CALGARY, AB -- Despite putting 33 shots on net through 65 minutes, the Calgary Flames fell 2-1 in a shootout to the Minnesota Wild.
The game eerily mirrored the Flames season, particularly the second half of the campaign, in that while the Flames were playing a generally solid contest, they just couldn't find a way to garner enough offense.
"We had a lot of shots again, we had traffic, we had rebounds, we had opportunities and whether the puck was bouncing over sticks or just missing or hitting the side of the net, it was exactly like the second half and especially the last 10-15 games have been going for us," Nigel Dawes sighed.
"It's not the way we wanted to end at home but we've got one more to go and we're going to try to win that one and end the season on a good note."
One glaring example of this kind of "puck luck" came on a 5-on-3 chance for the Flames. Niklas Hagman was parked at the side of the net and had a wide-open cage to blast the puck into when a pass came over but he hit the side, denying the Flames the go-ahead tally.
"I looked over at and Hags had it on the back door with an empty net and unfortunately it just hit the side of the net," Craig Conroy said. "That kind of sums up the way things have gone for us over the course of the year."
Former Flame Chuck Kobasew opened the scoring at 12:03 of the first period. Casey Wellman sent a shot towards the net from the blueline and Kobasew was able to get his stick on the puck to deflect it past Miikka Kiprusoff.
Dawes evened the game up in the middle stanza with his 15th tally of the season. Conroy threw the puck over to David Moss who sent a drop pass in slot to Dawes. The winger wired a shot on net and then picked up his own rebound, throwing it into the net.
"It's something positive to look at," Dawes said of his goal. "You want to think more about the team and the team success and we're not where we want to be but I guess if you want to take some consulation in being out of the playoffs, this is something."
The Wild's starting netminder, Niklas Backstrom was hit in the side of the neck with a puck in the third period and needed to be replaced by Wade Dubielewicz. The youngster stopped the five shots the Flames put on net during his 17:57 in net during regulation.
Despite a 33-21 shot advantage for the Flames after 60 minutes, the hometown team couldn't find that go-ahead goal in regulation so the game went to overtime. The 4-on-4 sudden death extra frame was relatively quiet, with both teams playing cautiously, so the game was decided by shootout.
Iginla and Dawes were denied by Dubielewicz and Burns and Miettinen were able to beat Kiprusoff, giving the Wild a 2-1 victory.
The Flames head to Vancouver to play their last game of the season. The puck drops at 8:00 p.m. MST on CBC & The FAN 960.
|WHY THE FLAMES LOST |
|The Flames inability to generate offense burned them once again, with the club only able to get one goal in the Wild's net despite being handed several opportunities with the man advantage and two 5-on-3 power plays. Otherwise, they played a solid game, getting 33 shots and allowing just 24 on net. Both teams fell a bit on the undisciplined side of the fence, with 12 minors handed out during the tilt, but only the Wild were able to capitalize on their power play chances. |
|GAME NOTES |
|The Flames sat out D Adam Pardy, F Brian McGrattan, F Curtis Glencross, F Christopher Higgins and F Daymond Langkow. Minnesota opted to scratch D Marek Zidlicky, D Nick Schultz, F Martin Havlat, F Guillaume Lantendresse, F Owen Nolan and F Andrew Ebbett. |
|TONIGHT'S DIGITS |
|13 - Assists for Conroy this season. |
3 - 5-on-3 power plays in regulation. The Flames had 2 of those chances.
42:03 - Ice time for Niklas Backstrom before he was injured.
3 - Blocked shots by Ian White.
6:47 - Power play time for Iginla.
|"It looked like it was an easy empty-netter and all of a sudden, it wasn't in. You feel bad - everyone's feeling the same pressure and we just wanted to come out there tonight for the fans and win this one and we weren't able to do it again." - Conroy on Hagman's missed chance in the third period. |
"Guys played hard. We wanted to win our last game here at home for the fans and we came up short." - Iginla
"We had good chances. We actually moved it well on the power play, especially in the third, and had some good looks, a lot of us, myself included, and it didn't go in." - Iginla
|HARDEST WORKING FLAMES |
| || || || |
|Jarome Iginla |
Played one of his best all-around games of the season, 5 shots.
| ||Nigel Dawes |
Scored his 15th of the season, 2 shots & a +1 rating in 11:38.
| ||Eric Nystrom |
Gave it 110% every shift, 1 shot, 1 takeaway in 11:00.