Alex's great effort wasted

STEVE MACFARLANE -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

CHICAGO -- Alex Tanguay deserves better.

He scored the go-ahead goal on a breakaway late in the third period, only to watch the Chicago Blackhawks storm back with 44 seconds left in regulation to tie it.

Then in overtime, while battling Martin Havlat in a corner deep in the offensive zone, Tanguay noticed an arm wrapped in an orange band go straight up and could do nothing but shake his head.

Well, that and mouth a few words that would have been censored on TV.

The call was holding and the questionable infraction would ultimately cost his Calgary Flames an extra point in a 4-3 loss to the Blackhawks at the United Center yesterday.

"I thought it was a pretty average call but, oh well, I guess it's part of the game," said Tanguay, who had a three-point outing in the losing cause.

"You get that all the time in the offensive zone, the defencemen gets a stick on you ... I think it's a bad play for me, I can't put myself in that situation, but I think it was a pretty average call for an overtime game."

That sentiment was echoed by Flames head coach Jim Playfair, whose team returns to Calgary after back-to-back extra-time losses.

"You just wish the calls were consistent all through the game as well as overtime," Playfair said. "I thought that was a borderline call."

The result disappointed every Flame but making it especially tough on Tanguay was the fact he had a chance to make up for a missed opportunity to be the hero in Minnesota two nights earlier.

After the shootout loss against the Wild, Tanguay lingered in the dressing room, cursing himself for missing the five-hole on Manny Fernandez during the showdown.

"Yeah, I certainly don't like to miss breakaways. Especially in the shootout when you're one-on-one and you have all the time in the world," said Tanguay, who made good on a long pass from Matthew Lombardi in the third period yesterday by snapping a shot past Nikolai Khabibulin.

"I was hoping to get a good shot. Khabibulin is a good goaltender so I was lucky to get it by him."

Although Tanguay was the victim of a soft penalty call, he knows the win was the Flames for the taking in regulation.

"It's disappointing when you have the lead 3-2," said Tanguay. "We've got to find ways to put the game away. "We had one shift there where we pinned them in their zone for about a minute and then the next shift they came back and we got caught out of position.

"It's definitely frustrating but you can't get outshot 40-25 and expect to win the game. That's what we did the last two games. I don't care how much (Miikka Kiprusoff) stands on his head, we're going to have to find ways to be more consistent. The last 10 minutes of the second period, we were all over them."


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