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Flames-Oilers: Inside the Game

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames



— Despite getting on the scoreboard first, the Flames fell to their provincial rivals on Saturday night.

Two goals in the third period by Denis Grebeshkov and Dustin Penner gave Edmonton the win, still giving them hope to slide into the playoffs.

Matthew Lombardi scored the Flames long goal, at 5:53 in the third frame. After Stephane Yelle took the puck into the offensive zone, Lombardi came in unnoticed. Yelle made a great pass over to the winger whose wrist shot beat Dwayne Roloson.

After Lombardi's goal, Grebeshkov quickly got the Oilers back in the game. Using a pile of players in front of Miikka Kiprusoff, he skated in and snapped it in the net. The screen gave Kiprusoff no chance of seeing the shot. The tying goal came at 6:50.

Penner's game winning goal came on the power play. With Jim Vandermeer in the box for cross-checking, Penner got a quick shot off that beat Kiprusoff at 10:48.

Hoping to tie the game up, the Flames came on strong in the final five minutes. It appeared they had tied the game up with less than a minute left in the period but upon review, the puck was millimeters away from going over the goal line. Alex Tanguay had tipped a shot from Kristian Huselius but the puck hit the post, just barely staying out of the net.

After the game, Jarome Iginla said that although the loss was tough to take, the Flames were going concentrate on the next game.

"We did a lot of good things but we had a couple of breakdowns. At this time of the year it is a game of inches and that is the result you get. We've got to get right back at it. It makes tomorrow's game (against Vancouver) all that more important."

Coach Mike Keenan said that while his team played a solid game, they didn't play with enough edge.

"We had a 1-0 lead and you try to build on it in your own building and get some momentum and put it away from there. We played a good game but we didn't play with an edge. That's what it would have taken tonight to beat the Oilers. They had great goaltending and only ended up getting two minors, one for shooting the puck over the glass and one for too many men, so I guess they didn't commit any infractions throughout the game. They got a break as far as I'm concerned in that regard. With that being said, we had a chance tonight to establish a game with a better edge and and we didn't do that and weren't prepared to do it."

The first two periods of the game were rather team compared to previous games in the season series. Only one fight broke out during the game, with Vandermeer dropping the gloves with Zach Stortini. Vandermeer landed several hard hits to the head, giving him the decision in the tilt. Penalties were also low for both teams, with Edmonton taking two minors and Calgary taking three.

Edmonton now has the lead in the season series with four wins. The two met once more this season, in Edmonton, on April 2.

THE BIG SAVE: Miikka Kiprusoff was tested early in the game when he stood tall against Fernando Pisani during a penalty kill. Pisani was standing directly in front of the net, in perfect position for a tip-in, but when the puck came to him, he couldn't get it over the Finnish netminder's shoulder.
THE BIG HIT: Half way through the second period, Robyn Regher slammed Ales Hemsky into the the turn buckle by the Oilers bench. The two have a long-standing rivalry, including a hit in November that sent Hemsky into the boards head first, leaving him dazed on the ice for several minutes.
THE TURNING POINT: Dustin Penner's power play goal gave the Oilers their first lead of the game and that's all they needed. The Oilers held off a desperate group Flames for the rest of the period, keeping their playoff hopes alive.

QUOTABLE: "I’m hoping that we will respond properly and our players obviously know the importance of the games remaining now; the teams that we will be playing will play with desperation and hopefully we can find that edge again that we had before our little break.” - Mike Keenan on what the team needs for tomorrow's game against Vancouver

THE ROSTER: The Flames scratches were D Rhett Warrener (ankle), D David Hale, F Mark Smith, F David Moss and F Dustin Boyd.

WORTH NOTING: After being a healthy scratch in the Flames 3-2 victory over the Canucks on Thursday, Kristian Huselius was back in the lineup ... Jarome Iginla was awarded the Molson Cup for the month of March prior to the game ... Kiprusoff remains tied with Rejean Lemelin in third spot in Flames all-time wins list with 144 victories. Mike Vernon is first with 262 wins followed by Dan Bouchard who has 168 wins.

BY THE NUMBERS: Mike Keenan has now coached 1,300 NHL games ... the Oilers first goal came 67 seconds after the Flames scored the first goal of the night ... the Flames remain in 6th spot in the Western Conference standings.
UP NEXT: The Flames head out on their last road trip of the regular season, starting in Vancouver on Sunday night. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. on Sportsnet West.

Author: Victoria Peterson

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