ALSO ON SLAM!
Sunday, January 2, 2000
FLAMES 4, Canucks 2
Hot Flames singe Canucks
CALGARY (CP) -- After an agonizing two minutes in the penalty box, Calgary's Clarke Wilm promptly emerged as the game's hero.
Wilm's shorthanded goal at 9:59 of the second period broke a 1-1 tie and put the Flames ahead for good in Sunday afternoon's 4-2 win over the struggling Vancouver Canucks.
As the Flames finished killing a 47-second two-man disadvantage and with defenceman Steve Smith still penalized, Wilm stepped out of the penalty box, scooped up a loose puck at centre ice and moved in on a clean breakaway. He beat Felix Potvin high on the glove side.
"When you're in the box and it's a 1-1 game, you've got a little sweat on you as you don't want them to score, especially when you took a bad penalty like I did," said Wilm, who's now tied with New Jersey's John Madden for the NHL lead in shorthanded goals with three.
"It was nice to get the puck right on my stick. It opened up for me and I moved in and shot and fortunately for me it went in the top corner. You can't beat that, I guess."
Jarome Iginla then gave Calgary a commanding 3-1 lead just over two minutes later with a power play goal.
"That was the turning point in the game," said Vancouver coach Marc Crawford. "We had one power play that didn't work tonight and that was that one and we had one penalty kill that wasn't very good and that was the one they scored on. Ultimately, that was the difference."
Hnat Domenichelli and Valeri Bure, with his 19th of the season into an empty net, also scored for the Flames (17-17-5-1), who are 7-2-2 in their past 11.
Markus Naslund and Alexander Mogilny replied for Vancouver (12-18-7-3), which is winless in nine straight on the road (0-6-3). Overall, the Canucks have just two wins in their past 17 games (2-12-3).
"There's no secret to this game, it's all about hard work and the Flames are an excellent example of that," Crawford said. "They don't do anything fancy but they work extremely hard and they have a lot of wins lately to show for it."
The win enabled Calgary to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season. It is the latest in a season that the Flames have been at .500 since the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season.
The Flames are now tied with Edmonton for second in the Northwest Division, one point behind the Colorado Avalanche.
Trailing 3-1 entering the third, Mogilny scored at 2:54 to slice the deficit to one but that was all they would get against Calgary goaltender Fred Brathwaite, who was forced to make just 16 saves in improving to 11-8-3.
Meanwhile, Potvin's record dropped to 6-16-3 with four of the losses coming at the hands of the Flames -- two as an New York Islander and now two with Vancouver.
Vancouver was without captain Mark Messier who's suffering from recurring knee problems that caused him to miss 15 games earlier in the season.
Notes: Exploratory arthroscopic surgery on Cory Stillman's shoulder on Friday revealed more damage than expected and he will undergo further surgery which could sideline him for up to four months... Calgary's Phil Housley is two goals away from tying Denis Potvin for third on the all-time list for goals by a defenceman... The Flames are 5-1-1 in games in which Wilm scores.