The Other Side: Five for Howling
Sometimes you get the bounces and sometimes you don't, and tonight was one of the latter contests for the Flames, who were shutout 3-0 at the hands of Ilya Bryzgalov and the Phoenix Coyotes last night in Glendale.
The visiting team hung in there for a scoreless first period in which the Coyotes owned the scoring chance count, but couldn't keep Phoenix off the scoresheet for long in the middle frame, despite something of a push-back in the second.
The Coyotes' Brett MacLean would score just 1:51 in to put his team up 1-0, and that was essentially all she wrote in that one. Despite peppering Bryzgalov with nearly 20 shots in the second, the Flames couldn't beat the Russian 'tender.
The visitors had a late powerplay that carried over into the final frame and another one with just under eight minutes into the period, but they couldn't make any of their six chances with the man advantage count, and the Coyotes would add another marker courtesy of Eric Belanger before Shane Doan finished off the game with an empty-netter.
Henrik Karlsson got a rare start in net for the Flames tonight, his first since January, and despite being tagged with the 'L,' he didn't fare too badly, making 29 of 31 stops in the Calgary crease. Aside from him, no individual Flame turned in a particularly impressive performance tonight. The fourth line of Jackman, Backlund, and Kostopoulos had a combined 13 shots on goal and turned in a solid night of work at even strength, and David Moss continued to prove his worth with five shots on net and a positive Corsi and scoring chance differential while playing 18:33.
It was a bit of an odd night for the first line, as Moss and Jarome Iginla both finished marginally in the black in terms of scoring chances--although the captain generated most of his on the powerplay--while Alex Tanguay finished even, although him and Moss had the edge on Iggy in possession.
it's difficult to complain too much about this one when the Flames essentially got away with grand larceny the other night in Dallas, stealing the two points from under the Stars' noses despite being out-played for the better part of the game. The percentages had to correct themselves to a degree, and unfortunately it resulted in the Flames getting shutout by a close rival.
The Flames are now tied with the Coyotes for fifth in the West with 81 points, and they move on to play the Vancouver Canucks at home on Saturday. After a short-lived struggle during which Vancouver couldn't seem to find the back of the net, the Canucks are the second hottest team in the league coming into this contest, with four consecutive victories and a 7-3-0 record in their past ten games.
Yeah, I'm not looking forward to this one either.