SUN Hockey Pool

Rollie stones Flames

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla is tripped up and was awarded a penalty shot on the play...

Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla is tripped up and was awarded a penalty shot on the play during first period action against the Edmonton Oilers at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2006. Iginla missed on the penalty shot. (Edmonton Sun/Jason Franson)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

EDMONTON -- For all his scoring prowess, Flames captain Jarome Iginla has one kryptonite: The penalty shot.

He was left lamenting yet another missed chance -- his fifth in six career opportunities -- last night following a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers in the season-opener at Rexall Place.

"Probably still thinking a little bit too much. You have a lot of time to think on a penalty shot," said Iginla whose inability to beat Dwayne Roloson late in the first period of the clash proved to be a critical juncture in the defeat. "But he made a good save."

Roloson did and forward Petr Sykora -- making his debut for the Oilers -- scored the first of his two goals a mere 30 seconds later to make banner night a double delight in the provincial capital.

On an evening the Oilers hoisted yet another flag to the Rexall Place rafters -- their 2006 Western Conference champs prize -- Iginla couldn't pour cold water early.

He did everything right, drawing Roloson out of his cage and then going to the backhand.

One problem: Roloson was equal to the task.

"It would have been nice to get that for the team," said Iginla. "It could be a big momentum boost either way and, unfortunately, Rollie made a good save on the backhand.

"Pretty quick after they were able to get a goal. That's tough.

"Next one."

Calgary head coach Jim Playfair agreed the penalty shot was "a big momentum swing.

"I thought we started well. I think we had a good push, established our forecheck and we were making a heavy push for it.

"When they came back and scored right after on a neutral-zone turnover, it gave them a lot of juice and they pushed ahead with it."

But let it be known, Iginla's missed penalty shot was only part of the Flames' disappointment.

Their powerplay failed on nine chances -- including four straight late in the second period and early in the third period -- while the game was within reach.

"Their penalty killing was good and we didn't find a way to get one," said Iginla, who scored his team's lone goal late in the game.

"When you have that many powerplays and a two-goal game most of the game, we -- as powerplay units -- have to find one. We didn't. That was probably the biggest difference.

"I don't know if it was a lack of effort. I think we really had a good start as a team. We were able to draw a ton of penalties, that means we're skating. It was powerplay. We had the chances."

Still, Playfair said that effort didn't carry over while on the man-advantage.

"We had our chances. We didn't do a good enough job taking pucks to the net down low," he said.

"Their forwards did a really good job of getting in shooting lanes and blocking shots. I don't think we were desperate enough for pucks. That was the difference."

The Oilers were two-for-eight, including Sykora's second on the night, during a five-on-three.

Daniel Tjarnqvist rounded out the scoring.

The Alberta rivals meet again tomorrow night in Calgary (8 p.m., Saddledome) when the Flames lift the lid on the home portion of their schedule.


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