(courtesy of either MyRegularFace or AnthonyCook, I can’t recall which -RP)
The Flames got out-shot tonight.
They also got out-hit and lost roughly 61% of the face-offs they took. However, after a strong third period – that sounds unfamiliar – they forced overtime, and ultimately won their 25th game of this wacky, wacky season via a Dennis Wideman goal in extra time to leave Staples Center with a 2-1 victory.
The Flames are now in sole possession of the final wild-card playoff spot after 46 games.
Here’s what went down in Hollywood tonight.
The Flames didn’t play amazingly in the first 40 minutes. They were out-hit and out-shot. And out-chanced. And took a lot of penalties, which didn’t make the whole “not being able to get offensive zone time” problem go away. Shots were 10-3 in the first and 17-6 in the second, both in favour of the Kings.
The Flames weren’t all that good on their power-plays – going 0-for-5 on the night and generating just 8 shots in 10 minutes. The Kings were only a bit better, going 0-for-4 and generating 10 shots on 8 minutes of extra-man time.
Anyhoo, the third period saw the Flames break out and start skating. Passes connected. Rushes generated chances. The Kings tired out. The Flames out-shot the Kings 10-4 in the third period. However, the Flames’ sloppy defensive zone play came back to bite them in the behind, as Matt Greene took advantage of a lazy Flames clearing attempt and beat Joni Ortio from the point through traffic to make it 1-0 Kings mid-way through the third. However, Sean Monahan later stole the puck at the Flames blueline from Alec Martinez and beat Robyn Regehr one-on-one and beat Jonathan Quick to tie it.
In overtime, the Flames out-shot the Kings 4-1 and really were rolling. It helped that the period began with 3-on-3 play for just over a minute after coincidental minors to Mark Giordano and Regehr for roughing – Regehr tried to give Giordano a noogie. On yet another successful late-game rush, the Flames cycled the puck and generated a few chances. Cycling down-low, Dennis Wideman shot a wrister that hit the crossbar and bounced out. Well, except for the fact that Wideman seemed utterly convinced that the puck went in. After the Kings iced it, the referees went upstairs for review, and it turned out the puck bonked off the camera inside the net, rather than the crossbar. The Flames won (and roughly a dozen seconds of subsequent play was negated).
WHY THE FLAMES WON
Well, Joni Ortio was sharp as heck again. And the Flames hung in there and did their best to keep the Kings to the outside as much as possible. But the Kings weren’t terribly sharp in terms of burying their chances – a lot of passes went through sticks and skates rather than tape-to-tape, and the Flames managed to take advantage of them tiring as the game went on.
Joni Ortio continues his superb play, making several sharp saves and ultimately stopping 33 pucks for his fourth straight win. I don’t think he’ll be in Utica on Monday for the AHL’s All-Star Game after all.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
Outside of the Canucks beating Florida, the Flames got as much help from other teams as they could tonight. The Blues beat Colorado, Columbus beat Minnesota and New Jersey beat San Jose.
Here’s how things look after tonight.
Things could get even more muddy between now and the All-Star Break, as Los Angeles has a date with San Jose and Calgary faces Anaheim before the teams get their time off.
SUM IT UP
The Flames have run the table (so far) on their five game road trip, winning each of their first four games. They have a chance to close out their pre-All-Star Break schedule with a win on Wednesday night when they face the NHL’s best club, the Anaheim Ducks.