VANCOUVER, BC -- Even with a superb last 40 minutes, the Calgary Flames couldn't rebound from a tough first period as they fell to the Vancouver Canucks by a score of 3-1.
The first period was the team's undoing, being outshoot 20-6 and giving up three goals, and after the game, captain Jarome Iginla acknowledged that their first 20 minutes lost the game for the team.
"They were obviously a lot better than us in the first period. They had a really good first period. We came out and we weren’t ready to go full kilter the way we have been lately."
Roberto Luongo played spoiler in the final two periods, stopping 26 of 27 shots a desperate Flames club sent at him.
"After the first period, we got going, but you can’t spot them a few goals - we know that. Definitely, nobody quit on our team, but you definitely saw the importance of a good start." Iginla told the assembled media.
The Canucks opened the scoring early when Daniel Sedin found the back of the net just 1:13 in. The goal came after Miikka Kiprusoff had made an astounding save but fell awkwardly and couldn't get back in position in time to stop the quick wrist shot from D. Sedin.
Ryan Kesler made it 2-0 shortly after when his one-timer bounced off the iron, off Kiprusoff's back and into the net.
Cory Sarich and Robyn Regehr took minor penalties just 17 seconds apart, handing the Canucks a 1:43 5-on-3 power play. The hometown team didn't waste it. Henrik Sedin gave the Canucks a three-goal lead 26 seconds in the two-man advantage.
The second period saw quite the turnaround for the Flames. Vesa Toskala replaced Kiprusoff in net and Calgary's overall play was vastly improved from their first period performance. Unfortunately for the Flames, Luongo was on top of his game and stopped all 16 shots they sent at him.
Regehr finally beat Luongo in third period after sustained pressure throughout the final stanza. The rugged blueliner sent a hard slap shot through a crowd and a great Curtis Glencross screen kept Luongo from seeing the shot.
The Flames kept the pressure cranked up for the rest of the game, not allowing a single shot on net in the third period, but couldn't generate enough offense to tie the game.
There will be no time to dwell on the loss as the Flames welcome in the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. MST on TSN & The FAN 960.
|WHY THE FLAMES LOST |
|The first period was the Flames downfall. They didn't come out with any jump, were defensively sloppy and only managed to get six shots on net. The Canucks wouldn't be able to generate any more offense in the final two periods but the three goals they did get past Kiprusoff were enough to get them the win. After the first 20 minutes, Calgary played an extremely good game but Luongo stood on top of his head for the final 40 minutes. |
|GAME NOTES |
|The Flames maintained their usual lineup since the Olympic break, scratching D Adam Pardy, F Brian McGrattan, F Nigel Dawes and F Mikael Backlund. The Canucks left out D Shane O'Brien, D Nolan Baumgartner and F Tanner Glass. |
|TONIGHT'S DIGITS |
|300 - Career games for Bourque. |
60 - Games played this season by Miikka Kiprusoff.
3 - Times this season the Flames have allowed 20 or more shots in a single period.
2 - Goals for Regehr in the 2009-10 season.
5 - Hits for Sarich. He led all players in this category.
|"Right now, we feel like we have a chance maybe to catch them. The only way to do that is to beat them when we play them. We were in the same situation last year - it’s kind of flip-flopped - and they were able to catch us." - Craig Conroy on Saturday on chasing the Canucks for the division lead |
"I was shocked to see the way we played in the first period." - Brent Sutter on his team's performance in the opening 20 minutes.
"They were beating us to pucks all over the ice. We weren’t moving our feet. We were taking penalties, missing our checks. They got their goals. But after that, we got a lot better." - Iginla on the start of the game.
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |
| || || || |
|Curtis Glencross |
The best Flame on the ice, 1 assist & 1 shot in 14:20 of ice time
| ||Niklas Hagman |
The biggest threat offensively, 3 shots on net, 1 hit, +1 rating
| ||Cory Sarich |
Played with an edge, led in hits with 5, 1 shot, 15:31 ice time