Impressive is not the word I’d use to describe Calgary’s 4-2 win over the Atlanta Thrashers, but what is impressive is a six game win streak, and that’s exactly what the Flames are riding heading into a huge game against the LA Kings on Saturday night. Mikael Backlund scored an odd one late in the third period to put Calgary up by one and they’d weather the storm from there on out as the team continues their push towards a playoff spot.
An unfortunate play had the Atlanta Thrashers shorthanded on an Evander Kane high sticking double minor, and the Flames would get a few scoring chances. However, it would be just as the powerplay was expiring when the Flames opened the scoring, as Mark Giordano fired home his fifth of the season at 4:55. It was a clean, hard shot to give Calgary the lead, a lead they’d carry over into the second period.
The middle frame turned into a bit of a track meet, and the Thrashers would tie the game 58 seconds in, with Nicklas Bergfors feeding Bryan Little for his 14th of the season. A bad pinch from Adam Pardy would lead to a Thrashers 2-on-1, with Nik Antropov threading a nice pass to Anthony Stewart for his 13th on the year, and just like that Atlanta was up by a goal. It didn’t take long for the Flames to draw even though, as a nice passing play was finished off by Brendan Morrison 55 seconds later. Morrison put home his ninth and extended his point streak to 6 games, and things finished all square after 40.
Both goaltenders, Miikka Kiprusoff and Ondrej Pavelec, made some key stops in the third period, and Olli Jokinen missed two golden scoring opportunities, and it looked like the Flames might be heading towards another extra time game. But, with just under six minutes to go, a scramble in front of the Atlanta crease saw Mikael Backlund push a puck towards the net…it would pinball past Pavelec to give Calgary their lead back. A late Curtis Glencross marker into an empty night would seal a 4-2 Flames win, and a sixth consecutive victory.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames won? Well, the bounces went their way tonight. It was a rather mediocre performance for the Flames overall, but they were resilient, and they continued getting pucks to the net in a tied third period. Calgary didn’t get any bounces for a long, long time so I don’t think anyone is really arguing when some goals end up on the lucky side of things. Overall, Atlanta won the scoring chance battle, but Calgary has six straight wins.
Robyn Regehr gets the nod tonight and he got into it on the offensive side of things as well. He’d finish +1 overall, and ahead in the scoring chance count. Regehr’s assist on Calgary’s opening goal was actually a pretty nice pass to set up Giordano’s goal. I’ve been beating the Regehr drum all season long, and I thought he was tough and intimidating tonight, the same way he’ll need to play in the remaining 29 games this season.
Sum It Up
Well, you can probably burn the tape and just move on if you’re the Calgary Flames. Not a whole lot was done impressively overall, BUT, the team continues to show a resilient nature that we haven’t seen in a long, long time. The Kings are a different animal on Saturday, and that game becomes massively important, as both teams will have 58 points heading in.