Comeback squandered

STEVE MACFARLANE, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 8:35 AM ET

The 4.7 seconds was still glowing red on the digital display over a door in the Calgary Flames dressing room after the players hit the showers.

A lingering reminder of how close they came to beating the Vancouver Canucks last night, or maybe the disappointment that comes with falling short.

Despite overpowering the Canucks in the first and third periods, the Flames came out on the losing end of a 4-3 overtime desicion at the Saddledome last night on a powerplay goal Daniel Sedin poked past Robyn Regehr and Miikka Kiprusoff less than five seconds before the buzzer.

"It's tough, obviously, for them to score with four seconds left," said Daymond Langkow in an otherwise empty locker-room. "We have an opportunity at another point there.

"It's disappointing."

If not for Langkow's third and fourth tallies of the season, the Flames wouldn't even have earned the single point.

He scored twice in the third period to send the game to extra time before a fourth Canucks powerplay goal gave Vancouver the edge in the Northwest Division battle.

The Flames appeared ready to work right from the drop of the puck, and were rewarded with a goal from unlikely candidate Cory Sarich just 2:10 into the contest.

But the Flames imploded in the second period, allowing three Canucks goals with the man-advantage.

Mattias Ohlund, Markus Naslund and Ryan Shannon all scored to sap every ounce of momentum away from the home team.

"We talked about having a better start, and we did that," said Langkow. "But we seemed, after the first period, maybe we were a little bit too satisfied with the first. We didn't come out with much jump in the second. We got into some penalty trouble and it cost us goals."

Head coach Mike Keenan was puzzled by the lapses.

"We go through the pre-season and we don't have any success on the scoreboard, but we have great success killing penalties -- number one in the league," he said.

"And then to give up four powerplay goals tonight, it's an issue we'll certainly have to address."

Until Langkow potted his first goal, the Flames had major difficulty getting their own man-advantage going, wasting back-to-back 5-on-3 opportunities in the second period.

To give Vancouver credit, the Canucks were the best penalty killers in the league last season.

Give the Flames credit, too. At least they got their first point.

"In the third, I knew, and all our guys knew, they were going to come and they were going to come hard," said Canucks head coach Alain Vigneault. "And they did.

"It was a hard-fought game by both teams, it was really entertaining, and I'm really happy we won it."


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