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Game Blog: Flames vs. Canucks

by Kristi Hennessy / Calgary Flames

Post-game Analysis:

The Calgary Flames played host to the Vancouver Canucks in the pre-season opener tonight at the Saddledome and thanks to our captain Jarome Iginla, the Flames were victorious by a score of 3-2.

"It's nice to win the game," said Robyn Regehr. "We should have won the game, they had a very young line-up and we had a lot more veterans. It was good to get out there. I'm really looking forward to the season and getting out there again. I'm feeling pretty good"

Both teams ran themselves hard into the penalty box tonight. The Canucks squad racked up nine penalties while the home team went to the box 10 times however there were zero power play goals.

"Our power play was moving as good as we have in a long time especially early," said Jarome Iginla. "We obviously would have liked to get some earlier and maybe there could have been a little more momentum for us but at the same time we were working on things and it felt good and we'll keep doing that."

Robyn Regehr and Alex Tanguay both picked up a pair of assists tonight and Tanguay was awarded with the first star of the game. Also scoring for the Flames squad tonight was Alex Kotalik and Mikael Backlund.

"Our key is going to be our skating," Alex Tanguay commented on playing with Olli Jokinen and Jarome Iginla. "With the skill level that we have, we're going to be able to create some offense. Tonight we were a little flat in the neutral zone, we didn't skate as much as we would have liked but it's nice to know that when you're with two players that if you get one shot like Iggy did in the third, it's going in."

First Period:

Just over a minute into the opening frame of the pre-season opener against the Vancouver Canucks, Ales Kotalik picked up the first penalty giving the Canucks the man advantage. Although they failed to convert on their first power play attempt, Jannik Hansen opened the scoring for Vancouver at the 4:12 marker. 1-0 Canucks.

The Flames came close in the final minute of the first period with Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla breaking in on a two-on-one rush. Tanguay just missed the stick of Iginla who had the open net on Eddie Lack.

Both teams had two power play opportunities in the first 20 minutes however the lone Canucks goal came at full strength. Shots at the end of the first were 11-8 for the Flames.

Second Period:

Penalties continued to tally for both teams through the first eight minutes of the second period as both teams served a pair of penalties by the midway mark.

Finally the Flames found the score board short-handed at 8:32 into the second. Alex Tanguay and Mikael Backlund stole the puck from the Canucks in their own zone and quickly found themselves on a two-on-one situation. Tanguay's pass connected nicely onto the stick of Backlund who beat Canucks netminder Eddie Lack to tie the game at one.

Both goaltenders had to be on their game through the first two periods. The Canucks took four minor penalties in the second period and the Flames got caught for three. The Flames did however find a way to steal a short-handed goal with Kotalik in the box.

Third Period:

Both teams began the third period with new goaltenders. Leland Irving took over for Miikka Kiprusoff whileTyler Weiman replaced Eddie Lack at the other end.

The Flames broke out hard in the final period with Ales Kotalik scoring just 14 quick seconds in to give the Flames the 2-1 lead.

Marco Rosa answered back for the Canucks squad less than three minutes later picking up an unassisted equalizer to tie the game for the second time.

Jarome Iginla and Alex Tanguay found some chemistry at 9:17 of the third period. Tanguay picked up his second assist with a nice pass to Iginla as the duo flew over the blue line into the Canucks zone. Iginla fired a hard wrist shot from the top of the circle and beat Canucks goaltender Tyler Weiman to go up 3-2.

The Canucks came close in the final minutes of the third period as they pushed to tie the game. Leland Irving shut the door on the Canucks squad to hold on for the 3-2 victory. Jarome Iginla's goal marks the game-winner and Alex Tanguay was handed the first star with his pair of assists tonight.

Author: Kristi Hennessy

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