Call the ‘referee ombudsmen’ because there’s something fishy about this one. The NHL should be embarrassed when referees make such unabated attempts to skew the outcome of games. Conspiracy theorists will giggle with glee that Gary Bettman’s policy to prop up American teams in struggling markets is working and confirmed.

All kidding aside, Calgary dug themselves in a hole early but clawed back to take a late lead. At that point the refs took over with exceptionally questionable calls.

In all seriousness, the NHL can’t afford to have such important games at this late stage in the season determined by excruciatingly pitiful officiating.

The Flames never should’ve been in the game. They suffered from serious indecision in the early stages. 5 minutes in they were down 3-0, a lame display of playoff style hockey.

Kiprusoff was pulled and that seemed to stop the bleeding, but you really didn’t expect the Flames squad to make or even bother to mount a comeback.

But they did, to their credit, they started to claw back lead by none other than Tom Kostopoulos who contributed with a three point night.

His late first period goal gave the Flames some life.

Little by little in the second Calgary started gaining ground chipping away at the 2 goal lead. First, Rene Bourque scored on his drive towards the net, and then Kostopoulos with his second of the game late in the second for the tie.

Heading into the third Calgary continued to dominate play creating glorious scoring chances but failing to finish. It wasn’t until a powerplay 7 minutes in when Jarome Iginla snapped his 33rd for the lead.

That’s when things got ridiculous.

The phantom penalty calling began with a ‘hooking’ on Matt Stajan. Because of the angle the ref at center ice made the bogus call. Stajan just leaned on his stick and the Anaheim player took a dive into the boards.

Calgary killed that one off.

Then the idiocy continued. Rene Borque with 3 minutes remaining called for ‘elbowing’. Elbowing? Replays were clear Bourque had his elbows down and the shorter Anaheim player hit his chest. Terrible call. (It should be noted, dirty player Corey Perry hit Mikael Backlund in the head from behind yet it was only a ‘2 minute boarding’ call, unreal.) Sure Bourque didn’t need to make contact but my oh my what a questionable call.

Anaheim capitalized on their second gift powerplay (maybe a shot Karlsson should’ve had).

Off to OT where Calgary secured one point but needed two in light that Chicago and Nashville keep winning (nobody is helping the FLames that’s for sure.)

In OT, a PENALTY SHOT called against the Flames. Tough call to make, but it was the right one….Karlsson with the save.

Huge save, but short lived celebration as the next play Anaheim scored sending a sigh of relief to the officials who were hankering for an Anaheim win.

Calgary suffered their loss because they were not prepared out of the gate. They honestly don’t deserve to make the playoffs if they can’t string together a 60 minute performance.

They also are clearly having problems at the C position and Sutter doesn’t seem to be concerned with putting out the only C’s’ he has on defensive zone faceoffs.

Great battle for one point but not time to mope. They’re in LA tomorrow where we can expect a pissed of Flames team to show up in flying force–or least we can hope.