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'A FRUSTRATING GAME'

Monahan sums up Flames night against Penguins: "We had a lot of looks. We've been getting a lot of looks lately. At this time of the year, where we are and where want to be, we've got bury those."

by GEORGE JOHNSON @GJohnsonFlames / CalgaryFlames.com

Sean Monahan, set up by Milan Lucic, lingering on the lip of the doorstep. 

Denied.

Dillon Dube, accelerating to warp drive and slicing inside, leaving defenceman Marcus Pettersson grasping awkwardly at shadows, to crash the net. 

Foiled.

Rasmus Andersson through a thicket of traffic blocking goaltender Tristan Jarry's sightline. 
Spurned.

And on and on. Etc., etc.

 

Video: "It was a frustrating game there"

 

"A frustrating game," murmured Monahan, post 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. "We come out flying in the first. I thought we had a great period.

"Then we sat back a little in the second, turned some pucks over, obviously took a few penalties and they capitalized.

"We had a lot of looks. We've been getting a lot of looks lately. At this time of the year, where we are and where want to be, we've got bury those.

"We've got to bear down and find ways to score.

"We've gotta come out there and win. We don't want to lose two games in a row. I mean, good teams don't do that."

Mirroring the one-way-traffic of Saturday's 4-0 streak-busting loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the Flames stormed single-mindedly out of the gate.

The brilliant Jarry must've felt like a pin cushion through an utterly one-sided opening frame, the lone goal he surrendered an undeniable thing of beauty, a triple-play to behold, Backlund to Rieder to Gaudreau. Bingo.

The 17 pellets represented a Calgary seasonal period high.

But as happened versus the Canes, they failed take full enough advantage of the beatdown and rather than kill the game off, the door was left open.

"Again, we had lot of chances,'' said Calgary interim coach Geoff Ward of the dominating first. "Would've been nice to bury a couple of them.

"When that happens you've just to stick with the process, stick with the process. They came back on us in the second, find a way to get the lead and we're playing from behind again.

"For us, we've generated 43 scoring chances the last two hockey games. We're generating enough offensively but the thing you have to remember in this game is it's not what you make all the time, it's what you leave.

"We left a little bit out there that they were able to take advantage of and cash."

 

Video: "It's about game management right now"

 

The Pens, realizing they hadn't had the coffin lid quite nailed shut on them, sprang to life, keeping Flames' goalie Cam Talbot on his toes with 16 shots.

Two of them, a top-corner snooker shot from D-man John Marino followed, only a minute and 23 seconds apart, by Brian Rust spinning out of a corner to prod the puck through Talbot.

"They capitalized right at the end of a powerplay and the very next shift use that momentum, kinda buried us in our zone, we couldn't get guys off, when we're a little tired, running around in our end," said Talbot.

"Sometimes that's when you need a save and that one kinda goes right through me, kinda 6-hole. I couldn't squeeze it enough."

If omens are your thing, the opportunity to equalize appeared almost immediately, Dube and Lucic somehow sailing off 2-on-Jarry.

A quick interplay between the two was shockingly foiled, though, with the goaltender blocking Lucic's final try with his left pad, stunning the Scotiabank Saddledome faithful.

The Pens slotted twice into an empty net, with Talbot on the bench in favour of a sixth attacker, in the closing two minutes.

"For us,'' summed up Ward, now awaiting the appearance of the Montreal Canadiens for a Thursday evening clash, "it's about game management right now. There are lots of positives we can take out of the hockey game. But the biggest thing for us, when we get into situations where it's crunch time we have to stay composed and have to manage the game a little bit better."

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