Busy night for D-men

Friday, 04.17.2009 / 2:02 AM / 2009 Playoffs Conference Quarterfinals

By Staff

The Calgary Flames knew they had to play a tight game against the Chicago Blackhawks in their series opener. That meant a lot of work for players like All-Star defenseman Dion Phaneuf, who has been day-to-day for a week.

Phaneuf and blue-line partner Jordan Leopold took 34 shifts each, the most on either team. Phaneuf played a team-high 24:59 and Leopold saw 22:48 of ice time.

The pair did their best work in the opening period, when Calgary outshot the Blackhawks 10-5 and grabbed the early lead on a goal by David Moss.

"We didn’t have the speed we were accustomed to having, but maybe we had the first-playoff-game jitters," Chicago coach Joel Quenneville admitted. "We picked up our pace as we progressed."

One reason they did was the play of defensemen Duncan Keith and Cam Barker, who began getting more involved in the play as the game went on. Barker wound up scoring the Hawks' first goal and set up Martin Havlat's game-tying goal late in the third period.

“Our job first and foremost is to play good defense and move the puck up to our forwards," said Keith, who played 27:03. "But if they get in trouble we’ll join the rush when we get a chance. When you get the chance obviously you take it.”
Quote of the Day

For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday
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