Jose slams the 'Dore shut

RANDY SPORTAK

, Last Updated: 8:10 AM ET

The rest of the NHL may think Jose Theodore isn't the goalie he used to be.

Try telling that to the Calgary Flames.

Theodore may be maligned in Denver and considered washed up by many others around the league, but the Avalanche netminder stole the show last night in backstopping his team to a 3-2 overtime victory.

Well, Theodore and Flames' fans newest least favourite official, Mick McGeough.

Theodore made 39 saves, many worthy of the highlight reel, and McGeough blew the whistle early when the Flames would have taken a 3-1 lead eight minutes into the third period to steal a victory from the hosts.

Over their previous nine meetings, the Flames and Avs have combined to average an astounding eight goals per game. Last night's affair before 19,289 in the Saddledome sure could have been that high again had it not been for Theodore, whose team was outshot by nearly a two-to-one margin.

On the list of his big saves were a breakaway stop on Alex Tanguay in the first period, a reach-back glove save on Daymond Langkow when half the net was open for Calgary's leading goal scorer to hit, and a pair of big stops on Craig Conroy in the second period.

He also received a huge break when McGeough whistled down the play a split-second before the puck, which was loose in Theodore's gear when the ref lost sight of it, rolled over the line.

Theodore's teammates finally showed their appreciation to the besieged goalkeeper with their second comeback victory of the season over the Flames, who Theodore has victimized for both of his victories this campaign.

With Calgary holding a one-goal edge and just over four minutes remaining in regulation time, Marek Svatos began the comeback.

As a Flames penalty was expiring and amidst a mad scramble in front of the Calgary cage, Svatos found a loose puck and shoveled it behind Miikka Kiprusoff to even the clash and force overtime.

The extra session didn't last long, a mere 23 seconds, when notorious Flames killer Joe Sakic fed Ryan Smyth a perfect pass on a two-on-one for the winner.

Combined with his first-period goal, Sakic collected the 1,600th point of his illustrious career. It was also the 100th point -- in 75 games -- at the expense of the Flames.

It also spoiled the 31st birthday for Kiprusoff, who stopped 19 shots. Calgary's record now sits at 5-3-3, having earned seven of a possible 10 points in the first five games of its seven-match homestand.

The edge in play was from the drop of the puck, but it took 14 shots to finally beat Theodore. That's when Tanguay sped down the right wing and ripped a far-side offering just under Theodore's arm.

Matthew Lombardi put Calgary ahead early in the second period with another deserved tally. The speedster used his wheels to strip the puck from Avs defenceman Jeff Finger and sent a shot over Theodore's shoulder.

The Flames are back in action Tuesday night when Nashville comes calling.


Videos

Photos