SUN Hockey Pool

Burned too many times

Red-hot Calgary Flames winger Kristian Huselius eludes Vancouver Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell...

Red-hot Calgary Flames winger Kristian Huselius eludes Vancouver Canucks defenceman Willie Mitchell and puts the puck past netminder Roberto Luongo -- but just goes wide of the far post on Tuesday night. (Calgary Sun/Kevin Udahl)

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:50 AM ET

The tune blaring over the Saddledome speakers was oh-so-apropos.

Moments after the Calgary Flames were victimized yet again by the Vancouver Canucks -- this time 3-2 -- Not Ready To Go by The Trews blasted out.

The refrain was repeated over and over in the sombre Flames dressing room.

"Off the start, we definitely were a step behind," lamented Matthew Lombardi, the lone bright spot for the Flames. "They came out with a little more energy than us, a little more urgency, and took it to us in that first period. We picked it up in the second, got a lot more hungry and took the pace of play but they capitalized on their chances and had a good start."

Oh sure, the officiating of Michael (no longer Mick) McGeough and Brad Watson was spotty but the Flames were the masters of their own demise for the third time since Boxing Day and fourth time in 20 days against the Canucks.

"We put ourselves behind the eight-ball in the first period," said forward Byron Ritchie. "We didn't get off to a good start, were on our heels and they took it to us in the beginning of the game. It seemed like we were battling back all night."

The Canucks stormed out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Trevor Linden and Brendan Morrison.

It's the fourth time in six meetings this season Calgary has trailed by a pair.

Lombardi scored his first of two to pull Calgary within one early in the second period but Alex Burrows scored his first in 48 games to notch the game winner.

Lombardi added another late second-period tally but that was as close as Calgary could come against a Vancouver team that is the only squad to beat the Flames here -- doing it twice in eight days -- since Halloween.

"We can't let that happen and we have," said Ritchie, who was robbed by Roberto Luongo in the dying moments. "It's four-point swings every time you lose to that team. We have to win games in our division and we know that."

Miikka Kiprusoff stopped 26 shots for Calgary.

Luongo blocked 27 for the win which improves Vancouver's record to 21-18-1, having won four straight for the first time this season.

The Flames host the Florida Panthers tomorrow.


Videos

Photos