SUN Hockey Pool

Blues bludgeoned by Flames

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:29 AM ET

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The St. Louis marketing slogan Back in Blue can officially be changed to Black 'N' Blue

The Calgary Flames beat up on the NHL's first team to be mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, stockpiling goals during a 7-2 win at the Savvis Center in what had to be considered a must-win situation for a team battling to stay atop their division.

"In the first two periods, we did a good job of what we hadn't done lately -- keeping team shots down," said Flames winger Darren McCarty, who opened the scoring in the first period with his seventh of the year.

"I looked up at the end of the second and I think there were 15 or something like that."

Meanwhile, the Flames had exploded for four in that middle frame to extend the home side's losing streak to five games.

Shean Donovan, Jordan Leopold, Roman Hamrlik and Robyn Regehr all tallied during the outburst, with Jamie Lundmark assisting on the last three in his first game back after sitting out a pair as a healthy scratch.

Donovan's seventh of the season, the Flames' second of the game, caught Blues goaltender Patrick Lalime napping.

Donovan rushed up the right wing on a harmless-looking play and beat Lalime off the post on the far side 3:52 into the second.

Displeased Blues fans -- the scattering that actually showed up for the game at the Savvis Center -- cheered sarcastically every time Lalime made a routine save until his removal.

The Flames are now 6-0 when Donovan scores.

Leopold scored his first goal in 82 regular-season games with a blast from the point on the powerplay. The backbreaking goal, which gave Calgary a 3-0 lead, chased Lalime from the net in favour of backup Reinhard Divis but the game was already all but over.

"It's nice to get it over with," Leopold said.

"Been looking to get one here since the Olympic break but just haven't got the right bounce or right break at the right time."

Leopold appeared to open the scoring in the first period but the tally was later credited to McCarty. That was the third time this season an apparent Leopold goal was taken away.

"It's happened to me all year," Leopold said.

"I was waiting for one of those lucky bounces and I thought that was the one.

"I ended up coming back and, I guess, redeeming myself."

Not wanting to be left out of the parade of goalscoring, Hamrlik netted his first goal since Nov. 23 with a rocket to the top corner after receiving a beautiful cross-ice pass from Chris Simon in the second to give the Flames a 4-0 lead.

Hamrlik added his seventh of the season while shorthanded in the third with another unstoppable blast.

Petr Cajanek ended Miikka Kiprusoff's bid for a ninth shutout with a deflection in the third and Keith Tkachuk netted his 13th of the season to give the crowd something to cheer about.

Said McCarty: "I'm a little p---ed off we allowed them to get two goals but, in the whole scheme of things, we played a better effort tonight."

Chuck Kobasew also scored a third-period goal for the Flames.


Photos