Flames, Blues meet seeking to rev up offenses
Tuesday, 12.15.2009 / 7:00 PM
NHL.comFLAMES (19-9-4) at BLUES (13-12-5)
Calgary 6-3-1; St. Louis 5-4-1
This is the second of four meetings. On Nov. 5, Dion Phaneuf scored 2:50 into overtime to give the Flames a 2-1 road victory. Phaneuf whistled a shot off the shin guard of St. Louis winger T.J. Oshie
and past goalie Chris Mason. Jarome Iginla
scored early in the first period and Miikka Kiprusoff
stopped 30 shots for the win. St. Louis used a third-period, power-play goal by rookie Lars Eller to tie the game. Eller, the 13th pick in the 2007 Draft, was making his NHL debut. He deflected a shot from the point by defenseman Erik Johnson with 12:45 left in the third period.
Where have all the goals gone? Despite a bushel of young, emerging talent, the Blues are last in the League in goals scored. The Flames, loaded with proven scorers, are in the middle of the pack.
Making matters worse, St. Louis has one of the worst home records (5-10-2) in the League. Last week, the Blues had a meeting to discuss their woes at the Scottrade Center.
"It wasn't a coach screaming or yelling at anybody," coach Andy Murray told the Post-Dispatch. "It was telling them, 'This is what you said you need to do, now we've got to do it.'"
This is the back end of a two-game road trip that began with a 3-2 loss at Colorado on Sunday.
Since veteran defenseman Cory Sarich
was sidelined in late November, journeyman Aaron Johnson has picked up his game to fill the gap. He scored his first goal of the season on Friday, one game after earning his first point of 2009-10, an assist.
"It kind of just came out in the slot. I was really just trying to put it on the net," Johnson said. "Obviously I'm very excited for my first goal as a Flame."
Forward Craig Conroy
returned to action on Sunday after being sidelined for two games with an undisclosed injury. He needs 2 points for 300 in his career with the Flames.
St. Louis is wrapping up a two-game homestand that began with a 5-3 loss against Edmonton last Friday. The Blues led 3-0 late in the second period but surrendered five consecutive goals, four in the third period.
"To me, the will of the Edmonton Oilers in the third period was stronger than ours," Murray said. "Unacceptable. We didn't win enough one-on-one battles down the stretch, obviously."
Goaltender Ty Conklin, who had shut out Detroit in his previous appearance, was working on another one until Gilbert Brule scored with 11 seconds left in the second period. Edmonton then scored four times in less than nine minutes in the third.
"It's unacceptable," defenseman Barret Jackman
said. "Right after they got that goal at the end of the second period, it seemed like we flipped a switch and we were on our heels and weren't doing the things that got us success in the first two periods. We weren't skating when we got the puck, we were standing still."
For the Blues, Oshie has a goal and an assist in his last two games, and David Backes
has 5 goals and 4 assists in his last nine games. For the Flames, Jarome Iginla
has 8 goals and 9 assists in his last 15 games and defenseman Mark Giordano
has a goal and 2 assists in his last three games.
For the Blues, defenseman Eric Brewer (upper-body) and left wing D.J. King (hand) are on injured reserve. For the Flames, Sarich (undisclosed) is on injured reserve.
Johnson is scheduled to play in his 100th NHL game. … St. Louis is one of five teams in the Western Conference to have 10 or more players with double digits in points. … Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester
holds the longest current ironman streak in the NHL at 374 games. … Iginla is 6 assists away from passing Theoren Fleury for second most in franchise history
"If you talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk, and right now we're just talking. We're not getting it done. We're saying the right things, but you've got to, on the ice, stay mentally composed and get it done." – Blues defenseman Darryl Sydor to the St. Louis Post Dispatch.