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Flames struggle to sixth straight loss

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

It's on us tonight. There's a few other games I felt could have went our way, but we handed them their goals tonight.Kris Russell

CALGARY, AB -- The sixth in a row showed a similar result.

For all the positives and moral victories the Calgary Flames could take out of tight games during the first five games of a losing streak, similar mistakes cost them a sixth in a 5-2 loss at the hands of the New York Rangers at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

“It's on us tonight,” defenceman Kris Russell said. “There's a few other games I felt could have went our way, but we handed them their goals tonight. They're an opportunistic team, a team that when they get opportunities, they score goals. They have too much firepower to give them too many two-on-ones and have breakdowns like that.

“So, it's on us.”

Rick Nash, alone behind Calgary’s defence, put the Rangers up 1-0 at 11:22 of the first period.

A miscue between Russell and goaltender Karri Ramo let Chris Kreider extend that lead to two with just 7.8 seconds remaining in the period.

“We skated probably one of our best first periods of the season and we get back to the locker-room down 0-2,” coach Bob Hartley said. “It's just a trend right now that we have to eliminate ... Offensively, I think that we're doing lots of good things, but we want to push the envelope so much that suddenly the puck is behind us and it ends up in our net.”

Nash, with his second of the game and 20th of the season, extended that lead to three just 3:06 into the second.

Derek Stepan added a fourth near the midway mark of the middle frame. It chased Ramo after nine saves on 13 shots.

Jiri Hudler responded with his team-leading 13th of the season just 41 seconds later, but the damage had already been done.

“I don't know if I'm using the right terms, but we've worked, probably, too hard,” Hartley said. “Too hard to a point that suddenly, our desire to make it happen so bad puts us in a situation where we give breakaway, where we gave a few two-on-ones. I felt that's where we lost the game.”

Carl Hagelin and Curtis Glencross swapped late third period markers to settle the 5-2 final and Calgary’s six consecutive loss in regulation, the first time the Flames have done so since Jan. 13-25, 2010.

“I believe in my guys,” Hartley said. “They work hard. We’re on a mission right now. We’ve just hit that skid where it simply doesn’t work for us.

“Good day off tomorrow, get away from the rink. Re-load, re-fuel, re-focus. Our focus needs to be better. It's at the right place but some details in our game are being forgotten because we want to do too well so get a good day of rest, on Thursday a good day of practice, good day of video and Friday a big game against Dallas.”

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