SUN Hockey Pool

Flames' streak Petrs out

Edmonton Oilers' Shawn horcoff crashes the net as Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff makes the...

Edmonton Oilers' Shawn horcoff crashes the net as Calgary Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff makes the save and Robyn Regehr tries to stop Horcoff during second period action at Rexall Place on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2006. (Edmonton Sun/Jason Franson)

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

EDMONTON -- The winning formula had been established.

A big hit or two to open the show. Relentless forechecking to put defenders on edge. Timely goals from a lengthy list of eager contributors and some auspicious saves from the defending Vezina Trophy winner.

That's how the Calgary Flames claimed six straight games this month.

Looking to bring their winning streak to seven -- and more importantly leapfrog the idle Canucks into the eighth spot in the Western Conference -- the Calgary Flames left a couple of ingredients out of their game and saw their run end in Edmonton.

With a late goal from Petr Sykora, his second of the night, the Oilers gave their own four-game unbeaten stretch some legs with a 2-1 victory last night at Rexall Place in front of an excited sellout crowd.

Ales Hemsky took a pass at the blueline and snapped a hard shot at Miikka Kiprusoff. But the Flames netminder couldn't contain the rebound and Sykora eluded a network of players in white to deposit the winning goal.

By no means were they completely flat but the Flames appeared to play a little flat-footed off the hop, anticipating the heralded Oilers rush rather than creating their own. They backpeddled to defend rather than throw their bodies at opponents on the forecheck as they've done early and often the past couple of winning weeks.

Despite their defensive start, the Flames managed to get on the board first -- with a little help from Oilers defenceman Daniel Tjarnqvist.

With it trickling harmlessly towards goaltender Dwayne Roloson, Tjarnqvist opted to play -- or rather misplay -- the puck Roloson was about to smother.

The defenceman lost control beside the post and Chuck Kobasew swatted the puck into the blue paint, where Kristian Huselius quickly pounced for his seventh of the year.

The lanky Swede now has a goal in four straight games and five in his last six since he was a healthy scratch in St. Louis.

That was just the start of the oddities on the night.

There were strange bounces off the boards, a few mad scrambles in front of each netminder and an early whistle that drew an angry post-whistle shot at the boards from the usually calm Ryan Smyth.

If the Flames' first marker was lucky, they saw their lucky streak come to an end, too, with 30 seconds to go in the first period.

With a pair in the penalty box for more than a minute, Calgary kept the Oilers' handful at bay.

Andrei Zyuzin rushed out of the sin bin but could only watch as Sykora rifled his shot into the top of the net over Kiprusoff's blocker.

Blocking Kiprusoff's view was the usual suspect, Smyth.

The Flames goalie peeked left around the big body but the puck came to his right.

The Flames controlled the majority of five-on-five play right up until the dying minutes but couldn't slip a powerplay goal past Roloson.


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