Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Late Calgary Goal Thwarts Blues' Comeback

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Late Calgary Goal Thwarts Blues' Comeback

Article excerpt

CALGARY, ALBERTA As a rock song mantra suggests, you can't always get what you want. And in hockey, you can't always get what you deserve.

Case in point the Blues' 3-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Sunday night.

The Blues wanted to keep momentum going after a 3-0 victory Saturday in Edmonton, and they deserved to be rewarded for outplaying the Flames throughout outshooting them 38-17. But Calgary netminder Mikka Kiprusoff would not cooperate.

Trailing 2-0 midway through the game, the Blues got goals from T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Sobotka to tie the contest in the third period.

But a sloppy goal the Blues allowed Jarome Iginla to score late in the final period shot down the comeback. He appeared to have been slowed on a breakaway but managed to get the puck past goalie Jaroslav Halak anyway.

"Their third goal was a weak goal, so what are you going to do?" Blues coach Ken Hitchcock asked. "We played hard and competed. But for us to get moving ahead, our power play has to become a force again."

The Blues went 0 for four with the man advantage.

"We're giving up too many opportunities that we work to earn," Hitchcock added. "It's something we want to address. If we continue to play good five-on-five hockey, we'll be all right."

The Flames (12-14-4 ) are not currently a playoff-caliber opponent. Coming off a rough 5-1 loss at Columbus, Calgary has not won a road game all month.

But there is another side to the coin.

The Flames have been a different team at home. Between fielding Iginla trade rumors, they were seeking a seventh consecutive win at Scotiabank Saddledome. The streak began shortly after a 5-2 loss to the Blues on Feb. 15.

Moreover, the Flames are considerably more combustible at home.

They came into the game ranked among the NHL's most effective home offenses, with 52 goals in 15 home dates.

For their part, the Blues represented the extinguishing yin to that Flames' yang.

Hitchcock's conscientious crew focuses on foiling forays, controlling chaos and counterpunching offense. The Blues had allowed just six goals in their last five games.

The had shutouts in two of the last four contests, with Jake Allen blanking Phoenix and Halak applying zero tolerance in the win Saturday.

As they say in Western Canada, something had to give, eh? In the end, it was the Blues and Halak.

"We had a lot of positives, but just not enough," Blues forward Andy McDonald said. "We're not at a level that is going to get us where we want to go. It's got to improve. Everyone has high expectations, so it's frustrating."

Trouble for the Note started early.

After Roman Polak was penalized for roughing, the Flames got their first real chance of the game and scored. Roman Cervenka approached from an off wing, used a decoy and beat Halak over the shoulder.

A power play conversion, Cervenka's fourth goal of the season, provided the Flames a 1-0 lead with 8:47 to play in the first. …

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