It’s been said a lot how the Calgary Flames aren’t a team that can play just one good period and win a hockey game. Well, on Tuesday night they played one decent period and were able to take a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets, winning a fourth consecutive game for the first time this season. It wasn’t a pretty one, but it’s points the Flames need as they continue racking up points in the month of December.
About as slow a start as we’ve seen to any hockey game the Flames have played this year saw just three scoring chances combined in the first period. There just wasn’t a whole lot going on, which is why this paragraph is very short.
The second period saw Calgary being kind of fortunate to only be down 1-0 when it concluded, as the Jackets racked up ten scoring chances in the middle frame but only scored once. At the tail end of a powerplay, a puck bounced to Derick Brassard at 12:02 and he’d snipe his fourth of the season for the first lead of the hockey game. The Jackets had their chances to swell the lead, but it was close heading to the third.
A Derek MacKenzie tripping call early in the third gave the Flames an opportunity to tie things up, which they would thanks to the captain. Jarome Iginla’s 498th career goal was also good for his 14th on the season and a tie game, as he slid the puck underneath a lunging Steve Mason on an odd one. Just 3:06 into the third period, this game was tied taking us to extra time.
Overtime was the most exciting part of this one, with Calgary having a few ten bell chances to win it only to have Mason make a couple stops. Jarome Iginla would score the only goal in the shootout as Miikka Kiprusoff stopped Mark Letestu, Rick Nash, and James Wisniewski in order.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames won? A decent third period. Thankfully, they were playing the NHL’s worst team, so having a slow first two periods isn’t the end of the world. The Jackets were only a tad better than the home team, so Calgary had an opportunity within a goal in the final frame. As Kent said in the scoring chances thread, the Flames haven’t won a lot of games they haven’t deserved to this year while they’ve lost a few they’ve been pretty good in.
I really liked Derek Smith tonight. He played over 23 minutes (buoyed a little by overtime) and was pretty strong, especially as the game went on. He’s playing top four minutes for the team and isn’t doing a bad job doing so, and I thought it was another nice night for him. Honorable mention goes to Jarome for 498 and the only two goals the team scored, but he wasn’t very good before the third period, so Smith gets the nod.
Sum It Up
This team needs points and they got two against a team they have no excuse losing to. Regardless of how they got there, the Flames got the two points and starts off a six game road trip on a winning note. Watching the team this month, games like this aren’t the norm, and if they make this a blip going into Thursday night against the Islanders, it’ll likely serve them well. For the record, Calgary is now 8-3-3 in the month of December.