The Flames got their asses handed to them for the majority of the game tonight, but as we all know the better team doesn’t always win. This evening, it was another stroke of luck for the Flames as Matt Stajan scored the winner in dramatic fashion to give Calgary the game by a score of 3-2-keeping them in the playoff conversation.
The first period started out quite ominously, with Logan Couture scoring less then a minute into the game. The Flames looked like the stereotypical “chicken with their heads cut off” team for the first few shifts, completely throwing away two power play chances in the first seven minutes. Luckily, the poor start did not cost them anything on the scoreboard aside from Couture’s goal-but there could have been much more damage. The Flames continued to be out-chanced, but Kiprusoff kept the puck out. With about 30 seconds left in the period, Curtis Glencross took an ill-advised penalty, checking Jason Demers from behind in retaliation. Glencross’ goal streak would end, as he would be given a 5-minute penalty and a game misconduct. The Sharks out shot and out chanced the Flames in the period, 8-10 and 1-6 respectively.
For the first four and a half minutes in the second, the Flames were feeling the residual effects from Glencross’ hit, as they would continue to be a man down. The Sharks managed to get five shots on the extended PP, but the Flames kept the puck mostly to the outside and killed it off. Riding the wave created by the kill, Sven Baertschi potted the second goal of his young career off a terrible rebound given up by Antti Niemi. The game would continue to be controlled by the Sharks in the second, as they were helped with some questionable calls-including a Delay of Game call to Mark Giordano-but it didn’t faze the Flames. As the aforementioned Giordano stepped out of the box, he intercepted a pass and fed a beauty pass to Jarome Iginla-who of course went all Vintage Iggy and murdered that puck top ched off of the one-t to give the Flames the lead just before the end of the period. It was also Iginla’s 30th of the season, making it his 11th consecutive year scoring at least 30 goals. Calgary scored on all of their chances in the period (which is both good and bad, of course), but even though they were lacking in the chance department (2-7), they outshot the Sharks 9-8 in the frame.
Logan Couture would tie it with his second of the night just 1:22 in as a nice pass from Patrick Marleau found his stick. While it would take fourteen minutes for the Flames to register their first shot of the third period, the Sharks were not able to take further advantage of the Flames’ futility. A back and forth period resulted in the Flames winning the chance battle 3-2 even though they were outshot 2-9-but none of that mattered as the game was sent to overtime.
The Flames controlled the overtime period territorially, as all of the shots the Sharks got were in transition. The Sharks had the only chance in the period, but it was all for naught as MATT FREAKIN STAJAN scored off a Blake Comeau pass to win the game for the Flames with just under a minute left on the clock. Shots were 3-4 for the Sharks in OT.
1. Jarome Iginla
2. Matt Stajan
3. Logan Couture
The Flames won in exciting fashion and keep pace in the playoff race. Be happy, at least for tonight. 30 goals again for Iggy, another for SVEN, the continuing playoff push and the redemption of Matt Stajan-there’s no reason at all you should feel bad as a fan.