Sunday, May 09, 2004

Flames win it on Sunday!

Calgary Flames are off to an excellent start, 3 more wins and they move into the Stanley Cup final. Let's go guys! Bring the Cup back home to Canada.

Flames burn Sharks in OT

CANADIAN PRESS

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Steve Montador scored 18:43 into overtime to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the NHL's Western Conference final Sunday.

Montador took a pass from Flames captain Jarome Iginla in the slot and skated in untouched before firing a wrist shot that beat Evgeni Nabokov to the stick side.

Alexander Korolyuk forced overtime, scoring for San Jose with 3:21 remaining in the third period. He fired a shot that sailed over the left shoulder of Calgary goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who was screened on the play by Nils Ekman of the Sharks.

Craig Conroy scored twice for the Flames. His second goal, at 9:25 of the third, gave Calgary a 3-2 lead.

Krzysztof Oliwa had the other goal for the Flames.

Mike Ricci and Todd Harvey also scored for San Jose.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series will be played Tuesday in San Jose. The winner advances to the Stanley Cup final.

A sellout crowd of 17,496, most wearing teal green, was on its feet screaming in the second period as the Sharks rallied from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game.

Ricci started the comeback with just 1:23 gone in the second.

Scott Thornton, returning to the Sharks lineup after missing three games with an injury, wired a shot Kiprusoff stopped with his shoulder. The puck sailed high into the air and landed in the crease, where a diving Ricci banged it in.

Harvey made it 2-2 in the dying seconds of the period. Wayne Primeau fired a shot that Harvey got a stick on and redirected past Kiprusoff with 58 seconds left in the period.

Kiprusoff made some outstanding saves in the second. During a goal-mouth scramble, he got his stick on the ice to stop a shot from Korolyuk.

Earlier, the little Finn was bowled over by a Shark forward but popped up in time to get a glove on a shot from the point.

Nabokov stood tall in the Sharks goal. In the second period he robbed Shean Donovan, getting a knee on a puck that looked headed for the back of the net.

Oliwa opened the scoring for Calgary at 9:26 of the first. It was the first time since the Flames' first-round series against Vancouver they had scored in the opening period.

Oleg Saprykin started the play with a shot that Nabokov stopped. The puck rolled through the crease to Oliwa, who fished it out of his skates and banged it in.

Conroy made it 2-0 with 30 seconds left in the period. He skated down the right wing, used a Shark defenceman as a screen, then lifted a wrist shot over Nabokov's shoulder.

Conroy's goal came moments after the Flames had killed a two-minute, two-man disadvantage after both Chris Clark (slashing) and Chris Simon (elbowing) were sent off at the same time.

Simon returned to the ice after missing 10 games with an injury suffered in the Game 3 of the Vancouver series.

Notes: The last time the teams met in the playoffs the No. 7 seeded Sharks upset the No. 2 Flames in seven games in the first round of the 1995 playoffs . . . The Sharks won their first ever road game 4-3 on Oct. 8, 1991 against Calgary . . . Coming into the playoffs, the average of post-season games for the San Jose roster was 29.1 compared to 23.3 for Calgary.

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