Sutter proud

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:20 PM ET

 If they started like they finished, the Calgary Flames would be relaxing in their La-Z-Boys today.

 Instead, they played like lazy boys and will spend the day en route to Vancouver for a winner-take-all Game 7.

  The Flames got off to a rough start and were outshot 21-6 at the 30-minute mark, as they fell behind 4-zip.

 Against all odds, the home squad battled back to tie it 4-4 with 7:04 to play in the third but the valiant comeback was thwarted by a Brendan Morrison overtime goal that prolongs the series for one final showdown.

 Head coach Darryl Sutter was proud of the way his team refused to fold after falling behind early.

 "I thought we showed a tremendous amount of courage and character tonight," Sutter said.

 "They dominated the first half and we dominated the second half. Now we'll just find a way to re-energize again."

 The Canucks looked like they'd be able to pack up early and head for home as they held the majority of the play, thanks in large part to five powerplay opportunities.

 Flames d-man Robyn Regehr, who looked like he'd just been punched in the gut while doing post-game interviews, couldn't hide his disappointment.

 "It was a bad start," Regehr said.

 "We weren't ready to go.

 "When you're down by four goals, it's tough to battle back."

 Defence partner Jordan Leopold said the Flames lost it in the first 30 minutes.

 "There wasn't much there," Leopold said.

 "I don't know what happened. That kind of start was unacceptable. That was a must-win game in our minds and we end up blowing it."

 But it turned out to be more like a street hockey game than a crucial Stanley Cup playoff tilt.

 All of the unwritten rules of the game went out the window.

 A four-goal lead, usually signifying the janitor to turn out the lights, wasn't safe.

 Against all odds, the Flames caught fire.

 Just 16 seconds after Vancouver's Geoff Sanderson thought he had nailed the final nail in Calgary's coffin, Oleg Saprykin deflected a chest-high point shot past rookie Alex Auld.

 With the C of Red reignited, the Flames came in waves.

 Ville Nieminen scored two minutes later.

 Martin Gelinas and Chris Clark potted a pair in the third period as the beleaguered Canucks stared at the scoreboard in disbelief as they headed to OT with their season on the line.

 After a cautiously played first overtime, things got a little wild in the second frame.

 Auld made a game-saving pokecheck on Martin Gelinas, who was in all alone two minutes in. Nieminen nearly won it for the Flames but rang a wrister off the post with 11 minutes to play.


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