Friday, December 07, 2007

Sidney shut out in Calgary

The Flames handled the aura of Sidney Crosby fairly well Thursday night, keeping the Penguins captain and main NHL attraction off the score sheet in his debut performance at the Calgary Saddledome.

But, when you’re watching Crosby, it’s a safe bet that somebody else is finding a way to take advantage of the attention. Thursday the showcase went to extra shots, as the Pens battled back to force the game past overtime and into the suddenly fashionable shoot out feature.

Kris Letang's goal in the shootout proved to be the winning marker, pushing the Pens past the Flames who squandered a solid as usual performance by Jarome Iginla and a remarkable effort by Dion Phaneuf.

Iginla almost stole the night away from the main attraction as he was the offensive force that the Flames seem to depend on more and more of late, as potted two goals of his own and set what would have been the winning goal had Adrian Aucoin not misfired his shot.

As testimony to Phaneuf’s defensive game on Thursday, Crosby was held to but one shot after forty minutes of play, however while the Flames were watching Crosby, line mate Evgeni Malkin was busy putting the puck in the net to start off the Penguins. Later in the third, Ryan Malone would score for the Penguins, tying the Flames and sending the contest past overtime.

The game provided an electric atmosphere in Calgary, with the lower bowl of the Saddledome reported as full for the pre game skate, a rarity for Flames games. Crosby received a warm reception for his first visit to Calgary as a pro, though he’s been in the city a few times for minor hockey tournaments as part of the legendary Mac’s tournaments hosted by the city.

While the Flames themselves seemed impressed by their famous opponent, they to seemed to feed off the rather intense atmosphere of what really should have just been another game of the regular schedule.

The arrival of Crosby and his Penguins in Western Canada has been a long anticipated event and the hockey literate communities of this part of the country are making the best of their time with Kid.

The Sidney show moves on to Vancouver next, a Hockey Night in Canada match that will be the second feature on the weekly double bill, a game that will most likely find a huge audience from the in house crowd of GM Place to the housebound hockey fans of St. John’s.

Game time Saturday is 7 pm in Vancouver, 10 pm in Toronto, 11 pm in Cole Harbour and 11:3o on the rock.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review--Penguins rally past Flames
Calgary Sun--Marquee matchup

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