They did all the right things, and up until 5 minutes left in the game, it looked like another evening of doing all the right things but coming up short in the win column (and goal scoring). In the first edition of the Battle of Alberta (is this really a battle anymore?) Edmonton took the early lead on the PP and the Flames couldn’t seem to get things moving offensively.
Sutter seemed bent on rolling three lines, probably more out of necessity that nobody was producing offensive chances. Shots came from the outside but the Flames started to figure things out slowly. Without any young talent of their own, Calgary welcomed the ‘exciting’ arrival of Brendan Morrison who returned from a knee injury. He played on the third line with Hagman and Bourque. His impact was immediate particularly in the face-off circle.
The effort in the first two periods was listless, sometimes bordering on pathetic. THe lack of excitement translated on the ice. After a quick start the Flames managed 4 shots in the second period and 11 in the third. Although Calgary started to generate chances, on the dead PP and 5v5, you had the sense their effort would be all for not by night’s end. How many times have we seen the Flames play 60 minutes, do ‘all the right things’ but turn up at the losing end of the stick? Too many.
Tonight the Flames kept pressing and the younger more inexperienced Oilers struggled to respond. Credit the PK in the third for keeping the game within 1 until Jay Bouwmeester and the second line got things rolling. With pressure mounting Bouwmeester scored his first off of the transition–Jokinen going to the net.
Two shifts later it was the ‘top line’ maintaining pressure down low and–surprisingly–Cory Sarich with a nice move on the point to get the puck to the net which ricocheted to Tanguay who batted the puck into the open net for the lead. A solid come from behind win for a team in desperate need of getting on the right track.
Notes: Iginla without any points yet again. MOrrison returned, Babchuk out, Smith in. NY Rangers here on Thursday. The Flames have started their first of 6 home games, their longest homestand of the season. Peckham with one shift. Matt Stajan making his millions playing 7 minutes.