That hurts

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:59 AM ET

 As if the Flames and their fans haven't had enough heartbreakers over the years.

 Now comes one of the worst of all.

  Bad enough yet another chance to clinch a series slipped by the Calgary Flames but to have it happen after one of the biggest comebacks in team history is akin to a knife in the heart.

 Brendan Morrison's goal at 2:28 of triple overtime last night kept the Vancouver Canucks playoff hopes alive.

 Morrison beat Marcus Nilson out of the corner and went around fallen goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff to pot the winner.

 "Just being in the right spot at the right time," Morrison told CBC about the winner.

 "What a battle tonight, being up four goals then to kind of give it away like that, it shows a lot of the character on our team."

 The 5-4 win didn't just force a all-or-nothing game seven tomorrow night on the West Coast. It spoiled an amazing four-goal comeback before the frenzied Saddledome gathering of 19,289.

 Down 4-0 midway through regulation time, the Flames appeared left for dead.

 Then began the craziness that had the house rocking like nothing seen in these parts for nearly a generation.

 Only 16 seconds after Geoff Sanderson put the visitors ahead by their biggest lead, Oleg Saprykin began the turnaround.

 Parked in front when Robyn Regehr unloaded a point shot, Saprykin deflected the biscuit through the legs of Vancouver netminder Alex Auld.

 After a video review that seemed like an eternity, the goal stood.

 Only 127 seconds later, Ville Nieminen made it a 4-2 game and gave the hosts hope.

 Using his speed upon grabbing a loose puck, Nieminen drove to the net and deked around Auld.

 The comeback hopes stayed alive when Calgary stormed out of the gate and finally was rewarded when Chris Clark pounced on a puck kept in the zone by Robyn Regehr, spun and fired a shot that Martin Gelinas deflected through Auld's five-hole.

 Clark then became the hero of the moment with less than seven minutes remaining, again with a deflection of a Regehr point shot that went through Auld's legs to even the score.

 "We showed a heck of a lot of courage and character," Flames GM/head coach Darryl Sutter said.

 "They dominated the first half and we dominated the second.

 "We'll find a way to re-energize."

 It was an amazing finish, especially considering how it started for Calgary.

 Despite all their words proclaiming the opposite would occur, the Flames came out of the gates tentative, initiated absolutely nothing of a forecheck, made one miscue after another and topped it off by taking far too many penalties in a one-sided first period.

 Certainly it was the wrong recipe to beat a talented squad that was facing a must-win situation.

 Given tons of chances, Vancouver's Jarkko Ruutu finally opened the scoring with two minutes remaining in the opening frame.

 It's the first time since the season opener that Vancouver scored first or tallied in the opening period. Then Daniel Sedin and Brad May scored 1:10 apart early in the second period to make it a three-goal edge.

 "Hockey's still a fair game," Nieminen said. "We didn't play well the first two periods and we got back into the game being very lucky.

 "We didn't deserve the game tonight. It's over now and we can't do anything about that. It's a Game 7."

 - - -

 VANCOUVER CANUCKS: 5

 CALGARY FLAMES: 4

 TRIPLE OVERTIME

 SERIES TIED 3-3

 GAME 7 TOMORROW IN VANCOUVER, 8:30 P.M., CBC


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