November 16, 2011
Anderson, Butler lift Sens in Calgary
By RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency
CALGARY - Yep, the Butler did it. Twice.
There is no need to summon Sherlock Holmes to solve this one.
And once again the Calgary Flames are unable to string together two wins in a row during what’s becoming a disappointing season on so many levels.
Despite yet again generating a litany of scoring chances and firing a ton of shots on goal, the Flames ended up falling again, losing a 3-1 clash to the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night.
Bobby Butler, who hadn’t scored yet this season, broke open a 1-1 game with a pair of third period goals.
From an Ottawa perspective, they were great efforts, especially the winning tally, which came because he zipped past Jay Bouwmeester in the neutral zone, momentarily froze Mark Giordano with a bit of a toe drag and then fired a top-corner shot past Miikka Kiprusoff.
From the Flames perspective, it wasn’t downright ugly to see.
“On our part, it’s definitely a breakdown,” stated Flames head coach Brent Sutter.
“There’s no excuse for it. Yeah, the guy made a good play, but that puck should never had entered our zone.
“It’s basically a one-on-two and the guy scores. It’s a 1-1 game and you can’t break. You’ve got to play harder and there’s got to be more urgency.”
The urgency should be growing in Flamesland as fast as debt crisis fears in Europe.
Maybe it is, but they’re not getting the results.
To their credit, the Flames (7-9-1) yet again did everything you need to win a game, except score before the announced sellout crowd of 19,289 at the Saddledome.
It’s the same old song.
Plenty of chances snuffed by a great goaltending performance — Craig Anderson is the latest netminder to face the Flames and depart looking like an all-star with his 38-save performance.
And, all kinds of wasted opportunities on the powerplay.
The Flames failed to score during six chances, which has them on a horrid 0-for-17 run and just a 2-for-40 at home. They failed to deliver during a 64-second five-on-three advantage when it was scoreless in the second period.
“Your powerplay is normally your best players. What do you want me to say about it? Your best players have to produce,” Sutter said.
“We had some better looks on it than in the past, but any team’s powerplay normally plays their best players on it, and right now we have some guys that are struggling in certain areas of their games.
“Maybe I need to change personnel on it. I don’t know.”
The way things are going, GM Jay Feaster may help him in that regard, but that’s not what the Flames can plan for.
Instead, they must find a way to start scoring and start winning with what they’ve got.
“It’s a tough league to score goals. It’s a tough league to win,” said centre Olli Jokinen. “You’ve got to be able to win tight games 2-1, 1-0, whatever it is. You can’t get frustrated and can’t get into your own program and think, ‘I’ve got to score three goals.’ ”
Ottawa’s Daniel Alfredsson, with his first goal against the Flames since Nov. 22, 2001, and Tom Kostopoulos traded late second-period goals.
The Flames will try to return to the win column Friday against the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.