Two-time Stanley Cup winner, Stephane Yelle, scored 2 goals, including the game-winner to give the Calgary Flames a big victory in game 1 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Yelle opened the series scoring just 2:47 into the first period by deflecting a point shot from Robyn Regehr . He added the game-winner at 16:21 of the 2nd period when he knocked in a rebound when Jarome Iginla drove deep on Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Both of Yelle’s goals were reviewed by the NHL goal-judges in the video-replay-room in Toronto, but each time they were ruled as legitimate goals.
Dion Phaneuf also tallied a Powerplay goal early in the first period to put the Flames up 2-0. Phaneuf will be a key player for the Flames in this series with his physical and offensive play. He is already being targetted by the Sharks and received one good hit from Patrick Rissmiller. Phaneuf played a physical game tonight, but unlike he had done in past playoffs, he managed to maintain his cool and not make defensive errors while looking for the ‘monster hit’.
Physical was the name of the game, with a total of 77 hits being delivered. Calgary was lead by veteran Owan Nolan (6 hits), while Ryan Clowe lead the Sharks with 7 hits. Not surprisingly, there were only 5 penalties in the game as both teams refrained from losing their cool.
One player to keep an eye on is Ryan Clowe. He scored both goals for San Jose tonight and was a big presence on the ice for the Sharks. After missing the majority of the season with a knee injury, he was on a rampage in game 1 and found the back of the Flames net twice.
The Flames were outshot 39-23, but Miikka Kiprusoff came up big for the Flames again. He played a very aggressive game and stopped shot-after-shot from a potently offensive Sharks team. Kipper will be a key to Calgary’s success (or lack of it) in this series.
Look for game 2 tonight to be another physical game.
CGY: Yelle A: Regehr
CGY: Phaneuf A: Langkow, Iginla
SJS: Clowe A: Marleau, Pavelski
CGY: Yelle A: Iginla
SJS: Clowe A: Thornton, Campbell