In a game that shouldn’t have been a challenge in the first place Calgary won the game. No shocker at this result as this really hasn’t been Anaheim’s season. They have had a mediocre year and currently sit 12th in the Western Conference. Obviously the playoff run for them is out of the question. Calgary knew they could pick up an easy win at the hands of Anaheim and they did just that without hesitation.
The one issue the Flames faced going into this game is the man between the pipes for the Anaheim Ducks. Jonas Hiller is still a top notch goaltender that can keep his team in things when they seem out of it. He should have been a challenge for the Calgary Flames, but Calgary found the right times to beat Hiller and get their goals on the board. In the end the Calgary Flames left the Pengrowth Saddledome with a 3-1 win, 2 points and momentum for the next game.
Let’s see what Calgary did in this game to get them the win and break down the scoring for you.
Nearing the end of the 1st period (15: 11), Calgary drew first blood putting a puck past Jonas Hiller. Nigel Dawes scored a power play goal to open the scoring 1-0 for the Calgary Flames. The assists came from Steve Staios and Jay Bouwmeester. With that momentum was on Calgary’s side as the period was winding down. Could they carry the momentum to the second?
The 2nd period stayed scoreless for a pretty long while until a puck had finally found itself inside of a net. Anaheim’s captain, Scott Niedermayer had tied up the game for his squad with a wrist shot past Miikka Kiprusoff at 14: 27 into the 2nd. The assists came from Matt Beleskey and Todd Marchant. So Anaheim and Calgary were tied up at 1. Could Anaheim make something out of this?
No they couldn’t because just a few minutes later, Flames scored again! Calgary’s rising star, Rene Bourque found the back of the net at 18: 25 to give the lead back to Calgary. The assist came from Captain Calgary himself, Jarome Iginla. So Calgary’s first line got down to business and got the lead right back when it was taken from them. You had to know this would do well for what they had going on mentally.
And was I wrong? 3: 05 into the 3rd period they got another one past Jonas Hiller. They say a goaltender is at his weakest after being scored on, well the theory was proven correct on this one. Niklas Hagman scored Calgary’s 3rd goal in the hockey game to make it 3-1 Flames. The assists came from Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester. So with that the Flames had locked up the game. The final scored ended up being 3-1 for Calgary and you can bet that is what they wanted going into the game.
The Flames took advantage of a weaker opponent to pick up 2 easy points on the night. They got a great performance out of Miikka Kiprusoff and the Calgary defense on this one which is exactly what they’ll need this entire playoff run. They also got 3 goals from the offense which is legit amount, no doubt.
The win once again moved them 2 points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Tonight however Detroit did pick up 2 points with a win against the St Louis Blues to once again move Calgary back to 4 points from the playoffs. Looks like it’s back to square 1 for the Calgary Flames.
The scheduling for the remainder of the season certainly favours the Detroit Red Wings. While Detroit will be playing games against mainly out of playoff contention teams, Calgary will have to play the roles of giant killers against teams like the Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, Washington Capitals as well as others. It’s certainly going to be one tough road to the playoffs for Calgary and if they do get in, it will show the NHL hockey teams exactly what they are made of!
Calgary Flames’ next 5 opponents of the NHL season:
Thursday vs. New York Islanders (3/25/10)
Saturday vs. Boston Bruins (3/27/10)
Sunday vs. Washington Capitals (3/28/10)
Wednesday vs. Phoenix Coyotes (3/31/10)
Friday vs. Colorado Avalanche (4/2/10)
Obviously the first two teams on that list aren’t exactly cup contenders, but the three teams that follow can turn the Flames playoff push into an absolute nightmare. I mean, Washington Capitals!? The best team in the whole NHL? That’s going to be the toughest game of the final few without a doubt and they have to prepare themselves really well for that one.
Phoenix is not exactly a walk in the park either. One of the top Western Conference teams is a tall order for the Flames, but correct me if I’m wrong, the Flames do tend to beat the Coyotes a lot so you never know what might happen there. Colorado isn’t going to be too easy either, but they’ve beat them before and they’ll do it again.
Oh how these last few games can be killer for the Flames fans. Or will they bring our Calgary team a greater gift? Only time will tell, but I’ll tell you one thing now, time is quickly ticking away.
So Flames nation keep watching our Calgary team battle it out as they look to find themselves a spot in the quest for Lord Stanley’s Cup.
This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name "Keeping The Fire In Their Eyes: Calgary Flames beat Anaheim Ducks 3-1." Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.
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