Open season with no red line

STEVE MacFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

Flames captain Jarome Iginla had his first taste of the 'invisible' red line yesterday.

Taking a long pass banked off the boards and over two lines, Iginla broke in alone on Miikka Kiprusoff, made a quick move from the side of the net and tried for the five-hole.

The goaltender closed the gap. But, after bouncing off Kiprusoff's pads and onto the stick of a defender, the puck again found its way to Iginla's stick.

The smiling sniper failed to beat Kipper again but those kinds of opportunities should be plentiful for Iginla this season.

"I like that the red line will be gone," said Iginla after his Team Red fell 5-2 to Team White in an intra squad game at the Saddledome yesterday. "I think it will help for better transitions when teams turn the puck over.

"It's going to mean, instead of having to wait and time it, you can put a pass to an area and let guys skate into it more.

"I think there's going to be more two-on-ones, more breakaways."

That doesn't always guarantee more goals, though.

"Goalies are good, Kipper was good on that play," said Iginla with a laugh.

"It should be fun to watch, though."

BETWEEN THE LINES: The best line on the ice wasn't the one most fans expected yesterday afternoon. While Marcus Nilson, Stephane Yelle and Shean Donovan made a strong case for the veterans, the line of Eric Nystrom, Byron Ritchie and Craig MacDonald were deadly in the offensive zone.

MacDonald opened the scoring for Team White in the first period during a powerplay by squeezing a wristshot between Kiprusoff's pads and could have had a hat-trick or two if all his opportunities went in.

Yelle replied for Team Red before the end of the period.

Team White's other goals were scored by Steve Reinprecht, Marcus Nilson, Roman Hamrlik and Derek Couture. Daymond Langkow scored the other Team Red goal.

ICE CHIPS: Rookie D Dion Phaneuf is on pace to break at least 40 or more sticks this season based on the last few scrimmages. His booming shot might be too powerful for any composite to handle ... D Mark Giordano showed flashes of his offensive upside more than once during the game. He beat goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff but hit the post.

LEAGUE NOTES: Sidney Crosby had three assists, two of them beauties, to make his mark in the first intrasquad game of the Pittsburgh training camp ... After the Flyers learned they'll be without Sami Kapanen for up to 10 weeks due to a shoulder injury, they signed Brian Savage to a one-year contract.


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