SUN Hockey Pool

Not so Ducky for Flames

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:43 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- As the Calgary Flames took to the ice for the warm-up, goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stepped on a puck and tumbled down.

That's wasn't the only stumble awaiting them on yet another trip to Anaheim.

The Flames' six-game winning streak disappeared in a snap in a 3-2 loss last night to the Ducks, thanks to an all-too familiar storyline seen when they travel to Disneyland.

A slow start put the Flames behind.

The deficit grows, in this case thanks to two early second-period tallies that make it a three-goal difference.

A determined final half of the game brought the Flames close, but it wasn't enough.

"We more than made a game of it, but we wanted to win it," said Flames captain Jarome Iginla, who assisted both goals. "I thought we would pull that one out. It's tough to see our streak end, but we've got to be sharper off the start."

Kiprusoff's inauspicious first step wasn't the only bad omen before the game began.

The Flames were also forced to go without top shutdown defenceman Robyn Regehr, who is nursing a "lower body injury."

Regehr was wearing a brace on his left leg.

The last time they suited up without him, the result was a 6-0 loss to the Vancouver Canucks in the season opener.

Not a pretty picture considering the Flames haven't claimed a regular-season victory at the Honda Center since January 2004, a losing streak that's now stretched to eight games.

"I wouldn't say we're psyched out or anything, but they definitely have a roll going here against us if you look at the numbers, and we'll work trying to break it," Iginla said. "This one, from our point of view, we'll go over it and it's done. And the next time we're here, we'll try to break it then."

The first step would be coming out of the gates much better.

Ryan Getzlaf opened the scoring less than two minutes into the clash before the announced crowd of 16,965, when he banged home the second rebound shot to continue his hot streak.

Goals 45 seconds apart by Chris Pronger and Ryan Carter made it a 3-0 edge, which proved too much for the Flames to erase.

"We definitely played harder to finish the game, but to dig yourself a hole in this league against a team that's very good defensively, you can't do that," said Flames defenceman Dion Phaneuf. "Yeah, we got better, but we dug a hole we couldn't get out of."

The came close but not all the way out.

Curtis Glencross netted his second of the season just past the midway point, and former Ducks player Todd Bertuzzi pulled the Flames within one with a shorthanded goal early in the third period.

Then came a bit of controversy. Bertuzzi's goal came while Corey Perry was serving a double-minor, and the penalty clock said 2:01. However, the officials ruled the goal, which came 120 seconds on the main clock after Perry went to the sin bin, nullified the second infraction.

Therefore, no second powerplay for the visitors.

Head coach Mike Keenan said it's proof the league needs to come up with a more concrete way of determining the timing on penalties.

"They've gone to the tenth of a second for the last minute of play, they should probably go to the last 10 seconds of a penalty kill to the same type of situation," Keenan said. "If there was a tenth, we'd still be on the powerplay. We've got the technology to do it."

Still, the Flames powerplay went 1-for-6, instead of making the difference.

Kiprusoff stopped 34 shots for the Flames (7-4-1), who are home tomorrow against the Phoenix Coyotes.


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