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Game Rush: Flames vs. Capitals

by Torie Peterson / Calgary Flames
FINAL

5-3


WASHINGTON, DC -- The Calgary Flames knew they had to have a better outing in Washington than they did in Boston on Saturday and they answered the call with a 5-3 victory over Alexander Oveckin's NHL-leading Capitals.

"We played with the effort that we're supposed to and we have to do that for the rest of the year," Robyn Regehr told the assembled media afterwards.

Calgary scored their first goal in four periods early in the game after Ales Kotalik potted his second as a Flame. The right winger immediately went for the net after Rene Bourque put a hard shot on net from the wall and he was able slip the puck underneath Jose Theodore's pads on his backhand.

Ian White added to the Flames lead five minutes later when he was able to score a power play marker. Jarome Iginla put a hard shot on Theodore and White jumped into the play, scooping up rebound and banking it off the netminder from a sharp angle.

The Flames gained a three goal lead thanks to a another defenseman when Jay Bouwmeester hopped into the play without any Capitals players noticing. Rene Bourque saw him steaming towards the net, made a pass from the wall and Bouwmeester tipped the puck five-hole on Theodore.

The goal prompted a change in net for the Capitals and Semyon Varlamov took over for Theodore.

The Flames capped off a very successful first period when Niklas Hagman scored with just 20 seconds left. He sent a sharp backhand shot through a crowd and it flew over Varlamov's left pad.

Washington got on the board at 3:49 of the second period after the Flames ran into penalty trouble. First, Kotalik went for slashing and then Giordano sent the puck over the glass and was handed a delay of game call. Just as Kotalik's minor expired, Ovechkin snapped home his 46th of the season with a hard wrister close range.

Bourque picked up his third point of the afternoon after he was able to spin around a Capitals defender and backhanded the puck on net. It bounced off Varlamov, went into the air and fell into the net.

The Capitals answered with a late second period goal from David Steckel after he took a backdoor pass from Quintin Lang and snuck a short between Kiprusoff's pads and the post.

Washington drew within two after Mathieu Perreault slid an Ovechkin wrist shot rebound just across the goal line. Ovechkin earned his 100th point of the season on the power play marker.

That was all the Capitals could muster though as Kiprusoff was able to shut the door despite the Caps putting 20 shots on net in the final stanza.

The Flames will head back to the C of Red to take on the red-hot Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday. The puck drops at 7:30 PM MST on Sportsnet West & The FAN 960.

WHY THE FLAMES WON
On Saturday morning, the Flames looked absolutely lethargic against the Boston Bruins. On Sunday, they were a completely different team. They had jump as soon as they hit ice and once they were able to find the back of the net, their offensive confidence went through the roof. They kept the pressure up instead of sitting back after their first couple of goals and that helped them weather the storm in the third period when the Capitals went all out trying to tie the game and outshot the Flames 20-2 in the final period.

GAME NOTES
The Flames lineup remained the same with Calgary sitting out D Adam Pardy, F Brian McGrattan, F Christopher Higgins, F Curtis Glencross and F Daymond Langkow. The Capitals scratched D Tyler Sloan, D Milan Jurcina, D Shaone Morrisonn, F Brooks Laich, F Boyd Gordon, F Brendan Morrison and F Scott Walker.

TONIGHT'S DIGITS
18 - Games since Kotalik scored his last goal. He has 10 goals this season.

11 - Goals for White this season. He has 2 since joining the Flames in February.

20 - Shots for the Capitals in the third period. Kiprusoff stopped 19 shots in the frame.

5 - Shots on net for Iginla.

5 - The Flames snapped a 5 game losing streak in Washington.

QUOTABLE
"Mathematically, we’re still alive. Everybody else is writing us off. I understand that. And I can understand why. They can believe that if they want to. Just as long as we don’t start believing it in here." - Craig Conroy

"We're all talking about that we want to be in the playoffs. But we've got to go earn it and earn a chance. Now we're in position where we're just trying to earn a chance and see what other teams do." - Iginla

"The biggest thing, there still has to be a belief. And there is in that room. We still feel we can get it done, but we need some personal performances to be better. You’ve gotta still feel good about yourself as individuals, and about your team. If it’s any other way, you have no chance." - Head coach Brent Sutter

HARDEST WORKING FLAMES

Prust

Kiprusoff

Bourque
Rene Bourque
Had a 3 point outing against the top team in the NHL, 4 shots.
Ales Kotalik
Scored his 1st in 18 games, a +3 rating in 10:13 ice time.
Mikael Backlund
Looked very dangerous, 2 assists & +3 rating in 11:41



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