Calgary arrived in Sunny Florida (why is hockey there again?) to play a hot and cold Florida team for the first and only time this season. The Flames were coming off a solid win against Chicago seeking to continue their trip to a playoff position (it’s a huge uphill battle now folks). The first period was a carry over from Chicago with Calgary dominating play for 20 minutes. The only problem? No goals.
Huselius had plenty, make that too many, scoring opportunities but nothing found the back of the net. Calgary’s old nemesis Vokoun continued his strong play against the play even in another uniform. Unfortunately for the Flames, their second period was not like the first.
A solid first period complete with a working forecheck and offense disappeared in the second period as Florida made adjustments. The teams appeared to switch places on the ice with Florida displaying all the offense and Calgary on the run suffering from an inability to clear the zone effectively.
On one of the numerous clearing attempts in the second period Langkow coughed the puck up right in the slot and Jokinen potted his 16th of the season. The shutout continued for Vokoun into the third period as the Calgary entered the last frame down 0-1.
After trading early powerplays Florida, along with the boring fans, slowed the Flames down to a crawl. The trap, left wing lock, whatever you want to call it, kicked in and Calgary buzzed but were kept to the outside.
Would the Flames pull it out of the hat in the last minute? With the empty net Eriksson played goal and made a nice toe save that Regher cleared a pass to Tanguay who managed to squirt free in the Florida zone to take one last shot on goal that was blocked. However, the rebound went to Iginla who snapped home his 17th of the season with just ten seconds left. How about that, Calgary tied it in the dying seconds.
That would mean despite dominating for 2/3rds of the game Calgary would steal one point with 10 seconds left. Overtime was the name of the game. Calgary pressured early with Phanuef tipping one off the post, *insert Don Cherry here*, but how many times do you see a great chance at one end and then a glorious one at the other end. Kipursoff makes a dazzling save seconds later.
End to end action in overtime with Tanguay getting the best chance alone on the a breakaway. Nobody scored so that meant shoot-out, Florida 3-0 and the Flames 0-2 in the SO.
It was the battle of the goalies, here’s how they faired:
Horton X : Huselius PRETTY back hand move and SCORES.
Jokinen X (Tried a pretty slow slider : Nolan X (tried to shoot five hole)
Kipursoff could win it with a save…
Weiss X – SAVE FLAMES WIN!
Flames Get 2 – .500 on the Road
Calgary stole two points in a game Florida was lucky to be thanks mostly to their goalie. No time to rest, Tampa Thursday and Carolina Friday. Nilson was left out of the lineup for Yelle who returned.