On Remembrance Day, the Flames almost scorched the Leafs with a 4-1 lead, and it was, by far, their best performance on ice: they controlled the face-offs, played well in the defensive zone, and made smart plays offensively. Despite all the right moves, they won by just one goal; but managed to get the well deserved two points.
It had been a very spirited first period and a terrific start for the Flames with minor disagreements between the two teams. Things looked very bright for the fans and shots on goals 9-14 favoured the home team. Conspicuously, it was the home team that got the first two penalties at 3:46 (Glencross for Interference) and Pardy (for hooking) at 8:33 marker of the first. It was the latter’s hooking call that opened the scoreboard for the Leafs â€“ a penalty that changed the momentum for the Leafs momentarily. However, determined Flames didnâ€™t give up too easy. Boyd quickly tied the game at 11:20 with Bertuzzi and Regehr drawing the assists. Both teams capitalized on power play opportunities â€“ Iginla scored for the Flames at 12:46 (6th power play goal) with Phaneuf and Langkow assisting on the play. This goal instigated the Flames to maintain their one goal lead. They made every effort to blanket Kipper to help him make major saves. In brief, the Flames stuck to their game plan.
In the 2nd period, while the Flamesâ€™ defence (Regehr, Sarich) did a good job blocking key shots and making great plays, the shooting gallery opened at the midway mark. Nystrom, Conroy, Boyd, and Bertuzzi became extremely dominant and made it difficult for the Leafs to change lines. Their efforts paid off at 19:32 of the second when Phaneuf put in his 3rd goal with Iginla and Giordano drawing the two assists. Shots on goal were even at 9 and the Flames led 3-1.
It was a scrambly 3rd period and an injury to the Flamesâ€™ Sarich brought momentary anxiety to the Flames – not for long though. At 11:13, Dustin Boyd scored his second of the night (6th of the season) with Glencross and Giordano making great plays. This goal gave the Flames a 4-1 lead over the Leafs. Phaneufâ€™s boarding penalty at 12:50 mark was a crucial penalty and although adamant Flames killed it off, the opponents scored 3 seconds later to come within a pair. Resilient Flames – Moss, Conroy , Nystrom struggled with determination to protect the two goal lead and created a lot of offence. Boyd almost scored his 3rd of the night and Kipprusoff hung on. Alas, the ending was not as sweet as the beginning. The Leafs scored at 14:53 and again at 19:06 to come within one goal â€“ a tipped effort from the Flamesâ€™ defence Dion Phaneuf and of course the man advantage due to the net being empty. Shots on goals 14-9 favouring the Leafs.
Lest we forget: The Flames had their best performance of the night
Face offs â€“ 38:20 in favour of the Flames (almost 2:1)
The Flames remained dominant for the most part; a cohesive effort from all team players.
Flames goals were scored by Boyd (2), Iginla (PP), and Phaneuf,
The Three stars of the game: Boyd, Phaneuf and Regehr
Flames confront the Sharks in the Tank. Game will be televised on PPV.