that ended in a goal.

Alex Tanguay backhanded a shot towards the net from the half-wall and Jarome Iginla was able to tip the shot directly on Luongo. The netminder made the initial save but couldn't corral the puck .
David Moss refused to see the play end there and he continued to whack away at the loose puck, finally burying it for his 17th tally of the season. Iginla and Tanguay earned the helpers.

TAKEAWAY FOUR: Penalty kill woes

The Canucks power play came into the game ranked first in the League, connecting over 24% of the time. That prowess with the man advantage came in handy for the visitors.

Vancouver's first power play goal came late in the first, cutting the Flames lead in half. Ryan Kesler was able to get a stick on Samuelsson's shot to deflect it past Kiprusoff's glove. The goal ended up giving them extra jump they carried over into the middle frame.

Their second power play marker came at 19:44 of the second period when Daniel Sedin scored his 37th of the year thanks a great pass from Kesler.

TAKEAWAY FIVE: What it all means

With the loss, the Flames are stalled at 81 points with 11 games remaining. As of Saturday night, they sit in the 8th and final playoff position.

The Phoenix Coyotes, Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks all have 81 points as well but they also have games in hand on the Flames.