Flames shot down again

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

The Calgary Flames extended their Northwest Division lead last night but they were hoping to earn more than one point.

Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Marc Denis had other ideas and made 38 saves, including a pair in the shootout, to lead the visitors to a 2-1 victory at the 'Dome.

"I'm a big fan of the shootout right now because I'm 2-0 and I've stopped all five shots I've seen," said Denis after the win.

"This shows a great amount of patience and a great amount of character for this hockey team."

The Flames announced after the game they traded centre Steven Reinprecht and goalie Philippe Sauve to the Phoenix Coyotes for netminder Brian Boucher and winger Mike Leclerc.

Coming off a five-game road trip against perceived lesser opponents, during which they went 2-2-1, the Flames needed a victory against Columbus to put a little room between themselves and the Vancouver Canucks before tomorrow night's meeting between the division rivals.

But the streaking Blue Jackets were eager to win their fourth straight game and ninth in 12.

With goals from Jaroslav Balastik and Rick Nash in the shootout, they accomplished their task.

Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter was happy to get a point but admitted it was a little annoying losing their second straight game in a shootout.

"It's frustrating," said Sutter. "Two shootouts in a row and you look at the game before that we lost in Chicago, no score with about five or six minutes left -- it tells you we're not scoring that big goal.

"You take what's really good. What's really good is you get a big point."

The Flames showed more energy than the Blue Jackets.

However, unable to turn their opportunities into more than a lone goal, the Blue Jackets drew even at 1-1 by the end of the second period thanks to a five-on-three advantage late in the frame.

With Robyn Regehr already in the sin bin for the same violation, Rhett Warrener's clearing attempt also went over the glass and gave the Jackets a two-man advantage for almost a full two minutes.

Setting up the powerplay, Klesla harassed Miikka Kiprusoff with three long blasts -- one ringing off the post -- before slipping a soft pass to Nikolai Zherdev. His hard one-timer beat the Flames goaltender on the short side with 12 seconds to go on Warrener's infraction and just a few ticks left in Regehr's.

Regehr was disappointed about the unlucky penalties.

"It was a bad break," said Regehr. "It was real unfortunate that they happened five, six seconds apart from each other. That was the break that cost us the hockey game."

While Sutter took solace in the point, Regehr was upset with the one that got away.

"They're games that we wanted to win and we had the opportunity on both of them," said Regehr.

"We can't be happy with ties and shootout losses right now.

"We're in a dogfight in our division and the conference and we need wins."

Calgary remains atop the Northwest Division, two points ahead of Vancouver.


Videos

Photos