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Flames focusing on remedying power play woes

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames

DENVER, CO -- When the Calgary Flames power play is clicking, it is extremely potent.

Crisp passing, pushing the penalty killers out of position, a constant net presence, getting shots through from the blueline and they never stop moving their feet; these are all attributes the Flames have displayed this season while on the power play.

That wasn't the case on Tuesday night in Saint Paul.

While Alex Tanguay was able to open the scoring with a power play marker at 10:18 of the first period, the team couldn't capitalize on seven opportunities with the extra man in Minnesota.

The Flames had two golden opportunities to give themselves a two-goal lead in the final 30 minutes of the game. A five-minute power play in the second period after Charlie Coyle elbowed Matt Stajan. A four-minute man advantage after Curtis Glencross took a high stick from Jonas Brodin. It was all for naught.

Jason Zucker's deflection evened the game up with just under 5:00 remaining in regulation and then, with Mark Giordano in the sin bin for smothering the puck, Zach Parise ended the game in overtime.

"I think it was a combination of things," Dennis Wideman told after a special teams meeting in Denver. "Not supporting each other enough, leaving guys alone when they have the puck and we're not able to support them quick enough, not making quick decisions.

"And we started to panic as the power plays went on and we were like, 'Oh my God, we have to score,' and we tried to force it too much and everything fell apart."

The Flames 2013 body of work on the power play has had its ups and down but overall, they have been effective with the extra man. They sit eighth in the league overall, connecting on 21.2 per cent of their chances with 14 goals in 66 opportunities. They have faired well on the road with six tallies on 29 attempts.

"We have to regroup tomorrow," the rearguard explained. "We have to get back to what we were doing earlier in the year when we were successful."

The Avs will provide a challenge for the club tomorrow night as they are the second best penalty killers on home ice. They've killed off 33 of 35 penalties they have taken at the Pepsi Center.

"It will be a test," Wideman said. "They're a team that works hard. Their forwards come hard on the defence so we're going to have to be ready and we're going to have to support each other."

The puck drops at 7:00 PM MT tomorrow night. Sportsnet Calgary is carrying the game.

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