Leafs 3, Flames 2 Recap

Claus Andersen

After tying the game at 1-1 late in the second period, the Flames let the game get away from them early in the third, and fell 3-2 to the Leafs in Toronto.

After losing 6-3 to the Senators on Sunday afternoon, the Flames were hoping for a better result in the second stop on their Ontario road trip. But they were in tough against a Toronto team desperate for a win tonight after losing eight straight, and ended up 0 for 2 in Ontario this season with a 3-2 loss at the Air Canada Centre.

The Flames took a while to find their legs in the first period, and the opening 20 minutes proved to be a slow affair, as the visitors registered only five shots on goal to the home team's seven. New Flame Bryce Van Brabant got his name on the score sheet when he was sent to the box for high-sticking Nikolai Kulemin, but that was the only action either team would see in the first period, as both sides would head to the dressing room mired in a scoreless tie that looked like it was going to be a snoozer.

It didn't take the Leafs long to break the tie in the second period, as Jay McClement scored on a tip-in just 50 seconds into the middle frame. The Flames skated better in the middle 20 minutes, and fired nine shots at Jonathan Bernier, who stopped all but eight of them. Curtis Glencross thought he had tied the game at 6:53 of the second period, but it was called off due to a high stick; after a brief review, the call on the ice stood. The Flames did manage to tie the game with just over three minutes remaining in the period after a perfect pass by TJ Brodie to a wide-open Matt Stajan all alone behind the Leafs' defence beat Bernier.

Early in the first period Toronto struck again, almost. Dave Bolland's shot was redirected past Karri Ramo by Brodie's skate, giving the Leafs a 2-1 lead just over two minutes in to the final frame. Just a few minutes later, Brodie bobbled the puck in the offensive zone and David Clarkson took over, steaming in on Ramo all alone and leaving the Flames playing a distant game of catch-up. Clarkson scored on the breakaway to put the Leafs up 3-1, forcing the Flames to catch up on the scoreboard as well.

A perfectly-placed shot by Kris Russell less than two minutes later brought the Flames to within one, but that was as close as they would get. Shots were even at 10 a piece in the final frame and Flames possessed a slight 24-23 edge in the end, but like in Ottawa, the visiting team couldn't recover after letting things slip away from them in a tied game.

Next up, the Flames are in Tampa ton Thursday o take on the evil Lightning before visiting the Panthers and Devils.

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