After two games where they walked away with zero points, the Calgary Flames got back into the win column tonight with a pretty solid 60 minutes of ice hockey against a less-than-stellar opponent at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
The Flames never trailed in this contest and bounced back from losses against Colorado and St. Louis by way of a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. By sheer coindicence, the big difference-maker tonight for the Flames was a young man who grew up as a fan of the Flyers, Johnny Gaudreau.
The Flames now have 83 points. They need 12 points to hit the 95-point mark.
The first period featured a lot of feeling out, as the Flames were a tad tentative after Tuesday’s defeat against St. Louis. The Flames out-shot the Flyers 9-6.
The game opened up a bit in the second, particularly towards the end. Dennis Wideman opened up the scoring with a wrister on the rush that beat Steve Mason to make it 1-0. A few minutes later, T.J.Brodie’s wrist from way out beat Mason through traffic to make it 2-0 (and end Mason’s night, as Ray Emery came in). Claude Giroux scored with 8 seconds left to make it 2-1 on some shoddy defensive coverage by a home side that was looking forward to the intermission a bit too early. Shots were 12-10 Flyers.
The third period belonged to Calgary, despite the Flyers leading in shots (slightly) by a 9-7 margin. Why? The Flames took advantage of their opportunities and kept their game simple. The Flyers ran around and took too many bad penalties, and it cost ’em. With Ryan White in the box for cross-checking early in the third – and bear in mind that Giroux’s late goal had made it a one-goal game – Sean Monahan scored on a nice Johnny Gaudreau feed to make it 3-1. With Nicklas Grossmann and Chris VandeVelde in the box a few minutes later, Johnny Gaudreau buried his 20th goal of his freshman campaign to make it 4-1. That was all she wrote. The Flyers tried to generate something with some physicality later on, but to no avail.
WHY THE FLAMES WON
Calgary’s top players were better than Philadelphia’s top players, and Calgary’s lesser players did their best to give their top players chances to be successful. When the game’s outcome was in question, Calgary gave Philadelphia just one power-play – and the kill gave them the momentum that led to Wideman’s goal. Philadelphia took a lot of penalties and gave the Gaudreau, Monahan and Hudler group chances to take over the game.
They did so.
A three-point effort for one John Michael Gaudreau as he passed Filip Forsberg for the lead in scoring among National Hockey League rookies. This despite playing on a worse team and playing fewer games. He’s a special player and he had a very good evening.
And stick-taps to Sean Monahan and Karri Ramo, as they were also good this evening.
|Away||1||17:24||Schultz from Voracek||4||6||18||25||31||79||35||36||47||52||55||93||5v5|
|Away||1||16:33||VandeVelde from Bellemare||7||13||23||24||29||31||15||22||25||35||76||78||5v5|
|Away||1||13:57||Streit from Voracek||7||18||25||29||31||79||8||12||32||35||52||93||5v5|
|Away||1||0:37||Simmonds from Giroux||4||6||8||21||23||31||12||17||26||28||32||35||5v5|
|Away||2||18:37||Raffl from Giroux||4||6||13||23||24||31||12||28||32||35||55||93||5v5|
|Away||2||17:07||Del Zotto from Voracek||4||6||21||25||31||60||15||22||35||36||52||93||5v5|
|Away||2||7:19||Giroux from Streit||4||6||11||17||31||10||17||28||32||35||93||4v5|
|Away||2||0:11||Giroux from Voracek||7||11||18||19||29||31||12||28||29||47||55||93||5v5|
|Away||3||8:01||Del Zotto from Simmonds||4||6||18||25||31||79||15||17||29||36||47||52||5v5|
|Away||3||4:37||Simmonds from Giroux||6||7||11||17||31||10||17||28||29||32||93||4v5|
|Away||3||4:05||Schenn from Giroux||6||7||11||17||31||10||17||28||29||32||93||4v5|
|Away||3||0:50||Giroux from Voracek||7||11||13||24||29||31||15||25||26||28||29||93||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
SUM IT UP
The Flames won! Their magic number is reduced to 12! They have 11 games remaining to drop that number down to zero and clinch a playoff spot. Their next chance to drop that number down comes on Saturday afternoon in a rare 2pm game with the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.