Caps hand Flames fifth loss in last six

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 11:26 AM ET

For the most part, Alexander the Great was held in check.

Sounds like the perfect formula for the Calgary Flames, doesn't it?

Nope.

In the end, even managing to contain one of the NHL's most explosive offensive stars didn't make a difference for the struggling club.

Despite preventing phenom Alexander Ovechkin from being an offensive catalyst, the Flames once again fell short in a 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals last night at the 'Dome.

Instead of making hay on their three-game homestand, the Flames lost twice and now sit ahead of only Phoenix in the Western Conference standings with a 3-6-1 record.

Ovechkin, making his Saddledome debut, didn't provide any highlight-reel plays. In fact, through more than a period, nobody on either team did much of anything to entertain the sellout crowd of 19,289, a disturbing trend at the 'Dome.

Just before slumber fell upon the gathering, Calgary's Kristian Huselius opened the scoring seven minutes into the middle period. After he took possession of the puck at the top of the right circle, Huselius weaved his way through a trio of defenders to the top of the slot and ripped a top-shelf wrister past a screened Olaf Kolzig.

The lead didn't last long.

On a Washington powerplay, Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff made a leg save on Alexander Semin's deflected point shot but couldn't contain the rebound. The puck went right onto Dainius Zubrus's stick and he was able to slip around sprawling defenders and hit an open net.

Before the middle period was over, the Capitals took the lead on Richard Zednik's first goal of the season.

After stripping the puck from Flames defenceman Andrew Ference at the end boards, Zednik -- who had a couple of good chances earlier but couldn't light the lamp -- was denied on his wraparound attempt but he slapped the second chance through Kiprusoff.

Zednik was at it again midway through the third period to pot the eventual game-winner.

Sprung by Ovechkin for a long breakaway, Zednik beat Kiprusoff's five-hole with a snapper to give the visitors a two-goal edge.

A couple of minutes later, captain Jarome Iginla made it close enough to give his team a fighting chance by making the most of a breakaway chance of his own.

The Flames pushed for the equalizer over the final eight minutes but couldn't solve Kolzig again. Zubrus sealed the deal with an empty netter for a Washington team that improved to 4-3-4.

The Flames now embark on a road swing that begins tomorrow in Detroit before going to Columbus and St. Louis.


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