The Calgary Flames had a home game against a non-playoff, non-conference opponent this afternoon.
They entered the third period with a one-goal lead. However, they only got a point, as they lost to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets in overtime by a 3-2 score.
Their loss moves them a point closer to the vaunted 95-point mark and a potential playoff spot, but it makes life a bit more difficult for them the rest of the way.
The opening frame was a bit sleepy, in the sense that the crowd (and the players seemingly) were struggling to wake up fully. The Flames gave up quite a few gorgeous chances to the Jackets, including one sequence where a Jackets forward went in alone and David Schlemko poked the puck away, then awkwardly crashed into the boards. (He left the game but returned midway through the period.) Calgary opened the scoring on the power-play. Jared Boll went off for an infraction at 4:05, and by 4:18 Sean Monahan had scored. The sequence was a nice passing play, with Hudler, Monahan and Gaudreau making short, crisp passes that led to a Monahan tap-in. That lead lasted for awhile, even while Calgary continued to make sloppy plays in their own end. On one such sequence, Karri Ramo was wiped out, so Kris Russell slid in and made a leg save…and then Marko Dano rang a shot off the cross-bar. The Jackets finally evened it up off a neutral zone turn-over by the Flames; Ryan Johansen then found Calgary’s old friend Rene Bourque at the side of the net for a tap-in. Shots were 12-6 for Calgary in the opening period.
Calgary was a lot better generally in the second period. The entirety of the period was played at even-strength. The Flames were able to dictate play and skated well, and that turned into a goal early in the frame. Sergei Bobrovsky misplayed the puck on an attempted pass to a defender. Sean Monahan was following up on his own shot, quickly intercepted the pass and fed Jiri Hudler from behind the net, for the tap-in to make it 2-1. The rest of the period featured a few more good scoring chances, as well as a few awkward collisions:
- Corey Tropp (and Mark Tetestu) awkwardly piled onto T.J. Brodie in the Flames zone, leading to a Michael Ferland fight with Tropp.
- David Jones, on his way to the bench, awkwardly collided thigh-on-thigh with Scott Hartnell.
- Hartnell, with a bee in his bonnet from that previous engagement, ignited a late period scrum that ended in two pairs of roughing penalties. He primarily punched Brodie in the face. (Brodie, Dennis Wideman and Nick Foligno were also penalized.)
Shots were 12-8 Calgary.
The Flames headed into the third period with a lead. They were 19-1-0 when leading heading into the third period. Early in the period, Kris Russell mis-handled a puck in his own end after skating back to give the team a chance to change lines. His attempted behind-the-net bank pass to Wideman ended up in the hands of Artem Anisimov, who bonked it past a bewildered Ramo to make it 2-2. There were a series of odd penalties – including a weird Cam Atkinson call for playing the puck before he was fully out of the penalty box – but Calgary’s power-play just couldn’t get anything going. Shots were 19-4 in the third for the home side.
Overtime was back and forth, but the Flames couldn’t bury their chances and Rene Bourque scored with just shy of a minute left in OT to win it for the Blue Jackets.
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
Well, whether it’s because of the afternoon start time or whatever, the Flames came out pretty flat and stayed rather tepid throughout the game. They were lousy in the face-off circle. Their power-play was mediocre, outside of the opening man advantage when they scored. Their execution was sloppy at times.
They played a good second period, but they were fortunate to come away with the point they got.
Let’s go with Jiri Hudler. He played a ton, had a goal and an assist, and generally did whatever he could go jump-start Calgary’s offense.
Markus Granlund had a good third period.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
SUM IT UP
After this afternoon, Calgary’s record moves to 39-27-6 and they now have 84 points. They’re back in action on Monday night as Jarome Iginla visits the Scotiabank Saddledome with the Colorado Avalanche. Puck drop is at 7pm MT.
There are 10 games remaining in the regular season.