Like the three previous games the Flames have found themselves on the losing end of, Calgary earned a 1-0 lead halfway through the first period when Rene Bourque beat Niklas Backstrom on the powerplay for his first goal in five games, but the Wild would even things up on a goal by an uncontested Cal Clutterbuck steaming down the right wing with 4:30 remaining in the opening frame.
The second period would end with the two teams still locked in a 1-1 tie,with the visiting Flames outshooting their hosts 22-19, but Martin Havlat would break the deadlock in the opening quarter of the period with his first goal of the season. The Flames would press for the equalizer, beating the Wild 12-4 in the shot department in final frame, but Havlat's goal would stand up as the game winner. The winger now has 12 goals and 21 points in 21 career games against the Flames, and the Wild, now 7-1 in their last eight games against their Northwest division rivals. Unfortunately I missed the game, but I'll attempt to offer up some thoughts after the jump.
- Brent Sutter continues to use Hagman, Jokinen, and Bourque in a PvP role with little success; the trio was in the red both in terms of scoring chances and Corsi last night, the only Flames forwards to find themselves on the negative side of things in a game where the Flames certainly didn't dominate, but still largely outplayed the Wild. Rene Bourque certainly appears capable of handling tough competition, but he can't drive possession by himself, which could help to explain his recent struggles on the scoresheet.
- Mark Giordano led all Flames blueliners in ice time last night at 23:54, playing mostly against the Nystrom-Madden-Wellman line. Him and Steve Staios were a combined +8 in scoring chance differential and +26 in Corsi, a rarity for the Steady One and yet another example of Gio's positive effect on his defence partners.
- Two days after Jarome Iginla's sub-10 minutes of EV ice time set tongues wagging about a potential trade, Iggy's TOI totals were back to normal last night against the Wild. He played 15:45 at EV and 19:48 altogether. His four shots on goal was the best of his fellow first liners. The trio also saw quite a bit of Havlat and Koivu and came out on the positive side of both Corsi (+32) and scoring chance differential (+13).
- David Moss has not looked out of place since returning to the lineup against Detroit. His four shots in was tied with Iginla and ian White for the second most on the team, behind only Mikael Backlund, who had 5.
- Ten of Calgary's 34 shots came with the man advantage while three were shorthanded; their 21 EV shots just edged Minnesota's 20.
- Eric Nystrom scored his first point for the Wild tonight after going pointless in the club's first twelve games, an assist on Cal Clutterbuck's game winner in the third period.
- One area where the Flames did best their opposition significantly last night was in the faceoff circle; the team won 57% of its draws and 58% at EV compared to just 43% by the Wild.