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Inside the Game: A night of firsts

by Mike Board / Calgary Flames


Okay, quick. When you were talking at the office this week who did you pick to score the first goal of the season for the Calgary Flames?

Iginla? Bertuzzi? Cammalleri? Phaneuf?

Bet you nobody mentioned Andre Roy, the Flames resident pugilist. But, on a night of firsts to open the season at the Pengrowth Saddledome, it was Andre Roy who scored the first goal of the 2008-09 campaign for the Flames, picking up a loose puck in the slot and hammering home a slapper of a stunned Roberto Luongo in the Canucks net at 2:49 of the first period.

Flames Line Combinations


Extras: Nystrom, Boyd
Defence Pairings:
Extra: Pardy
Kiprusoff (S)  McElhinney

Even Roy, a fourth-liner, looked a little surprised that he had scored. But, after being blanked 6-0 in Vancouver on Thursday, the Flames weren't worried about who scored, just that they did score.

Roy's goal came less than a minute after Daniel Sedin had put the Canucks ahead 1-0 and started a string of three consecutive goals for the Flames in the first period.

That included Todd Bertuzzi and Rene Bourque tallying their first goals in a Flames uniform. Bertuzzi was heading to the net from the high slot when a Mark Giordano wrister richocheted off his arm into the top corner. Bourque batted in a rebound off a Mike Cammalleri shot. In the second period, another first, as Cammalleri scored the Flames fourth goal of the night from the edge of the crease when he neatly banged in a rebound.

Official Gamesheet

That goal proved critical and was one of the few legitimate chances the Flames had to score in the second period, as they lapsed and let Vancouver back in the game. Cammalleri's goal restored the Flames lead, to 4-3, after a 3-1 lead had slipped through their hands.

Not that Vancouver was finished -- Daniel Sedin notched this game at four a piece when he took a perfect pass from his brother from behidn the net and fired home a wrist shot at 6:10 of the third.

The game-winner came in overtime, courtesy of Pavol Demitra at 3:54 as the Canucks take four points from the Flames in the home-and-home series to start the season.

While the Flames were happy with portions of their game, they were not happy with their defensive play, noting they have given up 11 goals in two games.

"There were a lot of good things," said captain Jarome Iginla. "It's disappointing that we didn't get the win. We have to tighten it up defensively. We are giving up a lot of point blank scoring chances."

"There's not much to be said after that game," added Cammalleri. "Pretty upset, for sure. If we can solidify our defensive play we are going to start to win games. The whole system is based on solid defensive play."

Bourque concurred.

"We had a good first period and then we let them back into it in the second. We had some mental lapses during the game. We have to play 60 minutes," said Bourque. "We scored four goals tonight. Our defensive zone coverage has to be better. We are getting outbattled down low and too many turnovers, too."

THE BIG HIT: It looked inoocent enough but, in the second period, when Alex Burrows threw a pass to the front of the net and began admiring it, Jim Vandermeer took the opportunity to paste him into the boards.
THE TURNING POINT: Pavol Demitra finishes off a two-on-one in overtime to break the Flames hearts.

THE ROSTER: The Flames scratches were F Eric Nystom, F Dustin Boyd and D Adam Pardy.

WORTH NOTING:Dion Phaneuf wore an A on his jersey, as did Robyn Regehr who was back in the line-up after missing Thursday's 6-0 loss to Vancouver after returning to Calgary be with his wife, Christina, for the birth of their first child, a baby boy...In Vancouver Todd Bertuzzi wore an A. Although the team hasn't finalized who will be wearing the final A (D Rhett Warrener, now on long-term injured reserve had an A last season) they may decide to have Phaneuf wear a A at hoem and Bertuzzi wear an A on the road...The Flames felt they were outworked on Thursday in Vancouver and wanted to play a physical game. Point taken. After two periods the Flames had outhit the Canucks 25-13...The Flames host Colorado on Tuesday at the 'Dome...

BY THE NUMBERS: In the early going of the second period the Flames were holding a 3-1 lead and outshooting Vancouver 16-8. By the 12-minute mark of the period the game was tied 3-3 and the shots on goal were notched at 16-16...By the end of the period the Canucks were outshooting the Flames 25-20....Cammalleri, Dion Phaneuf and Rene Bourque combined for six points on two goals...
The Sedin twins combined for nine points for the Canucks in the two games against Calgary...
Vancouver outshot Calgary 34-29...The Flames registered 30 hits to 20 for Vancouver...Dion Phaneuf led the Flames shot parade with four while Sami Salo had five for the visitors.
ITCHING TO GO: Jarome Iginla was ready Saturday. Fired up indeed. Right off the opening face-off he tried to get Alex Burrows to drop the mitts and dance. Burrows didn't bite, despite several shin and ankle whacks from the Flames captain.

While Burrows wouldn't partner up for a fight with Iginla, Willie Mitchell did, later in the first period. The pair had words during a scrum in front of the Vancouver net and, a short time later, doffed their helmets and gloves and fought at the Canucks blueline. Mitchell appeared to be gaining the uppder hand when Iginla rebounded, ducked a right hander, swtiched to a southpaw and tatooed Mitchell with a haymaker to the nose, knocking the defenceman to the ice and signalling the end of the fight.Iginla's jersey actually tore apart during the melee.

In the second period Andre Roy and Darcy Hordicuk dropped the gloves but the fight was short and sweet with no clear-cut winner. Shortly after Rick Rypien knocked helmet off Brandon Prust in the third fight of the evening.
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