VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ The Calgary Flames know how difficult it
is to reach the second round of the NHL playoffs, they haven't done it in 15
But they are very close now.
Jarome Iginla's third-period goal put the Flames within one win of the
Western Conference semifinals as Calgary beat the Vancouver Canucks 2-1
The Flames captain snapped a tie 5:37 into the final period and Calgary took
a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series with Game 6 at home on Saturday. The
Flames have not won a playoff series since capturing the Stanley Cup in 1989.
``This was the toughest one yet and we expect even tougher next game,'' said
Iginla sporting the green hard hat given to the hardest-working Flames player
after every victory.
``We knew it would be a tough series, we knew it would be a long one. We
didn't expect anything different. Now we're in a good position, but as good as
it feels, it's about getting ready for Game 6 and having a chance to close it
The Flames caught a break on Iginla's goal that snapped a 1-1 tie. A shot by
defenseman Mike Commodore ricocheted in off Iginla and the skate of Canucks
defender Mattias Ohlund, who was tied up in the crease with Flames forward
``The toughest game is still yet to come, it keeps getting tougher,'' Flames
coach Darryl Sutter said. ``They're such a high-end team in terms of skill, and
our game is to try and shut those top guys down. Hopefully we can do it when we
get back home.
``I don't think it matters where you're playing right now. The actual
home-ice advantage doesn't help at this point. It's a war of attrition.''
Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff continued his domination over the
Canucks, making 32 saves, including 12 in the third period when the Flames had
just two shots.
``Kipper has been so good for us all season, and this series he's been
standing on his head again,'' Iginla said. ``We have so much confidence in him.
We made him make too many saves, especially in the third. They kept coming with
chance after chance. It was good to get the win.''
Following a scoreless first period, Calgary's Craig Conroy, and Henrik Sedin
of the Canucks exchanged second-period, power-play goals. As well as being the
Canucks' seventh goal with the man advantage in the series, Sedin's score also
ended Kiprusoff's shutout streak against the Canucks at 114 minutes, 50
``I thought we were better at (paying the price) than we had in any other
game, but we still have to find another notch,'' Canucks coach Marc Crawford
said. ``Throughout the lineup there are guys that can play more of a role in
that domain. We've got to have everybody. There's more for our guys to give,
there's got to be. You've got to find more.
``We can't allow ourselves to be content with all right, we've got to be
better and force our will on them.''
With starting goaltender Dan Cloutier out with a sprained ankle sustained in
Game 3, Canucks coach Marc Crawford pulled a surprise. He bypassed backup Johan
Hedberg in favor of Alex Auld, a recent recall from Manitoba of the AHL.
Auld made his first NHL playoff start after going 2-2-2 with a 2.06
goals-against average and a .929 save percentage in six games this season. In
three seasons in the Canucks system, Auld has gone 6-5-2 with a 1.82 GAA in 14
NHL games. Vancouver outshot Calgary 33-20.