Calgary opened their 2008-09 playoffs at home in front of a largely subdued crowd. The Flames required an exceptional effort from their big guns in an attempt to thwart Chicago’s dominance on the series. With the likes of Havlat and Toews dominating the series thus far the home crowd waited to see who would step up.
First periods were huge for the Flames, in fact they’ve lead now 8 of 9 periods this series. Tonight, however, in the first period the home team were caught flat footed.
For the first time in the series Chicago struck first, and early, early enough to silence the home town crowd. You had a glimpse of a sensation that the entire series was at a loss. Calgary, to their credit, clawed back slowly, and late in the first period, the fourth line tied things up thanks to a beauty by Nystrom.
The see saw battle went back and forth in the second period much like game 1 and 2. What fans feared was the result would be the same as well.
It took a lucky bounce after Oli Jokinen went in hard on the forecheck to turn the tide. Rene Bourque, returning after ringing his nogging after throwing a hit, walked the goal-line and banked a puck off of Khabibulin, one that he should have had.
As a result Calgary went into the third with the lead, however, it didn’t take long for them to solidify their hold after David Moss struck not once, but twice, to give the Flames a three goal cushion.
Chicago made it 4-2 after Dion leveled Toews and was caught out of position (actually he had time to get back but took his sweet time).
Nine different Flames had points, which is good, different guys are contributing but it also means top players aren’t dominating. Total points from Igilna tonight? Zero. Cammalleri? Zero.
Iginla, where are you? 2 minutes of playing time in the third period. Not something indicative of an all-star.
Perhaps the dumbest thing for Chicago (Adam Burrish) to do is to wake up Iginla. If he tears it up from now on you have him to thank. And FYI, the bogus referees caught three slashes on Bourque, but they missed the monster two handed cross check from Burrish on Bourque. Totally appalling.
Notes: Big ups to Cory Sarich who’s penalty killing was huge in the third. Now nerves can be transferred to another must win game Wednesday at 8PM.