The Flames were victorious over the Avalanche 4-3 and everyone who holds the Flames near and dear can breath a sigh of relief. Finally, after scoring one goal in four games and being shutout left and right, the Flames were able to tally a few goals. Even better news, the Flames got their first win in five games.
Early in the first the Flames got on the score sheet, something we haven’t been able to say for some time. Monahan took a pass from Stempniak and entered the o-zone. He stopped up and shot while Paul Byron went hard to the net. The puck dribbled in off of the Avs player trying to derail Byron’s effort and snuck past Giguere. Good for the rook’s 12th of the season. The Avs would answer back six minutes later when Erik Johnson tripped himself in the neutral zone and drew a phantom penalty from Mike Cammalleri. Nathan MacKinnon, the 1st overall selection of the 2013 draft, would smash in a garbage goal from the goal line at 7:18 on the ensuing PP. Seven minutes later, the Avs found themselves on another powerplay and MacKinnon struck again. This time onetiming a pass home in the slot from Flames killer, Paul Stastny. MacKinnon’s goals were his 13th and 14th goals of the season and his second two goal game in row.
The second period started out with the Avs driving the play for the most part. This was until Kevin Westgarth upped the grit and created some energy with some thunderous barely legal body checks (full disclosure: Westgarth pretty much did nothing and just got a penalty for his efforts). A short time later though, O’Brien ripped a shot from the point to which Joe Colborne got a stick on and it got past Giguere. A lucky one but we’ll take it all day. 2:28 later, Hudler tipped down a Gio point shot, got the puck settled on the ice and then put it through both his and Giguere’s legs to give the Flames the 3-2 lead going into the third.
The third period started off slow, neither team mustering much in the early stages. But right around the half way mark things started to heat up. Paul Stastny, the aforementioned Flames killer, evened up the score at 3s with his 12 of the season at 9:33. The goal was Stastny’s 46th point in 40 games against the Flames. It looked like the Flames might implode. But thanks to a late powerplay for the Flames that wasn’t the case. Mike Cammalleri took an unreal no-look feed from Hudler in the slot late in the powerplay, ripped it past Giguere and gave the Flames the lead at 16:30 of the third. The Flames held on for the victory from there.
This was a tough one. None of the Flames really stood out to any degree. I’ll give this one to Hudler. After the Czech Olympic Committee somehow opted against including Hudler on the team he showed why that’s a mistake. He had a goal and an assist in the game and both of the goals that he was in on don’t happen unless he did what he did on the plays.
WHY THE FLAMES WON
Well it’s clear that luck was a big factor in this one. The Flames were outshot 25 to 19 and, although they wern’t dominated by the Avs, it’s tough to say they were the better team. The Flames finally saw some bounces go their way with the first two goals, probably even the third. Even the powerplay at the end of the game that eventually gave the Flames the win, a too many men on the ice call, was quite lucky. To have six players out on the ice for a significant period like that, you don’t often see a team make a mistake like that late in the game. But they competed hard and didn’t give the Avs too many quality chances. The game could have gone either way and it was nice to see it fall the Flames way as they badly needed it.
SUM IT UP
The Flames ended a long scoring drought, in which they scored only one goal in the past four games. They were able to tally four goals tonight pick up the victory against the Avalanche, a team that has been playing really well lately and certainly has some offensive prowess up front. The Flames improve 15-21-6 and find themselves 28th overall.
Next up, the Flames head to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes tomorrow. Hopefully the scoring drought is over and the goals keep coming against a stingy Coyotes hockey club.