Entering St. Louis Calgary embarks on one of their longest road-trips of the season. On year ago the Flames turned their crappy season around by winning six straight on the road. The importance of this road trip for the notoriously inconsistent Flames will probably impact the regular season results in a big way. Too bad the team showed up dead in the first, part of the second, but returned for some reason in the third.
The referees appeared to be letting the teams play but Calgary quickly got down 2-0 off a powerplay and regular strength goal. Terrible defensive play by ‘one a day’ Dion Phaneuf and the inability for Jarome Iginla to play defense (the same two every game lately on defense) contributed to the crappy first. Thankfully both responded on the other side of the puck.
Prust Leaves After Blow to Head
Calgary had to right the ship in the second and had a chance continuing their powerplay which was useless before it expired. Trading blows back and forth the teams started getting chippy finishing checks hard. The forth line got things going for Calgary with Primeau-Nystrom-Prust crashing and banging.
Prust coming off a first period fight with short tough-guy Cam Janssen was caught looking at his pass and elbowed in the face. Janssen clearly was headhunting Prust, purposefully got his elbow up, and caught him square in the chin. The head-shot debate will open from another apparent attempt to hit high and injure.
Calgary nonetheless fed off the garnered momentum and on a delayed penalty managed to draw within one off of Dion Phaneuf’s rush and a Rene Bourque goal. Phaneuf redeemed himself from his lazy defense earlier in the first. However, he answered his assist by coughing up the puck and taking a penalty in the process (a weak one at that) which lead to the Blues third goal (indirectly because Regehr saved a goal which he took a penalty on which resulted in the third goal.)
The refs were active in the game, not so much calling bad penalties against Calgary as most were legit, however, it was the blatant penalties they missed. St. Louis has two goals on the PP in the second, Calgary two PP in the third. Phaneuf can be credited for killing the Flames’ momentum twice, however, was instrumental in all of Calgary’s goals. Weak on D but four assists, love him and hate him folks.
In the second you were left wondering why the Calgary Flames continue to be an inconsistent team picking games to show up and play with any sense of desire. In the third, penalty trouble gave Calgary much needed sustained momentum and a chance to get back into the game.
Phaneuf may be questionable on defense but he put up the numbers on offense registering 4 assists. Jarome Iginla, another PP goal, and David Moss both scored to tie the game. That would spell the second overtime frame of the season for the Flames.
Bertuzzi almost set up his second of the game in the OT but Langkow couldn’t finish on the 2v1. Calgary wasn’t short of chances, but putting them in the net was the problem. Cammalleri tried to score four times, and on his fifth chance he found paydirt, on snap shot in overtime that fooled Mason and gave Calgary the come-from behind win.
So the on-again off-again Flames played a see-saw game, much like their season, and managed to come out on top on a beleaguered St. Louis lineup. Next up NY on Sunday, let’s hope for a sweep, but a more consistent 60 minute effort.