The NW division pre-playoff race is in full swing and Calgary is 2-1 in the series. Tonight, things looked bleak at home. Two goals in less than 20 seconds in the first and being outshot 20-4–things looked bleak at home. Calgary did their usual no-show in the first ‘every other game’ and the home crowd were stunned the trend still continues. You really begin to wonder why the Flames don’t play 60 minutes–those games win cups–but alas, they prefer the nail-biters.

Things started loud and proud. Vandermeer is working for his paycheck, for the third time in four games he dropped the gloves in the first 10 seconds. This time he lined up against Taylor Pyatt and scored a narrow victory. There was a see-saw battle until Calgary got into early penalty trouble and contributed to Vancouver dominance. Two quick goals less than 15 seconds apart from a PP and a Kipper gaff had the home town crowd shaking its head. Would the Flames recover?

In the second they showed spurts of returning back to the bread and butter forecheck. However, it was the third period that proved the difference. The third spelled disaster for the Canucks as they chose the third period to get into penalty trouble and you know that after numerous 5v3 PP opportunities Calgary had to score–they did. First Daymond Langkow tip in off a Tanguay pass, that was for a tie. Then 2 minutes later Dion Phaneuf took a long feed and went down the boards alone and wired home his 17th of the season.

Can you believe it, Calgary returned from a poor first and ended up winning, outshooting the Canucks 40-32. Mind you fans can believe it, they just dont’ like the roller coaster ride. The Flames now sit first in the NW division and third in the West.

Notes: Huselius was a healthy scratch and was replaced by Nystrom (how that is an upgrade we don’t know…) Jarome Iginla took the first star scoring the tieing goal and assisted on another. Calgary outhit the Canucks 4v1. Morrison fell on his face during a TV break (the blue line tripped him). Cowan is still a coward.