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Flames 4 Thrashers 6: Inside the Game

by Staff Writer / Calgary Flames


GAME AT A GLANCE: The Calgary Flames come out firing in Atlanta, but fall 6-4 in the final minutes of play to the unforgiving Thrashers. Ilya Kovalchuk records a hat trick.

Eric Godard and Eric Boulton drop the gloves right off the draw at 2:10 in the opening frame. Both land more then a few shots on one another, and in the end it turns out a pretty even matchup.

Daymond Langkow draws first blood for the Flames and opens the scoring on a steal from Atlanta blueliner Tobias Enstrom in the neutral zone. Langkow's goal is shorthanded and unassisted at 13:57 in the first.

Less than four minutes later, Adrian Aucoin releases a booming shot just short of the blueline, which is redirected by Jarome Iginla for Calgary's second goal of the game. Langkow also had a helper.

Iginla registers his second of the game 2:45 into the middle frame, giving the Flames the 3-0 lead. Iginla parks himself on Kari Lehtonen's doorstep and picks up Langkow's rebound, snapping it past the Thrashers' netminder.

But after falling 3-0 in the opening 23 minutes of the game, the Thrashers decide they aren't going to let the Flames get away with anymore scoring opportunities, tallying two of their own within 19 seconds of one another.

Ilya Kovalchuk puts Atlanta on the board on a goal that saw a scramble in front of the net, with David Hale attempting to keep the puck out after Curtis Joseph was pulled too far out and couldn't get back between the posts in time. Kovalchuk's goal comes at 4:29 of the second.

Less than 20 seconds later, Colby Armstrong makes it a one goal game. Joseph makes the initial save on Eric Perrin's shot, but struggles to get back across to block Armstrong's wrister.

Veteran Wayne Primeau scores the Flames fourth goal of the game on a quick play. Primeau out skates the Thrashers and goes straight to the net, snapping the puck over the left corner of Lehtonen.

Kovalchuk registers his second of the game and 47th of the season, putting the Thrashers within one of the Flames with a slap shot just inside the post to beat Joseph.

Atlanta's Chris Thorburn breaks out and out skates defenceman David Hale to tie the game at four 10:10 in the final frame. The Thrashers' forward beats Curtis Joseph when he goes from his backhand to his forehand, putting it around the left leg of the Calgary netminder. The goal goes unassisted.

A sense of urgency is written all over the Flames faces after the Thrashers turn the game around and produce a huge comeback.

The Thrashers finally grab the go-ahead goal 16:13 into the third. A perfect setup play by Kovalchuk as he feeds Robert Holik a quick pass, giving the Atlanta forward a prime opportunity to put the saucer past Joseph. Holik with a booming one-timer beats the Flames' netminder on his glove side.

Kovalchuk puts the final nail in the coffin as he hammers home a empty net shot for his third goal, giving him a hat trick in the night's matchup against the Flames.

THE BIG SAVE: A golden opportunity for Atlanta to take their first lead of the game and give themselves the possible win 13:58 into the third, but Curtis Joseph comes up with a big blocker save to rob Erik Christensen
THE BIG HITS: Cory Sarich with a solid jolt on Ilya Kovalchuk at the Flames blue line in the final seconds of the middle frame. Moments earlier, Wayne Primeau is taken off the puck with a big bump from Thrashers' defenceman Garnet Exelby.
THE TURNING POINT: Eric Godard and Eric Boulton drop the gloves right off the draw at 2:10 in the opening frame. Both land more then a few shots on one another, and in the end it turns out a pretty even matchup.

THE ROSTER: The Flames healthy scratches were D Anders Eriksson, D Rhett Warrener, F Dustin Boyd and F Mark Smith. F David Moss is out with an ankle injury.

WORTH NOTING: The Flames are 0-2-0-0 on their four game road trip...Since scoring his 365th goal on Monday, Iginla has tallied three goals in his last two outings...The Flames have tallied 82 points in 70 games, which has helped them hold onto top spot in the Northwest Division.

BY THE NUMBERS: Ilya Kovalchuk records a hat trick...Jarome Iginla scores twice...The Thrashers come back after falling 3-0 in the opening part of the game...Calgary and Atlanta both tallied 32 shots on net...Ilya Kovalchuk registers five shots on net, while Jarome Iginla, Kristian Huselius and Daymond Langkow each record four...Five hits for Steve McCarthy...Four hits for Jim Vandermeer.
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