FINISHING THEIR CHECKS
The Flames came out ready for a rough game against divisional rivals the Vancouver Canucks. Hitting hard and often the Flames gave a physically punishing game for the Canucks.
Early in the first period defenceman Mark Giordano put a punishing hit on Canuck forward Ryan Kesler, this was an early showing that the Flames meant business in tonight’s game.
It was this hard-nosed grinding hockey that gave the Flames control and helped them set the pace of the game early, really allowing them to take the bite out of the Canucks offensive game.
Handing out punishment the Flames delivered 28 hits in the game tonight.
Keeping control of the game the Flames ensured that the Canucks had very few chances on net. Keeping the puck in the offensive zone ensured that the Flames challenged Canuck netminder Roberto Luongo.
It was this constant assault on Luongo that allowed the Flames to pull ahead with a cannon from Mike Cammalleri at 0:51 in the third.
Tom Kostopoulos robbed the Canucks late in the second by getting his stick in front of a puck just as it hit the goal line, knocking the puck out of the net at the last second.
Special teams were strong tonight for the Flames as they killed off penalties and prevented the Canucks from scoring. Keeping control over the game the Flames ensured that the Canucks were unable to capitalize on the man advantage.
It was also the powerplay that helped the Flames tonight with Olli Jokinen scoring a goal on a beautiful pass from Jarome Iginla at 5:38 in the second period. It was this goal that began the Flames scoring and helped them take the lead early in the third.
Control seemed to switch as the Canucks took control in the third. After Cammalleri’s goal early in the third the Flames seemed to fall back which allowed Gragnani a chance to score to tie the game in the Third.
The Canucks began the assault on Karlsson in the second but it was in the third that their chances began to pile up. Outshooting the Flames 12 – 10 in the third it was this that allowed them a chance to gain advantage and to take the game into overtime.
It was Andrew Ebbett who scored the final goal at 3:58 in overtime to give the Canucks a 3-2 win over the Flames.
WESTERN CONFERENCE FIGHT
The Flames were unable to kill a five game winning streak for the Canucks as they gained the first place position in the Western Conference. In the tightly contested race for the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl, the Canucks are currently in first place over the St. Louis Blues with 107 points.