An 8th place Calgary Flames lose the much needed two points, as the youngsters from Oil-town dominate the 2nd — scoring four unanswered goals during a complete 2nd period breakdown by the Flames.
The Flames did manage to open up the scoring, as Hannan nailed a shot down the slot minutes in, giving Kolanos his first point as a Calgary Flame’ and producing his second goal of the year.
The Flames are 19-6-2 when scoring first, but a persistent, top Oiler’ line was difficult for Kiprusoff to manage alone. Eberle beat the Flames net-minder on a backhand, in the last few minutes of the 1st, leaving a blank slate going into the 2nd.
But the 2nd was all but pretty. The Flames spent more time fumbling for the puck, while the youngsters flexed their energy. The Flames managed a total of 4 shots through out the 2nd, and the Oilers took full advantage. Butler blocked a Hemsky shot, and paid the price as he left with a lower body injury. He didn’t return.
The first unanswered goal was off a defensive scramble in front of Kipper, that gave Hemsky and the Oilers a 2-1 lead half-way through the 2nd.
A flat Calgary Flames seemed to sit back as the Oilers spent most of the period in on the offensive push. Not long after the Hemsky goal, Belanger and Gagner both scored a mere 20 seconds apart to boost the lead. Karlsson made his home debut in the 3rd period as Kipprusoff was pulled from the wreckage after Smyth’s birthday goal and the final of the 2nd. A quick power play goal by Hall would end the painful game at 6-1.
“We were flat physically, mentally, emotionally… We didn’t have any push tonight,” said Sutter in the post-game.
Saying they now need to respond the right way after such a loss, and the right way to respond is to win the next one.
“It is important that we have everyone playing to their potential,” he said, as he hung the 17 odd offencemen to dry.
The Captain chimed in post-game saying to the media scrum, “All the way around, it was just a terrible game… We were extremely flat, were weren’t sharp at all,” adding, “it was our second worst game of the year.”
Fans are well aware that without the scoring the Flames can’t win games. And to rely on our Vezna net-minder night in and night out only complicates the problem.
To make every game just as important as the last is extremely important for team morale, and if the Flames need a little reminder, they should examine the previous year when the Oilers beat out the Flames for a final playoff spot — all in the last game of the season.
Expect to see Glencross and Smith within the next week playing — a true boost to our roster especially with our loss of Butler tonight.
Calgary Flames set to host Phoenix Coyotes Thursday Feb 23 — an extremely important game — as we chase them for one of the few remaining play off slots.