Calgary Blows Lead in Last Five Minutes

The Flames did exactly what they shouldn’t have done if they wanted to explore any chances of winning the series–give the Sharks life. For a brief period in the third Calgary’s top lines literally shut it down, and were scored on as a result. Lackluster efforts to clear the zone, poor decisions, and overall lazy defensive play were no match for SJ’s relentless assault with 5 minutes left. Calgary could have gone up 3-1 in the series, had the peddle to the metal, but now are coasting along with more questions than opportunities. The best of seven is now a best of three with SJ accepting home ice advantage.

Captain Jarome Iginla got the game rolling for the home team which ignited the “Sea of Red”. The goal was scored at the 3:19 marker. However, something else happened on ice – a couple of inconspicuous plays that may be misconceptions but they are worth mentioning. Jim Vandermeer was punched by Jody Shelley, and although he was penalized for two minutes, the culprit deserved more than that. He (Shelley) had also tripped (or was it slashed?) Mikka Kiprusoff – clearly an unsportsmanlike conduct in the eyes of the fans.

More importantly, it was Craig Conroy’s penalty that actually helped the Sharks get on the scoreboard at 9:43 of the 1st period. The power play goal from Ryane Clowe was again an inconspicuous play as he (Clowe) had pushed Adrian Aucoin during the Shark’s power play, which should have been interpreted as an interference penalty call for the Sharks. Despite the odds, the Flames maintained their persistence as Dion Phaneuf blasted a shot past Nabokov to take the lead again. Later in the game, Langkow’s wrist shot clanged off the crossbar

However, the most disappointing play occurred within the final minutes of the play (as usual) which silenced the C of Red and stunned the Calgary Flames. The icing call had been made in favor of the Sharks, yet it was the Flames’ captain who had conspicuously kicked the puck away from the boards. The icing eventually cost the Flames the game as the Sharks scored the winning goal within the final seconds of the game, which resulted in a disappointing loss for the Flames.

Notes: The Flames goals were scored by Jarome Iginla and Dion Phaneuf. The Flames were not themselves and the chemistry that was evident in game 3 (the great comeback) was apparently absent. Additionally being 0 for 4 on the power play was unusual. More importantly, the 10-2 shots on goal (in the 1st period) in favor of the Sharks reveal a different story.

The series is tied at 2. The Sharks will host game 5 at the HP Pavillion on Tonight at 08:00 pm (MT).