October 2, 2008
Luongo puts Cap on Flames
By RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA
VANCOUVER -- The Vancouver Canucks goaltender and captain was darn near perfect.
The gentlemen with those distinctions on the Calgary Flames were at the other end of the spectrum.
In his first game since surprisingly being named Canucks leader, netminder Roberto Luongo came through in the way West Coast fans have come to expect from the all-star.
On the other hand, Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was beat on the game's first shot, victimized a second time before the clash was five minutes old and then surrendered a bunch more tallies en route to a 6-1 loss to the host Canucks last night at GM Place.
Life was no better for Calgary captain Jarome Iginla, either, being on the ice for both first-period goals allowed and held off the scoresheet.
Then again, there weren't too many Flames who could be happy with the game or themselves after a stinker like that.
"It's one you fortunately get to learn from and throw out," Iginla said. "We were going pretty good as a group, playing well and skating well. Tonight, we'll chalk up to a bad game. We didn't play well all around."
Certainly, it's not the way the Flames would like things to be going with just one more pre-season outing to go before the real games begin.
They fall to 4-2-0 on the exhibition slate, while the Canucks have won all five of their pre-season outings.
Alex Edler's goal 21 seconds into the game gave the sign it would be a long night for the visitors.
Things soon went bad to worse when rookie hopeful Jannik Hansen -- the pride of Denmark -- scored his first of two goals.
Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr made it a 2-1 game early in the second, but the Canucks cruised to the finish line with tallies from Pavol Demitra, with the first powerplay goal surrendered by the Flames this pre-season, Calgary product Lawrence Nycholat and Mason Raymond, who hails from Cochrane.
"I'd like have a couple goals back," said Kiprusoff, who made 17 saves.
"They didn't have too many shots, but it was a tough game. They had some good plays, back-door plays and stuff like that, but I have to play better next game."
Flames head coach Mike Keenan spread the blame around.
"(Kiprusoff) didn't look as comfortable as he normally does, and we were pretty loose defensively," said the veteran coach.
Luongo cobbled together a 34-save performance, but the Flames weren't about to give too much credit.
"It's a good heads-up," Iginla said.
"We're feeling good, but obviously there's still more work, and it was a reminder how prepared you have to be at the start of the game.
"Our line gave one up in the first 20 (seconds), gave them a lot of momentum and they just kept going."
The Flames conclude their pre-season tomorrow night at home against the Edmonton Oilers (7 p.m., Saddledome).
Flames C Daymond Langkow was slated to play but came down with the flu bug that's been going around the room ... LW Rene Bourque left the game in the third period with what appears to be a leg injury ... Noteworthy Flames who also didn't play were C Mike Cammalleri, C Matthew Lombardi, LW Todd Bertuzzi, D Rhett Warrener, D Jim Vandermeer and D Anders Eriksson ... Canucks D Mattias Ohlund was a late scratch due to an infected tooth. Inserted was Calgary product Nolan Baumgartner ... The list of other notable Canucks who sat included C Henrik Sedin, LW Daniel Sedin, D Kevin Bieksa, D Sami Salo and D Willie Mitchell ... The Flames' run of penalty killing perfection was snapped at 33 chances by Demitra's goal.