Postgame: One Way Or Another

It was pretty fitting a game lacking in a ton of high quality chances would finish in overtime, and that’s exactly what happened on Thursday night as the New York Rangers topped the Calgary Flames 3-2 in extra time.  All the regulation scoring happened in the first period until the visitors scored in the expiring seconds of the overtime period.  The loss keeps Calgary one game below the .500 mark.

What Happened

As mentioned, all the regulation action happened in the first period with the Rangers opening things up on the powerplay at 4:53.  With New York doing a nice job working the puck around, Derek Stepan found Marian Gaborik all alone in the slot, and the oft-injured sniper would pot his fourth of the season.  It took just 58 seconds for the Flames to knot things up, though, as they jumped on a Rangers turnover eventually leading to a Jarome Iginla redirect in front; his second of the season came at 5:51.  With Calgary on the powerplay in the latter stages of the period, Jay Bouwmeester would pull the chute on a puck race in the corner.  Brian Boyle would win the battle, feed a wide open Brandon Prust in front and his second put the Rangers back up by one.  But once again, it didn’t take long for the equalizer thanks to a Mark Giordano powerplay goal.  He did a really nice job taking an Iginla pass at the point and putting an accurate shot on net at 15:51.  After 20 the score was tied as were the scoring chances, with them finishing 6-6.

The second period saw a few opportunities for the Flames to take the lead, as they had two chances on the powerplay, but their work on the man advantage became less effective as the night went on.  Calgary generated a grand total of zero scoring chances on their two second period powerplays, and the game remained 2-2 after 40.

Things were fairly contained in the second period, not leading to a ton of scoring chances, and that was much the same in the third period.  Neither team scored in the final frame, with Calgary having a really good chance to win it late with a powerplay opportunity, but once again, generated zero scoring chances.  Off to overtime we went.

OT saw a little more back and forth play, as is to be expected with some more open ice, and it took 4:58 of the extra frame for us to get a winner.  As the Rangers entered the offensive zone, Dan Girardi’s shot from the right win bounced off the end boards and right to Ryan McDonagh at the left side of the net.  His second was good for the winner and a 3-2 New York win.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  I’ll go with the theme of the above report, the powerplay.  They scored once on it, but they’re effectiveness really dried up in the final 40 minutes.  Ineffective powerplay chances like that can really stall momentum, and I thought that happened, because overall I felt Calgary was marginally better at even strength.  And, not only did the Flames powerplay have some issues generating, they also gave one up.

Red Warrior

I’ll go with Jarome Iginla tonight, as I felt offensively he had his strongest game.  He openly admitted he might not have played the Prust goal perfectly, but then again, who would have anticipated Bouwmeester bailing like that.  He finished even in the chance count, but I thought he was extremely difficult to knock off the puck from the blueline in, and made some good decisions offensively.  I felt it was the captain’s best game of the season.

Sum It Up

Some decent things accomplished by the Flames on this night, especially at even strength.  They did a nice job with possession and entered the zone in a fairly strong manner.  Now they have to work on turning that zone time into real scoring chances, as it was something they struggled with both 5-on-5 and up a man.  Defensively they were decent, especially in the final two periods, and Henrik Karlsson played just fine, giving the team a chance to win.  Some things to build on for Saturday’s afternoon affair with the struggling Predators.