Between the Predators and Red Wings, The Calgary Flames by far have the hardest schedule coming down the stretch run. It’s a good thing they’re playing some of their better hockey of the year. Coming off a crucial win against the Wings on Tuesday, Calgary sits in eight spot one point behind the Preds and still one point ahead of the Red Wings who move into a tie for 8th.
Every game is crucial and in the last 15 the Flames need to win at least 11 in order to make the playoffs. Will they continue the winning streak? Ottawa got all the sorry calls last time the two teams met. Something about Ottawa diving repeatedly to get calls leaves a bad taste in my mouth (four dives lead to penalties, pathetic).
The game finally got started after 45 minute delay because 12 Flames personnel couldn’t figure out how to replace a 400 pound pane of glass. The side glass doesn’t break that often but 45 minutes!?
Tonight Calgary hit the PP first once the game finally got underway. For the better part of 2 periods, despite Ottawa getting plenty of PP chances, the pace is really slow. The fans were lethargic and play just seemed to develop slowly.
Calgary did score the only goals after two thanks to a first period marker from the revamped fourth line. I like the fourth line and if anything the trades that added 9 new Flames players benefited that line the most.
The new revamped lines were reaping praise for three games because of their outpouring in scoring. Tonight it all went dry. All lines were searching for answers on how to generate opportunities and fire shots on goal. Maybe it’s just home ice?
Ottawa poured on late when the Flames decided to collapse in a defensive shell (which never works out). Kiprusoff had to wake up and bail the team out numerous times late in the third period.
During the losing streak it was the Flames who were burned by quick turnovers. Recently the tide has changed as noted on Chris Higgins second goal in as many games (would be great if he caught fire). He fired a one-time shot off a Ian White pass to give the FLames insurance late.
Notes: Same line up as the Detroit. Vancouver is up Sunday. Kipper with his fourth shut-out of the season, 34th of his career.