There won’t be any goaltending awards given out after Calgary’s 5-4 win over the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night. A couple of major mistakes and weak positional play from both goalies left the flood gates open and the players took advantage of it, with Jarome Iginla (2G, 1A) and Curtis Glencross (1G, 2A) leading the way for the victors tonight.
The first period started out quite slow-in the first 10 minutes, there were 6 shots total-but David Moss got it going at 10:06, with a tip in of a Curtis Glencross point shot for his second goal of the year. The Flames, buoyed with the guarantee of avoiding the “Glencross-Scores-First-Curse”, added to their lead two minutes later when Jarome Iginla displayed a little of that vintage Iggy. Iginla powered past the Canadiens defenseman and placed the perfect wrister behind Price for the 2-0 lead. The Flames would keep that lead until a bad rebound allowed Tomas Plekanec to snap a power play quickie past Miikka Kiprusoff with 4 seconds left in the period. Shots in the Flames-dominated period were 18-9 for the good guys and they also out chanced the visitors 9-4 in the frame.
Things calmed down in the second shot and chance wise, but it still managed to be quite a lively affair. Max Pacioretty tied the game up at 2 with his 27th (!) of the year just before the halfway mark of the period. It didn’t take long for the Flames to pull ahead once again though with Mark Giordano absolutely OJ’ing a Glencross pass at the point for his 6th of the season. With just over a minute and a half remaining in the period, Iginla got on the scoreboard once again, thanks to a positional gaffe from Carey Price. Shots in the period were 10-9 in favour of the Flames; they also won the chance battle 6-2.
An absolutely futile third period began with a Ryan White penalty just over three minutes in, but the ineptness of the Flames’ Power Play once again reared it’s ugly head with the Flames barely being able to hold the zone. The Flames would recover a little when Glencross would get his 23rd of the season-an absolute gift from Price-at 7:16 to put the Flames up big. Lars Eller, on his knees and without his real girl, somehow got a pretty brutal shot to get by Kiprusoff less then two minutes later. Flames fans started to panic at 12:06 when a horrible non-call led to Max Pacioretty’s 2nd goal of the night. Pacioretty’s linemate, David Desharnais, was all over Kiprusoff and to my eye completely impeded Kiprusoff’s movement by his own accord. It became even more apparent that the refs had put away their whistles in the waning minutes of the game; with Matt Stajan being blatantly tripped, blindsided and tripped again within the span of two shifts. Stajan was working his ass off out there and just couldn’t get a call-but the Flames weathered the storm and Kiprusoff shut the door a couple more times to seal the deal. Shots in the third were 6-10 in favour of the Canadiens in the third and the Flames were thoroughly out-chanced by a 2-8 margin.
1. Jarome Iginla
2. Max Pacioretty
3. Curtis Glencross
Really, just a straight-up, grade-A ugly game tonight. Were it not for the grace of Carey Price, the Flames would’ve squandered a 2-goal lead in the 3rd and would’ve been heading to overtime. At this point of the season, though, the team is what it is and while I don’t like the goals scored against, they did win. That 2-on-1 to finish the game was pretty brutal, though. Blech.
Obviously, the big negative here is that a couple more injuries may be added to the infirmary list, but we’ll have to see Friday. A team dressing 9 replacement players (3 of whom are emergency call-ups) can’t realistically compete for a playoff spot, but so it goes. Doesn’t help that the Flames playoff chances took quite the hit tonight with Dallas winning and San Jose getting a loser point.
The Flames’ next game is Friday, when they host the Winnipeg Jets. Game time is 7 PM Mountain (FAN 960 and Sportsnet West).