SUN Hockey Pool

Power still missing in man-advantage

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Boos rained down from the unhappy Saddledome crowd -- and there was still nearly a minute remaining on the man-advantage.

With a golden opportunity to get the first goal in the opening 20 minutes and force the already eliminated Los Angeles Kings to re-think just how hard they were going to compete, the Calgary Flames came up empty for a 27th straight time with an extra man.

That total crept to 31, including a second two-man advantage in the third period that was even longer than the one that brought about the boos in the first.

By now, the fans are expecting the Calgary Flames powerplay to fail.

"We've got to score on it, no ifs, ans or buts. Two five-on-threes really felt like we let something go tonight," said winger Michael Cammalleri, whose Flames came away with a 4-1 win despite their lack of success in that department.

"I don't know what else to tell you. We've got to work on it here and figure it out because I think it's going to be vitally important."

With 38 shots on Kings goaltender Erik Ersberg, you'd think many would have come during six powerplay opportunities.

In reality, they only managed six shots.

"We got near 40 shots and our powerplay was really off tonight," said Flames captain Iginla.

"Those 40 shots, there weren't many on the powerplay. We'll keep working at it and get it going."

They have to. The playoffs are just around the corner and they need it clicking when the five-on-five goals get harder and harder to come by.

"That's why. That's what makes it so important, is that it can determine games," said Cammalleri.

"It can have a huge impact on whether or not you win."

Back-to-back Kings infractions overlapped for more than a minute in the first period, but the Flames couldn't even come up with a shot on goal in those 65 seconds. And timeouts from both benches gave the top guys plenty of rest to go on the attack.

Their best chance to score was set up by goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who fired a long pass up to Olli Jokinen at the opposition blueline.

Jokinen skated to the faceoff circle and blasted a shot at Ersberg.

Tripping in the neutral zone, Iginla couldn't get to the rebound out front. The play was symbolic of just how bad things have become on the Flames powerplay.

"It doesn't really concern me because I think we're gonna get it going," said an optimistic Cammalleri.

"At the same time, it's just not OK that we don't (score). I think we left a couple of goals out there on the powerplay."

A second-period effort was more admirable in terms of opportunities to score, and Cammalleri believes that was a sign of things to come.

"I liked our five-on-four," he said.


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