Flames feel fans' pain

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

The booing started in the second period.

But it didn't reach a fever pitch until the third, while the Calgary Flames were on yet another unsuccessful powerplay.

Again, they came away from the man-advantage -- then a two-man upper-hand -- with a goose egg.

The Flames broke it on their 25th man-advantage situation of the season with a late goal from Alex Tanguay but the game had already been decided as Calgary fell 4-1 to the San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome last night.

"We can hear it," said captain Jarome Iginla of the catcalls.

"We can understand where it's coming from. We've got great fans that get into the game and we didn't give them anything to be excited about tonight.

"It was a bad game for us. We have no excuses as players. We realize that and that didn't feel very good.

"Being at home, we know we've got to be a lot better in front of our fans."

Good news is the regular season is just three games old.

Bad news is the Flames' total of four goals is just one higher than Rick Nash's personal tally.

Washington's Alexander Semin already has four of his own in two outings.

The Flames mustered 30 shots on Vesa Toskala but the scoring chances were few and far between.

In fact, aside from one spectacular save on Daymond Langkow -- who snapped his stick over the crossbar in the seconds following the diving glove snag -- Toskala wasn't tested much in close.

But it's the powerplay that's most troubling. It's such an important part of the post-lockout NHL.

"We know our powerplay has to be a lot better," said Iginla, all alone to face the media after the disappointing team effort. "We have to be able to make a difference.

"You have to have a good powerplay in the NHL -- and we had one last year. We're going to get this going."

Tanguay's goal, his first as a Flame, was the lone bright spot around the goalmouth, where the home side looked a little frantic at times.

Iginla doesn't believe the team is feeling "snakebitten" at this point but admits frustration is something they have to avoid.

"Playing out there, you don't want to be frustrated, you want to stay focused and you want to keep working on things," he said.

"But it does take just starting to simplify it completely because you do start to get a little anxious.

"As a group you can feel it and you try to force it."


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