The Flames pulled into South California for a second game in three days. The score was the same as two nights ago vs. the Sharks, but this time Calgary was on the winning end. Both game required shootouts to determine a winner, and somehow, Calgary skated with teams that have been playing better than them this season.
Despite a rash of injuries and at times really frustrating play (3 first period shots?!?) Calgary’s scraping together points in a hotly contested Western Conference race. They sit tied for 9th with 50 points.
Tonight’s win can be attributed to one single hero–Miikka Kiprusoff. His timely saves bail out defensive lapses, tonight particularly in the overtime frame. Whenever Iginla is on the ice you cringe because he doesn’t play D essentially turning a 4v4 into a 4v3 with much more open ice.
Thankfully the hockey gods let the Flames play through their mistakes and steal two points. We can expect the game coming up in Edmonton Saturday to have even greater importance. Calgary has been playing slightly more consistent, but perhaps more importantly they’ll likely be getting some healthy bodies back in the lineup (Morrison and Tanguay).
A win vs. Edmonton would prep them for the next three games over the next 15 days–all against division leaders.
The season will be held in the balance in the next two weeks. Fans will have to hold their breathe a bit longer on this season….
Notes: Matt Stajan made his expensive return to the lineup playing marginal minutes on the forth line. Anton Babchuk sat. Roma Horak back in the lineup. Discussion on bringin Krys Kolanos up from the minors is heating up, but it seems to be a contract problem at this point (Flames only have room for one more pro contract).