Lombo's sigh of relief

DAN TOTH -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 3:08 PM ET


 Martin Gelinas got the glory but minutes earlier Matthew Lombardi brought the Saddledome crowd to its feet.

 Only his shot from alone in the slot hit Wings goalie Curtis Joseph in the shoulder, bouncing harmlessly into the corner.

 Had the Flames lost, Lombardi's heart-stopping OT opportunity would have left him with a sleepless night.

 "Geez, if they would have scored, I don't think I would have slept (all night)," Lombardi sighed.

 "That was a big chance and Cujo made a big save. I think it hit him in the shoulder."

 Making Lombardi's dejected return to the bench a little lighter was assistant coach Rich Preston, who took a moment to console the centre with a quick quip.

 "Rico came over and made a joke about it," Lombardi smiled. "It was a good one, too."

 Had Lombardi scored, it could have been a fitting finale, considering Wings defenceman Derian Hatcher almost removed his head with a first-period elbow during a line change.

 Fans at the Saddledome began booing heartily every time Hatcher touched the puck the rest of the night, although the rookie centre returned for the second period.

 Considering Flames winger Ville Nieminen's collision with Wings goalie Curtis Joseph in Game 4 was deemed worthy of a one-game suspension, Hatcher could have been banished for Game 7 had Detroit pulled out the win.

 Especially since the NHL has been harping about dangerous brain injuries caused by nasty blows to the head.

 "It was a good one, I guess, but it's part of the game," Lombardi shrugged, ironically stealing a line from Joseph after the Nieminen hit in Game 4.

 "It's fine, a good hit to the head but I didn't see it."


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