Dogged by road woes

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:22 AM ET

GLENDALE -- No false illusions from Jim Playfair.

On the heels of yet another road defeat, 3-2 in overtime to the Phoenix Coyotes, the Calgary Flames head coach would hear nothing about being on the right path.

He refused to buy any theory his team, which has now dropped seven straight away from home, is close to putting together a winning run but falling victim to bad breaks.

That's what a blown late lead and another loss will do.

"I'm discouraged that with five minutes left and a faceoff in our zone, our players didn't get the job done," Playfair said. "You can't dress it up and pretend it's something else. We should have won that hockey game."

The Flames had it in the bag.

Up 2-1 and outplaying the Coyotes, a team that started the night 17 points back in the standings, the Flames tanked it and are 0-3-4 since last winning on the road more than a month ago.

First it was former teammate Steven Reinprecht with the equalizer, winning the faceoff deep in Calgary territory and then deflecting the point shot.

Then, only 54 seconds into the extra session, Shane Doan beat Miikka Kiprusoff with a far-side slapper, giving the Coyotes captain his seventh straight season with 20 goals.

Another tough loss in the books.

"They're all hard. We were right there," said captain Jarome Iginla. "They're all tough to take but each one that compounds on the other is moreso.

"We did a lot of good things and, unfortunately, didn't get the win."

It appeared Stephane Yelle's goal before the midway point of the third period would finally snap the skid that dates back to a Jan. 20 win in Edmonton.

Yelle deflected a Robyn Regehr point shot to break open what was a tied game before the announced crowd of 15,805 at Jobing.com Arena.

From there, the Flames controlled the game, firing one shot after another but were unable to net an insurance goal on Coyotes goalie Mikael Tellqvist.

"We were pressing, we played well with the lead and were pushing to get the next one, which is what we should be doing and had a lot of chances," Iginla said. "We weren't sitting back, we played the way we're supposed to with the lead. That one draw, otherwise it was a good third (period). It's tough to take."

Calgary falls to 31-21-9 and remains in eighth place.

Proving no road game can be easy for the Flames, they even fell victim to a truly bizarre goal that erased their one-goal lead.

Alex Tanguay put the visitors ahead with a first-period powerplay goal but former Flame Oleg Saprykin evened the count late in the second with a unique tally.

Saprykin sent one of his patented ridiculously sharp-angled shots from along the goal-line toward the net. But instead of the puck bounding all over the place and ending up in the neutral zone, it banked into the cage off a defenceman and past unsuspecting Kiprusoff.

The bizarre part was the puck lodged itself in the goal, wedged between the netting and the top back support, and wasn't seen immediately. As the officials and Kiprusoff tried to find it among the netminder's equipment, it was spotted in the goal and -- after a lengthy review -- awarded.

"The puck starts below the goal-line, hits the defenceman in the leg and goes up off the goaltender's shoulder into the top corner of the net," Playfair said.

"At the end of the day, it's goal and we've got to find a way."


Videos

Photos