After a dismal game in Boston yesterday, the Calgary Flames proved their doubters wrong by showing that they still do have something left in the tank by beating the league-leading Washington Capitals 5-3 this afternoon.
Finally showing the ‘desperation’ that a team in their situation should, the Flames scored 3 goals in the first 10 minutes of the game, and added 1 more before the first period was finished. The 4-goal cushion was enough for the flames as they held off the potently offensive Capitals on their way to another much-needed win. Rene Bourque was definitely the player of the game, scoring the 5th goal to re-establish a 3-goal lead and adding 2 assists in the game. Always one to show up for a game, Alex Ovechkin scored the Capital’s first goal early in the 2nd period and added an assist for his 100th point of the season.
As the regular season winds down, the Flames and Capitals are in such different positions that it’s not surprising the future President’s Trophy winners didn’t show up for the first 2 periods of this game. The Capitals clinched a playoff spot a couple weeks ago, and are pretty much guaranteed to finish with the best record in the NHL – barring any major screw ups. By contrast, the Flames have been hanging onto a thin, splintered rope with one hand for the last 3 weeks. They should have been climbing that rope, but they seemed content to hang out hoping that someone would pull them up.
Today’s win (and Colorado’s loss) now leaves the Flames 4 points back of the Avalanche for 8th spot in the West with 6 games left. The Avalanche have one game at hand over the Flames, so it’s an understatement to say that they must win their final 6 games if they have a hope of squeaking into the playoffs.
The Flames now return home for a game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday.