In what was a trend throughout the Pacific Division tonight, the Calgary Flames edged the San Jose Sharks in an overtime match that featured many goals, a few lead changes and the Flames creeping into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After spotting themselves a 2-0 lead early, the Flames let the Sharks take the game over in the second but didn’t let the game get away from them. After Joni Ortio kept the visitors in the game in the third period, Sean Monahan scored a quick one in overtime to give the Flames a crucial 4-3 overtime victory.
Here’s how it broke down at the Shark Tank tonight.
Before the local fans had even gotten a chance to settle in and delve into their nachos and popcorn, Dennis Wideman put the Flames on the scoreboard. 40 seconds into the period, Wideman fired one past Antti Niemi to make it 1-0. The Sharks appeared to have a great chance to pull even, as Jiri Hudler was sent to the box for tripping. However, a timely shot block in the defensive end lead to a goal by Joe Colborne (short-handed) and a 2-0 lead. The Flames led in shots in the first by a fairly hefty 11-4 margin. A strong first period for the visitors.
The second period was not as good. San Jose scored 12 seconds in as Logan Couture beat Joni Ortio. After a too many men call, the Sharks pounced and Joe Thornton tied the game just shy of three minutes into the period. Midway through the period, the awesomely-named Melker Karlsson redirected a puck with his skate past Ortio – with no “distinct kicking motion”, so it was a good hockey goal – to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead. However, the Flames did not panic, and Jiri Hudler tied the game before the end of the frame. The shots were 10-6 for the Sharks in the middle period.
The third period was notable for no goals scored, mostly because San Jose pressed and pressed and pressed and Joni Ortio stayed calm and kept the puck out of the net like a seasoned vet. Shots were 8-4 Sharks, but it went to overtime. And shortly after overtime began, Sean Monahan won an offensive zone face-off, drew it back to the point and went to the net. Mark Giordano’s shot was stopped, but Monahan knocked home the rebound for the winner 24 seconds into extra time.
WHY THE FLAMES WON
The Flames may occasionally be sloppy – and “occasionally” may be charitable lately – but one thing they are not is mentally fragile. Blow a two-goal lead on the road? They could mope about it, or they could find a way to get another.
Quite simply, this is a team that never believes they are out of a game.
Sean Monahan! Monahan had the game-winning goal, won 61% of his face-offs while taking the most draws on the team, and he lead all Flames forwards in ice-time.
Oh, and he’s just 20 years old. I keep forgetting that.
Stick taps to Joni Ortio – his third straight win – and Joe Colborne – for a two-point effort.
|Away||1||14:03||Colborne, goal (4v5 PK)||8||12||19||31||68||88||4||6||8||18||37||5v4|
|Home||1||13:52||Goodrow from Sheppard, save (5v4 PP)||15||31||44||57||80||89||4||6||11||13||37||5v4|
|Away||1||12:15||Brodie from Monahan, save||12||19||27||31||80||83||5||7||17||19||23||37||5v5|
|Home||1||11:32||Couture from Karlsson, post||8||31||39||44||68||88||4||6||18||25||32||37||5v5|
|Away||2||19:21||Backlund from Brodie, miss||8||19||31||44||68||88||5||7||11||13||24||37||5v5|
|Home||2||17:31||Burns from Couture, save (5v4 PP)||8||12||19||31||39||88||5||7||17||18||37||5v4|
|Home||2||17:22||Pavelski from Marleau, save (5v4 PP)||8||12||19||31||39||88||5||7||18||32||37||5v4|
|Home||2||17:21||Thornton from Pavelski rebound, goal (5v4 PP)||8||12||19||31||39||88||5||7||18||32||37||5v4|
|Home||2||11:00||Karlsson from Pavelski, goal||4||25||31||48||61||81||15||18||25||29||32||37||5v5|
|Away||2||10:06||Colborne from Raymond, save||15||31||44||83||88||89||5||7||8||21||37||60||5v5|
|Home||2||9:07||Marleau from Wingels, save||12||31||39||44||57||88||4||6||17||19||23||37||5v5|
|Away||2||8:29||Hudler from Backlund, goal||4||8||19||31||44||68||5||7||11||13||24||37||5v5|
|Away||2||3:53||Byron from Brodie, miss||15||31||44||57||83||88||5||7||18||25||32||37||5v5|
|Away||2||3:06||Colborne from Brodie, miss||12||27||31||39||57||80||5||7||8||21||37||60||5v5|
|Away||2||1:09||Colborne from Raymond rebound, miss||25||31||44||48||81||88||4||6||8||21||37||60||5v5|
|Home||3||10:56||Marleau from Couture, save||12||27||31||39||80||81||4||6||11||13||24||37||5v5|
|Away||3||9:11||Monahan from WIdeman, save (5v4 PP)||31||44||61||83||89||4||6||8||21||23||37||4v5|
|Away||3||7:41||Backlund from Hudler, miss||12||31||39||44||57||88||5||6||11||13||24||37||5v5|
|Home||3||5:02||Marleau from Burns, miss||8||12||19||31||44||88||5||7||17||19||23||37||5v5|
|Home||3||1:23||Pavelski from Thornton, miss||4||8||19||31||61||68||4||6||8||11||13||37||5v5|
|Away||4||4:37||Monahan from Giordano, goal||4||8||19||31||61||5||7||23||32||37||4v4|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Once again, the Flames got very little help from the other teams in the NHL.
- Tampa Bay beat Colorado in a shootout, so the Avs got a point and sit three back of Calgary.
- Dallas beat Washington and sit four back of Calgary.
- Minnesota beat Arizona and sit six back of Calgary.
- Anaheim beat the LA Kings, but did so in the shootout, so the Kings got a point.
So, the Flames are currently tied with the Kings – and have the tie-breaker by virtue of having more regulation and overtime wins (ROWs). And by virtue of the win, they’re two back of Vancouver (with the Canucks having two games in hand) and three back of San Jose with a game-in-hand.
Monday night’s game in Los Angeles is rapidly getting even more interesting than it already was.
SUM IT UP
The Calgary Flames are now 24-18-3 and are (at least temporarily) in a playoff spot. They’re tied with the Los Angeles Kings, and those two teams tangle in a really important, really fun-looking game on Monday night at Staples Center with a playoff spot on the line.
A regulation win puts the Flames two points up and pushes them towards San Jose, Vancouver and the divisional playoff spots. A regulation loss puts the Flames two points back and hoping to regroup.
The puck drops at 8:30pm MT on Monday. Don’t you dare miss it.