SUN Hockey Pool

Officially disappointing

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:08 AM ET

VANCOUVER -- The displeasure with the officials was palpable.

Yet Calgary Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter wouldn't blast with both barrels, despite having seen a late two-goal lead disappear and his team fall 4-3 in overtime to the Vancouver Canucks last night.

"I thought we played hard," Sutter said. "I'm disappointed we were given the opportunity to play five-on-five more in the third period."

The makings of a fifth-straight Flames win over Vancouver this season were all there.

Thanks to early third-period goals by Dion Phaneuf and Jarome Iginla, Calgary had a two-goal edge with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation.

However, at that point officials Steve Kozari and Dan O'Halloran called four straight infractions that sent Flames to the sin bin, including penalties to Kristian Huselius and Robyn Regehr in the final two minutes of regulation and Jordan Leopold in overtime.

The Canucks took full advantage with four powerplay tallies, including Brendan Morrison's in the extra period.

"I'm all for physical play but when their players that aren't known for their aggressive behaviour on their team..." Sutter started before heading in another direction. "There probably should have been a couple penalties called but then they called little ones that are not supposed to be called."

The most unsettling being the infraction on Leopold for tripping Todd Bertuzzi, similar to what happened to Iginla at the other end but didn't lead to a whistle.

"Is there much difference between that and Bertuzzi?" Sutter said. "I don't think there was.

"You got one young referee caught up in the emotion of the game."

Sutter wasn't the only one among the Flames controlling their words.

"It's painful when you see some of the things you don't agree with but that's hockey," said captain Jarome Iginla. "That happens some nights and it doesn't do you any good to complain afterwards, so I'm going to try not to."

Calgary (25-12-5) has a four-point edge on Vancouver (23-14-5) in the Northwest Division standings.

No game between the Flames and Canucks these days is a dud, and the offering before a raucous sellout gathering of 18,630 at GM Place was no exception.

The game opened with end-to-end action, plenty of scoring chances and great intensity, and carried right through to the conclusion.

Stephane Yelle opened the scoring for Calgary with a powerplay goal only to see that lead evaporate early the second on Sami Salo's first of two goals, which snapped Miikka Kiprusoff's shutout string at 122 minutes, two seconds.

Phaneuf -- also on the powerplay -- and Iginla clicked 44 seconds apart in the final frame to put the Flames in a good position to claim yet another victory over the Canucks but soon after the wheels fell off.

"It's disappointing," said Phaneuf. "That was a big point we came to get here.

"Everybody played hard for the full 60-some minutes, so it's very disappointing."

Calgary continues its road trip Tuesday night in New York against the Rangers.

- - -

VANCOUVER CANUCKS: 4

CALGARY FLAMES: 3

OVERTIME


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