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Nightmare on Flames street

Calgary Flames' Alex Tanguay slides into Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth during third period....

Calgary Flames' Alex Tanguay slides into Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth during third period. (Jim Wells/QMI Agency)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

CALGARY - No need for Calgary Flames fans to tune in a Hitchcock thriller, listen to War of the Worlds on the wireless or check out Saw 3D to celebrate Halloween.

Just use their mind’s eye to recall Saturday’s 7-2 debacle at the hands of the Washington Capitals.

That, as SCTV’s Count Floyd used to say, was “Scary stuff.”

With all kinds of ghouls, ghosts and Chilean miners among the Saddledome sellout crowd of 19,289, the Flames lived through their own version of a modern-day fright flick.

It was just as putrid as the crap Hollywood puts out these days in the horror genre, although the Flames were just as creative in finding ridiculous ways to kill.

The only problem was they did it to themselves while blowing another two-goal lead. They served up a second-period six-pack to lose a second straight game at home and now need to beat the Detroit Red Wings Wednesday to make it a winning five-game homestand.

They’re looking as fragile as a crystal vase.

“We’re playing like it right now, and that has to change for us,” said Flames defenceman Robyn Regehr. “We have to be able to face some adversity. That’s just the way it goes. Sometimes the calls don’t go your way or things that don’t go the way you want on the ice, and you have to battle through those.”

The worst part was how the hosts were somewhat in control before watching it spiral out of their hands early in the second period when Alex Ovechkin took advantage of a five-on-three powerplay.

The Flames were already down a man when Curtis Glencross was sent to the sin bin for tripping Caps defenceman Mike Green in the offensive zone.

Ovechkin scored a pair of goals 12 seconds apart, and the Capitals’ first three goals came on the powerplay — a major turnaround for a team which failed to score on the man-advantage in its previous five games.

From there, the goals flowed like blood in a stereotypical slasher flick.

Green and Matt Bradley both tallied in a 13-second span at the midway point, and then Alex Semin sent Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff to the bench in favour of Henrik Karlsson with his tally.

David Steckel’s penalty-shot goal made it 7-2 before the second intermission.

“We took some bad penalties, and they nailed us for it, and then it just snowballed,” Flames head coach Brent Sutter said. “We actually played a real good first period, as good a period we’d played all year. Then you take that too-many-men penalty, which should never have happened, and then take another penalty ... 200 feet from your net ... and put a team like that on a five-on-three, and you’re in dangerous territory.”

When the final buzzer sounded, Capitals centre Nicklas Backstrom, who put his team on the board late in the first period, had netted four points, while Ovechkin, Semin and Green had three-point games to their name.

As much as it was a horror movie for the Flames and the Sea of Red, there was some slapstick, too.

For example, Bradley’s goal was a freebie from Flames defenceman Cory Sarich, who tried to clear the puck from the slot to the end boards but had it go in his own net.

Sarich not only fell on the sword for that play but also on the too-many-men penalty which helped turn the tide.

“Personally, I had a couple of bad breaks, but the only thing I want back is the change on the penalty,” said Sarich, who admitted he replaced the wrong guy. “That started things off on the wrong foot in the second period.”

Amazingly, it was all treats early for the Flames (6-5-0).

Olli Jokinen scored 44 seconds into the game, and then Glencross followed.

twitter.com/RandySportak


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