The Pittsburgh Penguins took advantage of a 4-goal second period to hand the Flames a 5-3 loss in their first game of the season.
Calgary started well and had a strong first period. The crowd’s energy was boosted by a season-opening goal from Curtis Glencross 15 minutes into the game. Though the Flames pressed, they couldn’t find the back of the net again before the end of the period.
The 2nd period was all Pittsburgh, who scored early and often. Just over a minute into the period, Tyler Kennedy beat Miikka Kiprusoff with a wrister to tie the game. The Flames regained a bit of momentum after the goal, but took a few too many penalties, and ended up giving up two more powerplay goals before the period was out. Matt Niskanen and Evgeni Malkin both scored on the poweplay and Craig Adams added another to send the Flames to the dressing room down 4-1.
Rene Bourque gave the fans another reason to cheer when he drove to the net and tipped an Alex Tanguay slap pass into the net behind Marc-Andre Fleury. As the period wound down, Olli Jokinen, who had previously been invisible, snapped a laser past Fleury to bring the Flames within one goal.
Unfortunately, as is often the case, the Flames pulled Kipper and ended up floundering and giving up an empty net goal.
The story of the game was a questionable hit by Cory Sarich on notorious cheap-shot artist Matt Cooke. As Cooke stick-handled across the Flames blueline, Sarich cut across the ice and delivered a solid hit which rung Cooke’s bell. The first view provided by CBC made the hit look like Sarich targeted the head, but further views showed that he kept his elbow down and that any head contact was incidental. Here’s the video:
What do you think? Was it a dirty hit? Leave a comment below and speak up.