Dropping leads hurting road record

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

LOS ANGELES -- Another loss on the road Wednesday night against the Ducks had Flames head coach Mike Keenan scratching his head a little before last night's back-to-back California finale against the Los Angeles Kings.

It was their fourth straight defeat away from the Saddledome and dropped their road record to 11-11-2 -- exactly .500 with 24 out of a possible 48 points.

But the disturbing trend was their inability to protect leads. Gaining the upper hand as the visitor is tough, so you've got to clamp down defensively when you do get the lead.

They had a 2-1 advantage in Anaheim.

The Flames also scored the first goals in Dallas and Denver in their previous road losses.

And, of course, there's that December defeat in Detroit during which they twice gave up two-goal leads to fall short in overtime.

"You look at the road games we've given up points in -- and sometimes lost (in regulation) -- was because we didn't defend the lead," said Keenan yesterday after team meetings at the Staples Center.

"You work so hard to get the lead, you've got to be able to realize that the other team isn't going to acquiesce and lay down, they're going to come back at you harder.

"You have to be ready for that push."

It didn't happen in Anaheim, where the Ducks closed the gap twice with the Flames unable to open up bigger leads and unable to withstand the Ducks attack.

"Defensively, again, we weren't tight enough," said Keenan. "We gave them too many chances."

REGEHR LOOKING 'BETTER'

Walking out of the Staples Center yesterday afternoon, defenceman Robyn Regehr didn't smile.

He probably couldn't.

Taking a puck off the face the previous night in Anaheim, Regehr went to the locker-room for repairs and had cuts above and below his left eye.

It was pretty puffy yesterday, but Keenan said it was an improvement over Regehr's post-game appearance.

"He's fine. He actually looks better today than he did last night," said Keenan. "He's got less swelling."


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