The Calgary Flames got back on the winning side of their preseason schedule, using a 13 save performance from Henrik Karlsson to get by the New York Islanders 2-0 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. It’s the second to last exhibition contest for the Flames, who easily controlled an overmatched Islanders squad who had next to no desire to be in Calgary. It wasn’t a spectacular Flames performance, but they certainly didn’t let the opposition do anything at all.
This won’t be all that wordy, because not all that much happened throughout. The first period was very much similar to the two that would follow, in that Calgary had the puck for a vast majority of the game. They didn’t take a lot of shots or generate a one of scoring chances, but at even strength, they quite honestly limited almost nothing against. The opening frame saw no scoring, with the Flames outshooting their opponent 7-4.
Calgary opened the scoring at 4:10 of the second period, as some four-on-four play ended. Technically shorthanded, the Flames took advantage of a break the other way, as Matt Stajan slid a pass to Curtis Glencross who went backhand on Evgeni Nabokov.
Lee Stempniak would score at 4:21 of the third period at even strength, as the Flames would force a turnover at the defensive blueline, leading to an odd man situation the other way. Alex Tanguay would fire a pass right to Lee Stempniak, who would fire it into the back of the net as a result for a 2-0 lead. Karlsson would barely be tested, but would make stop all 13 shots he faced in rather easy fashion, for his first career shutout; albeit a preseason one.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames won? Because they allowed nothing. It doesn’t matter if the Islanders brought a squad lacking in NHL regulars, it was on Calgary to be better. While they weren’t spectacular, the Flames pushed them to the outside and didn’t let a young group start to feel it. It was a controlled effort from them, and it’s the preseason, so…yeah.
I really liked Olli Jokinen on this night. He’s never going to be the 90 point guy he was in Florida, and that’s okay. He plays a top six role with the Calgary Flames, and he’s turned his game into a simple one. His decision making was just fine on this night, and he was pretty good in his own zone. Playing with David Moss and Curtis Glencross, Jokinen seems to be at his most effective.
Sum It Up
And then there was one. Calgary plays their final preseason game against the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night before they sit and wait for nine (NINE!) days prior to their October 8th regular season opener. I think the Coyotes will give them more of a test, and ice a better lineup, so it should be a good evaluation tool.