SUN Hockey Pool

Flames comeback falls short

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The losing continues for the Calgary Flames, all the way to nine.

So does the heart-breaking fashion in which they keep falling in defeat.

After coming back from a two-goal deficit, the Flames fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Phoenix Coyotes Thursday night, which stretched their losing skid to a ninth outing.

"It's tough, but it's not good enough to lose close games or be close," said winger Eric Nystrom.

"We've got to find ways to win these games. The teams above us are finding ways to win these types of games, so we've got to do that.

"It's good we battled back, but still, we need two points, not one. We're doing some good things, but we've got to find a way to win."

The chance for victory was there.

However, Coyotes Robert Lang and Lauri Korpikoski both scored on goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in the shootout, while Olli Jokinen and rookie Mikael Backlund couldn't reply with their chances before 12,725 at the Jobing.com Arena.

For the second night in a row, the Flames forced a showdown, but both times they fell. They're now on a 0-6-3 skid since last tasting victory.

"We did get one point, but that's not why we're here. We came here to win," Kiprusoff said.

"For me, I have to win those shootouts more (often). That's big points and we had a chance to get two wins this trip. That's definitely something I have to get better at."

Calgary (26-20-8) does earn a point in the standings to gain sole possession of eighth spot in the Western Conference, but you can't help but believe the losing is starting to take a heavy toll.

Especially on a night in which the Flames managed to come back after falling behind late in the second period, thanks to goals by Keith Yandle and Shane Doan.

Mark Giordano tallied in the final minute of the middle frame with a highlight-reel goal and then Backlund, the rookie playing just his second game of the season, scored his first NHL marker to draw the club even.

Calgary was the better team for the final 10 minutes and overtime, but couldn't find the goal to get over the hump.

As much as the squad is trying to find positives, you can see it's getting harder.

"Well, tonight we were down 2-0, got back to even and had chances in the third, but couldn't seem to get that third one to go in," head coach Brent Sutter said.

"It's two nights in a row it went into a shootout and we had an opportunity to get two points and didn't do it. It's disappointing in the fact we didn't win, but you do see signs.

"We have to get better and keep going."

Kiprusoff stopped 29 shots through overtime, while Ilya Bryzgalov blocked 24 pucks which came his way for the Coyotes (31-18-5).

It appeared Nystrom scored when it was a 1-0 game when he shoved a loose puck during a scramble, but a lengthy review quashed those hopes.

"After the play cleared and the whistle blew, then the goalie moved his leg and you could see the puck," he said.

"But if his pad's covering it in the net and you can't see it, it's no goal and the call on the ice stands."

Calgary is back in action Saturday night when the Edmonton Oilers visit for the Hockey Day in Canada finale.


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