February 27 2011 09:08PM
In a game where this is virtually nothing seperating the two competitors, sometimes all it takes is one, and that's all it took on Sunday night as the Calgary Flames got back on the winning side of things, taking a 1-0 win over the St. Louis Blues at the 'Dome. It was as even a hockey game you could ever watch, but a David Moss third period goal was the difference, as Calgary went from eighth to tenth and finally to sixth in the Western Conference Standings.
The first period was kind of a fair representation of this one, as there just wasn't a whole lot going on. Thanks to a four minute powerplay, Calgary would hold the edge in terms of Kent's scoring chances, but the story was how both teams were kept to the perimiter for most of the opening frame. St. Louis blocked a ton of shots while Calgary did a nice job positionally do limit any damage.
The second period was much the same story, with the Blues getting the edge in the scoring chance category this time around. Neither team was really wanting to put too much into the offensive side of things with the margin so thin, so even when there were chances, they got away on both sides with the tentative nature of the hockey game.
The final frame saw Calgary finally break through, taking advantage of a St. Louis turnover at 5:39. Alex Tanguay would find David Moss near the slot and his 15th of the season was an important one. That would kind of change things, and as the Blues started to play the score, the game opened up. St. Louis had their opportunities before and after the Moss goal, and they'd have a golden chance to tie it late, going on the powerplay thanks to a Cory Sarich holding call. The Blues thought they had tied it, but the correct call had it as a no goal thanks to a high stick...shortly thereafter, Patrick Berglund would ring a shot off both posts, and that was all she wrote. The score was about as accurate as you can get...Calgary wasn't markedly better, but they took advantage of a chance one more time.
One Good Reason...
...why the Flames won? They got a timely goal in an even hockey game. Plain and simple, both teams played things extremely close to the vest, and neither team looked like a world beater. But when you get your chances, as few and far between as they may be, you have to make good on them...and Calgary did it in the third period. St. Louis wasn't too upset about the loss, so things might be just as close in the return engagement on Tuesday.
Going back to back is Moss, an absolute beast once again. He scored the only goal, but was added value in more ways than that. He drove possession, was physical, and was rewarded by being bumped to a top line role midway through the second period. Moss has been Calgary's best forward for the past two months in my eyes, but as Kent points out, he can't be doing it on his own forever...the top end needs to pull their weight a whole lot more than they did the past two games.
Sum It Up
It's another crucial two points, regardless of how they got it. Had things bounced the other way, which they aren't doing much lately, St. Louis could have easily won this hockey game. They didn't, Calgary did, and they move to sixth in the Western Conference. They're not going to move much higher than that, as I'd slot San Jose in Phoenix into those three and four slots, in some order.