There was eager anticipation for the home crowd as their team would get a chance to do some damage on the visiting Red Wings. Calgary had the best regular season home-ice record with 30 wins. Would tonight prove to be equally rewarding?
Right off the bat things were noticeable different. Gone were the coasting and puck watching. In its place was hard hitting crash banging hockey. For a change this was actually an interesting series to watch. Early Calgary drew a penalty and the crowd was buzzing.
On the ensuing power-play Iginla, who has been non-existent at both ends of the ice, came oh so close ringing a shot off the post. Hearts stopped though a little later as Calgary amassed 6 minutes in PIM, 4 off a Keith Primeau high-stick.
Surprisingly it wasn’t 2-0 after the penalty, for a change Calgary gained some momentum from a successful kill. Maybe the team had found another gear to ride on in this series. The second period was much of the same with the teams trading chances.
Mid-way through the second Calgary went on the PP again and this time it was the second unit that broke in 3-2 and managed to a nice passing play to go up 1-0. Lombardi scored off a Tanguay pass, and luckily he managed to crash the net bumping Hasek in the process.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Detroit’s checking line cashed in on a weak goal that emanated from bad face-off coverage. Uh oh, Calgary was losing it. What could save us now from a melt down? Well how about a complete shatter of end-board glass behind Kipper? That would do it, the teams ended the period with 10 second left on the clock.
It would be a nail-bitter to the finish. Would Iginla step up? Conroy did, he had many chances and was crashing all night. Iginla? Nothing, not even a nice hit, a good pass, and all his shots were 7 feet off the ice. So who would step up and win this game?
Well we ragged on him before, but Iginla stepped up again. Detroit actually got on the board first after a clear elbow to the head by Cleary that knocked Phanuef woozy.
NHL Joke of League Condoning Elbows to Head
Have you heard of spearing in football? it’s leading with your head. Well this was spearing leading with an elbow. I need to see the replay again, but Clearly appears to charge, leave his feet and drive his elbow into the face of Phanuef. Detroit scored right after the hit. In the third period alone I counted 3 dirty hits (elbows to the head against the glass) from Detroit, none called. Either I don’t know anything about hockey or ALL teams are hitting to the head…. I guess the Flames need to learn a thing or two.
2-1 was the score and the Dome was silent. Luckily the team didn’t pack it in as they have before. Continuous pressure put them on the powerplay 3 times in the third and they capitalized. First, off a bad clearing pass by Lidstrom, Giordano put a shot in through a screen with Iginla in front. Tie game and the fans were back in it.
Five minutes later on a 3-2 break out Jarome Iginla, he woke up folks, managed to squeak by Lidstrom to break in on the RW alone and fired a perfect snap shot far post. Flames lead 3-2. Things were scary from then on, but guess what, the Flames are back in the thick of things holding the Wings off and collecting their first. The questions is, can they do it again Thursday?
Notes: Warrner and Phanuef both left the game with injuries. Warrener with a puck to the face, Phanuef after getting hit in the head. Both returned. Zyuzin and Giordano played well in relief, Gio scoring his first goal of the playoffs.