It was Fan Appreciation Night at the Saddledome.
Most of the fans in attendance likely would’ve been appreciative if it ended in regulation time.
Brent Burns and Antti Miettinen both beat Miikka Kiprusoff in the skills competition as the Minnesota Wild eked out a 2-1 shootout victory over the Flames in Calgary’s final home game of the season.
It was the Flames’ first outing since being eliminated from the Western Conference playoff race Tuesday and first overtime contest since a 2-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Feb. 9.
Jarome Iginla and Nigel Dawes were both stopped in the extra session.
Even if you snoozed through the first 80 games on the regular-season schedule, you’d have no trouble guessing the primary reason the Flames will be watching from afar when the playoffs begin next week.
Craig Conroy, Mikael Backlund and Niklas Hagman each generated quality scoring chances early in the first period but couldn’t cash in.
In the middle frame, Minnesota’s botched line change gave the hosts a four-on-one rush, but they left the zone with nothing to show for it.
In fact, the Flames didn’t even manage a shot on goal as Dawes’ attempted pass to one of three wide-open teammates skipped into neutral territory.
With the hosts on a man-advantage midway through the third stanza, Iginla feathered a cross-crease feed to Hagman, who was staring at a gaping cage but instead slapped a hurried shot into the side of the net.
Despite firing 33 shots on Minnesota’s goal, the Flames notched just one goal in
65 minutes of action.
It was one of those nights. It’s been one of those seasons.
Calgary’s lone marker came courtesy of Dawes, who arrived fashionably late on an odd-man rush and shovelled his own rebound past Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom in the second period.
Former Flames winger Chuck Kobasew had the only regulation goal for the Wild, who lost two players — Backstrom and centre James Sheppard — to injuries.
Backstrom was struck in the neck by a slapshot just over two minutes into the third and was replaced between the pipes by Wade Dubielewicz.
The Flames conclude their season Saturday when they face off against the Canucks in Vancouver.