We don’t hear that very often, but a strong game for the Calgary Flames resulted in an exciting 65 minutes of hockey and a real fun shootout…when it was all said and done, the Flames would top the Flyers 3-2 in a shootout, snapping a three game losing skid and giving Calgary their first win on this five game road trip.
A fairly even opening frame kind of set the tone of this hockey game, with both teams generating scoring opporunties and neither team really carrying things for a long period of time. Overall, the Flyers would have the edge in scoring chances and shots, but this game would have no score after 20 minutes.
The second period saw most of the goal scoring, with Philadelphia opening things at 3:09 as Nikolai Zherdev did it all himself, wheeling through the offensive zone and showing off his high level of skill before snapping a shot past Miikka Kiprusoff…Zherdev’s eighth made it 1-0. On a Flyers powerplay, it would be the Flames getting the equalizer thanks to a great individual effort…Curtis Glencross would strip the puck, fend off the back check and fire a backhand past Sergei Bobrovsky. But very shortly afterwards, Philly would go back on top thanks to Mike Richards; the Flyers captain would strip Robyn Regehr and fire a pass across to James Van Riemsdyk and Philly carried a 2-1 lead into the final frame.
That third period saw Calgary tie things up, as Calgary finished off an odd man rush with an unlikely hero…Steve Staios was the recipient of an Alex Tanguay pass; it was a play all started by Jarome Iginla who would get the second assist on the play. After some chances at both ends, the third period would end 2-2 and for the second straight game, Calgary would need more than 60 minutes to see the outcome.
Overtime was dominated by Philadelphia, and they looked to have the game won when Richards fired a shot past Kiprusoff from the right circle…but wait. Chris Pronger was in front of the crease and stuck his hand out to impede Calgary’s goalie…no goal, penalty called, and off to a shootout we go. Claude Giroux opened the scoring in the shootout, while Alex Tanguay was stimied; Daniel Briere almost put the Flyers up by two, but it glanced off the post setting up two consecutive goals from Niklas Hagman and Rene Bourque in order; the Flames win.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames won? Beacuse they deserved to. They were right with the Flyers from start to finish and at no point did we see the NHL’s best team take things over. Calgary never took things over either, but that’s because it was a very tough opponent. This is what is probably infuriating for most Flames fans, in that they can stick with good teams and find ways to pull things out. Calgary played a strong game, they deserved to win, just as the Flyers would have deserved to win. Also has to be noted…the Flames caught an officiating break with the no-goal, and they took advantage of it. Good on them.
Heyyyyyyyy Stevey boy! He scored the tying goal, and he’s been much maligned throughout this campaign…but give him credit on the tying marker. He jumped into the play, and wired a real nice pass from Tanguay past the goaltender. As Kent has said many times, Staios is still an NHL defender…just not a $2.7 million defender.
Sum It Up
Good, strong win for the Calgary Flames. I have stopped speculating as to how the Flames will follow this one up, or how it will affect them going forward. But it’s fair to say Calgary can play good hockey and they can hang with most teams in the leauge when they’re staying with it. They played a good strong game at even strength, they were strong on the penalty kill, and in the end, things could have gone either way. They went Calgary’s tonight.