Calgary, Alberta -- Despite a wealth of opportunities on the power play, the Washington Capitals could not muster more than one goal for the game and fell to the Calgary Flames for the first time in Calgary in over ten years, 2-1, before a sell-out crowd of 19,289 at the Pengrowth Saddledome. In a homecoming game for many western Canadians on the Caps, the team played tentatively and unfocused, especially on a nine minute power play in the first period where they registered just three shots on goal.

Already leading 1-0 on the strength of Sergei Federov's first goal of the season, a deft back-handed redirect of Jeff Schultz' centering pass from the point, the Caps were awarded an extremely rare nine minute power play. Rookie defenseman Tyler Sloan, a Calgary native making his NHL debut, laid out Flames center Daymond Langkow with a clean - but hard - body check, the stuff highlight reels are full of. But Flames winger Rene Bourque took exception, and immediately ran Sloan, decking him up high, then swinging punches even after Bourque had Sloan on the ice.

Referees Chris Lee and Bill McCreary conferred, then leveled the book at Bourque: 2:00 Instigator, 2:00 Unsportsmanlike Conduct, 5:00 Fighting and 10:00 Misconduct. Sloan went unscathed. But instead of returning to the effectiveness of pounding shots from the point and banging home rebounds, the Caps continued their recent struggles on the power play, playing indecisively, looking for the perfect pass, and ending up frustrated. The nine minute advantage expired with only one solid scoring threat, and three measly shots on goal.

Calgary G Miikka Kiprusoff, much maligned at the start of this season, recorded 30 saves with a save percentage of .968, but was rarely tested heavily. To his credit, he did not give the Caps many second opportunities, as he played probably his most effective game this season. Washington G Jose Theodore was solid as well, allowing just two goals on 28 shots, a .929 save percentage.

Jarome Iginla scored with a bomb on the power play from the high slot, a shot Theodore got a piece of, but not quite enough. The second Calgary goal, a slap shot from C Matthew Lombardi, was uncontested by the Caps and simply beat Theodore.

After the nine minute power play, Washington was whistled for eight straight penalties, including David Steckel's throwing the stick penalty, resulting in Iginla's goal. Theodore lost his stick in a scrum, and after the clear Steckel tossed his to his goalie. But rules dictate that skaters may hand their sticks to a goalie, not toss, and Steckel was tossed for his infraction.

Photo by AP.

WAS: Fedorov (1) from Schultz and Ovechkin (1-4:21).

CAL: Iginla (2) unassisted (2-1:00-PP); Lombardi (1) from Boyd and Moss (2-2:42)

GOOD: Jose Theodore. He finally played the kind of game that Caps fans have been waiting for. The second goal was a little soft but Iginla's goal he was just flat beaten, despite getting a piece of it. He controlled the rebounds and made a couple of really nifty catches.

BAD: Alex Ovechkin. You don't figure to see his name in here very often, but Ovie had a poor game. Defenses are really keying on him, and last night was not exception, but he's not making space, holding the puck too much and looks frustrated.

UGLY: Power play. NINE MINUTES? Are you kidding me? It only goes in the books as 0-for-5, but encompassing 13 minutes. That was some of the worst man-advantage hockey we've seen here in quite a while. Then, to complicate things, the rest of the first and most of the second periods the Caps decided to play a man down. Good thing Calgary's PP was just as inept or this would have been a laugher in what was an important game for so many Caps returning home. Half the Caps blue line and their captain all hail from Calgary.
NEXT GAME: Thursday, October 23 at Phoenix Coyotes at 10:00 pm EST.

RECORD: 3-2-1. Two-game losing streak.

NOTES: Kiprusoff broke a personal eight game losing streak to Washington.

Sloan, 27, made his debut after 406 games in the minors.

Donald Brashear made his return to the line-up after missing two games with a hand injury.

Eric Fehr was a healthy scratch. Tom Poti and Viktor Kozlov did not dress, but the team thinks both are getting close to a return.

Fedorov's goal was the 473rd of his distinguished career, tying Alexander Mogilny's NHL reocrd for Russian-born players.