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Win puts Flames in post-season

by Peter Zuurbier / Calgary Flames
 
GAME IN A MINUTE

BY THE NUMBERS

78 – Hits by both teams in a very physical game.

25:23 – Jordan Leopold led the Flames in ice time.

2 -- Dion Phaneuf complimented strong defensive play with assists on both goals

BIG SAVE
Mikka Kiprusoff’s cat-like reflexes were on full display, and Louis Eriksson learned a hard lesson about challenging Kipper’s lightning quick catcher, despite being wide open in the slot about 11 minutes into the first. Eriksson went for the top corner but was foiled by Kiprusoff

BIG HIT
The big hit was actually a miss. Robyn Regehr flew into the boards and missed his mark. The result was an unspecified lower body injury that had him out for the remainder of the game.

WHY THE FLAMES WON
The Flames were testing Stars’ goaltender Marty Turco consistently throughout the evening, driving the net hard and shooting pucks from every angle at every opportunity. The strong offensive showing complemented a sound defensive effort.

OUR 3 STARS
1. Phaneuf—Stepped it up with a shortened bench
2. Kiprusoff—Steadying influence on the back end.
3. Iginla—Once again the captain leads by example.

ROSTER
D Cory Sarich (lower body), D Mark Giordano (upper body), D Rhett Warrener (shoulder); F Rene Bourque (high ankle sprain), F Wayne Primeau (foot); and F Andre Roy (upper body) are out of the Flames line-up with injuries. Robyn Regehr left the game in the 2nd period with a lower body injury and is day-to-day.

UP NEXT  
The Flames continue their back-to-back road trip in Minnesota against the Wild on Friday at 6:00 pm on Sportsnet West and The Fan 960.

-- Peter Zuurbier
The Flames already depleted defensive corps took another blow Thursday night in Dallas.  Key defenseman Robyn Regehr went down after missing a check on Fabian Brunnstrom and hitting the boards awkwardly.

Following the game head coach Mike Keenan indicated that Regehr would be listed as day-to-day, but his injury was a mystery even to his teammates.

“He left, and then he came back, and then he was gone again,” said Craig Conroy, who scored the game-winning goal.

“Hopefully he’ll be back on the ice tomorrow.”

Regehr’s injury is the latest setback to befall the Flames’ blueline. Cory Sarich missed the entire game with his own lower body injury. The team may have to call up a defenseman from Quad City in time for tomorrow’s game against Minnesota.

Regehr’s injury marred what was an otherwise exceptional evening for the Flames. Feeling the pressure from Vancouver for the Northwest Division title, the team responded with a solid 60 minutes of effort, punching their ticket into the playoffs for the fifth straight season.  

“Five years in a row does feel good,” said captain Jarome Iginla, “but our goal is more than that.”

All four lines drove the net hard, and sent a flurry of pucks in Stars’ goaltender Marty Turco’s direction, trying valiantly to recapture their offensive mojo. Despite scoring only two goals, the team was very happy with their play, as was their coach.

“We like how we’re going right now,” said Eric Nystrom.

“I’m very pleased with the team’s performance on a tough road game… now we’re moving forward," said Keenan.

The Flames matched their offensive effort with a great deal of defensive intensity, which the coach also noted.

“We followed the disciplined approach we needed for a road game,” said Keenan.

Craig Conroy affirmed the team’s defensive emphasis.

“We were trying to play well defensively… to play soundly,” said Conroy.

“We gotta do it again tomorrow night.”

With little time to rest before their game tomorrow night against the Minnesota Wild (6 p.m. Sportsnet, The Fan 960), the team knows maintaining consistency is the key to winning their first back-to-back games of the season at this crucial time.

“You need a tight game in Minnesota because that’s the way they play,” said Keenan.
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