CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The way the Calgary Flames kept losing
goals, it seemed they might never get one to stick.
Eric Nystrom scored the eventual winner in a 3-2 victory over
the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night, but it didn’t come until a
pair of apparent power-play goals by Olli Jokinen and Curtis
Glencross were disallowed by referee Eric Furlatt.
“The first one looked like it was pretty legit, but at the same
time the referee doesn’t get to look at the scoreboard and see
the instant replay so he is just going with what he sees on the
ice,” Nystrom said. “Things happen so fast out there that they
just make the call and they can’t reverse their own call. That’s
what’s tough about being a referee.”
Jamie Lundmark had a goal and an assist, Daymond Langkow also
scored, and Miikka Kiprusoff made only 13 saves in earning his
NHL-leading 43rd win of the season.
Andrew Brunette and James Sheppard scored for Minnesota, three
points behind eighth-place Edmonton and St. Louis at the playoff
cutoff in the Western Conference. The Wild will visit Edmonton
on Sunday night.
“We’re supposed to be fighting for our lives here to get into
the playoffs and it’s just not a good effort tonight,” Wild
forward Owen Nolan said.
Niklas Backstrom kept the Wild in the game as he made 37 saves,
including 18 in the first period when Minnesota was outshot
“In hockey, you never give up,” Backstrom said. “You go out
there and you battle until the buzzer or until someone says the
season is over. Until then you fight.”
After Wild rookie Cal Clutterbuck took a rare clipping penalty,
the Flames appeared to pull ahead when Jokinen slapped a shot
past Backstrom. Furlatt immediately waved off the goal because
Glencross was called for impeding with Backstrom in the crease.
“We looked at it after, and it was not in the crease,” Calgary
coach Mike Keenan said. “His foot was in the crease and then he
moved it out. It was probably in the crease two seconds before
the puck went in net and then out, so missed call.”
The Flames regained control of the puck on that power play, and
Glencross appeared to score when he tipped a point shot by
Jarome Iginla past Backstrom. Furlatt again waved off the goal
because Glencross tipped the puck with a high stick. The call
was upheld after a video review.
“It’s a ref’s discretion, obviously, and sometimes that
happens,” Glencross said. “We all just kind of shook our heads
and put it behind us. You know it was still a tight game there
and we just had to go forward with it.”
Calgary’s persistence finally paid off when Iginla made a nice
pass across to Nystrom, who one-timed a shot into the top corner
to make it 3-2.
The Flames carried the play early, but the Wild scored first
when Brunette swatted a rebound past Kiprusoff 11:56 into the
Calgary tied it at 13:23 when Lundmark’s snap shot from the
right circle beat Niklas Backstrom high to the glove side. The
goal snapped a scoreless span of 133 minutes, 51 seconds for the
Flames, who were shut out in back-to-back games at Pittsburgh
and Columbus on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Flames took a 2-1 lead with 4:23 left in the first when
Langkow converted a feed from Todd Bertuzzi, who outbattled
Minnesota defenseman Martin Skoula behind the net before
throwing the puck out front to his linemate.
Sheppard scored his first goal in 26 games 11:13 into the second
to bring Minnesota into a 2-2 tie.