By Jesse Campigotto
To the surprise of, well, no one, Game 1 of the Flames-Ducks series on Friday was a hard-fought, low-scoring affair. Grizzled veteran Darren McCarty showed he still has something left in the bank, er, tank, netting the game-winner in overtime to give the Flames a 2-1 win.
The big question heading into tonight's Game 2 is the status of Ducks goalie J.S. Giguere, who missed Friday's game with a lower body injury. Backup Ilya Bryzgalov performed admirably in Giguere's absence, stopping 28 of 30 shots, but the starting job still belongs to Giguere if he's healthy.
If the past is any indication of what we'll see tonight, the Saddledome will be rockin', Darryl Sutter will be frownin' and the defensive play will be stiflin'.
Playoff fever: catch it!
So, at the very least, it looks like Anaheim is not going to go quietly in this series. The Ducks became the fourth team of the day to even a series at 1-1.
And how about all the scoring? I would have figured it would take the next two games for these teams to combine for seven goals. And you probably would have figured someone would have to be a little smarter to write a game blog for the CBC. Well, we were both wrong. Let's just move on and you can check back here tomorrow for live commentary on Game 3 of the Montreal-Carolina series. Better yet, check out more of CBC's comprehensive Stanley Cup coverage. Good night now!
THIRD PERIOD, 20:00Anaheim 4, Calgary 3. Calgary can't get a shot through off the final faceoff and Anaheim walks out with a narrow win.
THIRD PERIOD, 19:57The Flames get a great chance as Lombardi gets a good wrist shot off from the face-off dot to Giguere's left, but Giguere squares up nicely and catches it against his chest. Time out, Flames.
THIRD PERIOD, 19:00Good chance for the Flames to tie it here. They've on the power play.
THIRD PERIOD, 17:20The Flames get a great chance to tie it as Craig MacDonald takes a long lead pass and breaks in alone. But Giguere stops his slap shot to preserve the Ducks' one-goal lead.
THIRD PERIOD, 15:31Anaheim 4, Calgary 3. And they score! Dion Phaneuf drills a shot from the point that finds its way past Giguere for the Flames' second power-play goal of the night. And suddenly we've got a good ole fashioned shootout on our hands.
THIRD PERIOD, 14:05The Ducks kill off a penalty to Vitaly Vishnevski for knocking down Stephane Yelle in front of the Anaheim net. Just as that expires, the pesky Yelle draws another penalty when he's hauled down in front by Ruslan Salei.
THIRD PERIOD, 7:55Anaheim 4, Calgary 2. On a 2-on-1 with Todd Marchant, Samuel Pahlsson blasts a one-timer that beats Kiprusoff up high.
THIRD PERIOD, 6:40With Anaheim on the power play, Kiprusoff makes a couple of very good saves, stopping Lupul and Selanne on one-timers from the slot.
THIRD PERIOD, 4:20Teemu Selanne just flew down the left wing and snapped a shot that Kiprusoff corraled. Selanne has looked terrific this season, hasn't he? I feel like it's 1993 again. Evidently, with his Jofa helmet, Selanne does too.
THIRD PERIOD, 2:57The Flames are really buzzing and, contrary to what a certain game blogger thought no more than an hour ago, appear capable of evening this game up.
SECOND PERIOD, 20:00The second period ends with the Flames down a goal, but they're showing some serious signs of offensive life. Should be an interesting final period.
SECOND PERIOD, 16:13The penalties are coming fast and furious now. Calgary's Rhett Warriner gets called for tripping, the fourth penalty called in the past 3:13.
SECOND PERIOD, 11:53Anaheim 3, Calgary 2. And just like that it's a 3 to 2 hockey game. Kristian Huselius gets the goal on the power play, with Iginla and Robin Regehr assisting.
SECOND PERIOD, 9:09Anaheim 3, Calgary 1. Perhaps inspired by the fans' sonically lopsided support, Jarome Iginla comes in on the right wing and fires a wicked wrist shot over the right shoulder of Giguere, who somehow can't get in the way despite sporting those laughably oversized shoulder pads.
SECOND PERIOD, 7:05The always-rabid Calgary fans try to get their team going with a "Let's go Fla-ames!" chant. I love Flames fans, but I have to call them out on that chant. "Flames" is a one-syllable word. The chant for one-syllable team nicknames should be, "Go (nickname) go!" The "Let's go (nickname)" chant should be reserved for teams with two-syllable names. Thank you.
SECOND PERIOD, 5:10Anaheim 3, Calgary 0. The Lupul penalty expires without the Flames registering a shot. Lupul then breaks in on a 2-on-1 with Teemu Selanne, takes a feed and bangs it past Kiprusoff. The way the Flames offence looks tonight, a three-goal deficit is going to be tough to overcome.
SECOND PERIOD, 2:45Anaheim kills off the Salei penalty but, shortly after, Joffrey Lupul is called for roughing.
FIRST INTERMISSIONShots on goal in the first: 7-4 in favour of Calgary. With the Flames facing a 2-0 deficit, this also seems like a good time to mention that Calgary scored the third-fewest goals in the league this season.
FIRST PERIOD, 20:00The Flames let another power-play opportunity go by without doing, well, anything, but Ruslan Salei is called for tripping with seven seconds left in the period so Calgary will start the second with another man advantage.
FIRST PERIOD, 16:14Just for the heck of it: I don't want to see Maurice tonight! I want The Rocket!!!
FIRST PERIOD, 13:20Anaheim 2, Calgary 0. With the Flames on the power play thanks to Sean O'Donnell's second penalty of the night, Scott Niedermayer strips Lombardi of the puck near the Ducks' blue-line, turns on the jets and beats Kiprusoff on a breakaway. Tough to think there's a faster defenceman in the league.
FIRST PERIOD, 9:37 Anaheim 1, Calgary 0. Spoke too soon. Chris Kunitz bangs one past Kiprusoff from in front of the net.
FIRST PERIOD, 9:30 Hard to believe with these two teams, I know, but we haven't seen a whole lot of scoring chances so far. The Flames just killed off their first penalty of the night. That's one penalty kill apiece.
FIRST PERIOD, 6:56 Sorry, it looks like it's Iginla, Langkow, Leclerc. Either way, it's still the ILL line.
FIRST PERIOD, 3:20Calgary's starting forward line: Iginla, Lombardi, Leclerc. Poor Jarome. And people in Toronto say Mats Sundin has no one to play with.
GAME ONGiguere is in net for the Ducks, facing (surprise!) Mikka Kiprusoff.
MOMENTS TO GAME TIMERon MacLean just informed us of an interesting (or discouraging, if you're a Flames fan) trend in today's games: the road team has won all three. Let's see if the Flames can stop the streak.
5 MINUTES TO GAME TIME
Another out-of-town update: Edmonton, the third Canadian team in action today, evened its series
with Detroit with a 4-2
win. I don't want to jinx it, but every win by the Flames and Oilers brings us nearer to a Battle of Alberta series. I'm giddy just thinking about it.
15 MINUTES TO GAME TIME
A quick update on the other game taking place this evening: Game 2 of the Senators-Lightning series
ended a few minutes ago, with Tampa winning 4-3. Marty St. Louis played a terrific game, scoring twice and adding an assist. The Ray Emery love-in, meanwhile, has been put on hold.