CALGARY, Alberta -- Doug Risebrough removed himself as coach of the floundering Flames last night, but even that wasn't enough to halt his team's skid, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated Calgary, 6-3.
With six minutes left in the game, the Flames issued a news release in which Risebrough announced he was relinquishing his coaching duties. Risebrough, who remains as the Flames' general manager, watched the game from the press box while assistant coach Guy Charron ran the team.
Risebrough sounded relieved after announcing the decision.
"This is a responsible general manager making the right decision at the right time," he said after the game. "There is a sense of relief now that I can get to some of the paper on my desk."
Kevin Stevens scored twice for Pittsburgh, which also got goals from Jim Paek, Jamomir Jagr, Bob Errey and Ron Francis, spoiling the NHL debut of rookie goaltender Trevor Kidd. Penguins star Mario Lemieux missed the game because of the flu.
Kidd, who joined the Flames after returning last week from the Winter Olympics, received a warm reception -- even if he failed to distinguish himself in his debut.
"I was a little nervous before the game," acknowledged Kidd, Calgary's No. 1 pick in the 1990 draft. "But I'll take this as a learning experience. I'll take it and go on from here."
The victory enabled the Penguins to move five points ahead of the New York Islanders in the race for the fourth and final playoff berth in the Patrick Division.
Pittsburgh... 2... 3... 1... --... 6
Calgary...... 1... 2... 0... --... 3