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Constant Threat at the Net

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

After being held to a single goal in nine games, Jarome Iginla looked like he was a man possessed in the Calgary Flames 2-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks.


1 - Goal in six games for Jarome Iginla

25:27 - Workhorse Dion Phaneuf's ice time

5 - Olli Jokinen's shots on net

Miikka Kiprusoff made an astounding paddle save off a shot by Jonathan Cheechoo. The Sharks forward batted the puck at the wide open cage but Kiprusoff dove across and just got his stick on it to knock it away.

Dion Phaneuf earned himself a big round of applause after delivering a hard shoulder to tough guy Jody Shelley as the Sharks winger was trying to enter the Flames zone. The hit sent the 225 lbs. Shark to the ice and he never made past the blueline.

Despite a valient effort, the Flames didn't have any bounces. There were several great scoring opportunities that bounced off sticks or went wide. Evgeni Nabokov had an excellent game as well, making several key saves.

1 - Iginla - a constant threat
2 - Bertuzzi - gritty, dependable play all night
3 - Nystrom - another solid night

The Flames took two penalties within a three second span and it cost them. The Sharks were able to pot one the 5-on-3. The Flames had two chances with the man advantage but weren't able to produce any offense.

D Mark Giordano (upper body), D Rhett Warrener (shoulder); F Rene Bourque (high ankle sprain), F Wayne Primeau (foot); and F Andre Roy (upper body) are out of the Flames line-up with injuries. The lone healthy scratch was F Warren Peters. The Flames dressed seven defencemen, playing Adam Pardy up front on the fourth line.

The Flames head to Texas to take on the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Game time is 6:30 p.m. on Flames PPV & The FAN 960.

-- Torie Peterson

The Flames captain scored his 32nd goal of the season and while he was disappointed with the loss, he was impressed with his team's effort.

"It's hard to say when you lose a game that it wasn't a bad effort but it wasn't a bad effort," Iginla said. "We played physical, we really limited their scoring chances and we had a fair amount ourselves. On another night, more goes in and we get a better result."

Calgary held the explosive Sharks to 17 shots on the night. That task alone was something Iginla was proud of as San Jose averages 34 shots a game.

"They're a good defensive team and we held them off. They're a good road team and they played a smart game and knew when to hold back. Unfortunately, it didn't go our way tonight."

Iginla was happy with the amount of shots the team was able to send at Nabokov.

"I think we had 30 shots. We'd like to get a few more but we had a pretty fair amount of good scoring chances. Unfortunately they didn't go in tonight," he said. "We play that way and we're going to win a lot of games."

Coming into the game, the Flames knew they had play a full 60 minutes if they wanted to stand a chance against the League-leading Sharks.

"Before the last game we were talking effort and I thought effort was there tonight. We played hard all night. Guys were ready, guys were physical."

The Sharks first goal came early in the first when Dan Boyle scored his 15th of the year while on a 5-on-3 power play. Joe Thorton made a great pass over to the veteran defenseman and he had a wide open net to shoot at.

The 5-on-3, for nearly a full two minuntes, was tough for Iginla to swallow as it came about because of an errant clearing attempt. With Craig Conroy in the box for hooking, Adrian Aucoin tried to clear the zone off of the faceoff but ended up throwing it over the glass.

"They got the 1-0 lead off a bad break. They had a 5-on-3 for two minutes and you give Thorton that time, he's going to find someone and he did."

Calgary got on the board later in the period with Iginla potting his first in six games at 15:09. While charging through the offensive zone, Iginla threw a hard shot on net. Evgeni Nabokov got his glove on it but it trickled out of his hand and into the net.

Iginla drew the first Sharks penalty when he was forechecking early in the second. Thorton came in and tripped up the Flames captain and the club went to work on the power play. During the Flames man advantage, Iginla was the only Flames to get a shot off.

Later on in the period, Iginla nearly gave the Flames their first lead of the game when took a beautiful pass from Jokinen and sent a blistering shot on net. Iginla had Nabokov beat but the shot went just centimetres wide on the far side.

"Some days those just don't go in," he sighed.

Iginla took responsibility for Jonathan Cheechoo's game-winning goal in the second period.

"In the second I had a giveaway in the middle and it ended up in our zone, in the back of our net. You don't think it's going to go back but that's part of these late games, these playoff style games. You've got to be sharp in all areas."

Iginla wasn't able to get a shot on net during the third but it wasn't for a lack of trying. The Sharks were able to collapse around him every time he was on the ice and take away all of his scoring chances.

"I thought in the third period we came out an had a lot of good chances against a good defensive team. It was a close, one goal game. We played hard, we were physical."

An area that is still a concern for the club is the power play. The Flames had two chances on the power play but were unable to get anything past Nabokov.

"It would have been nice to get one on the power play. I think we had some good chances and moved the puck nicely. Another day, a couple of those might go in."

He was adamant that the team wouldn't let the loss dampen their spirits.

"We'll go over it tomorrow and we'll get right back at it. We're working on getting a string together. But these last two games, even in the Pittsburgh game, to get it back going again you have to be really good on the habits. It takes a little bit extra to get it back swinging in our favour and momentum."






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