Back on Wednesday, the Calgary Flames played a great first period and spotted themselves a lead. After that, they threw it into cruise control and played defensive hockey – primarily in their own zone – for the last 40 minutes of the game.
Well, it happened again tonight, except the Flames had a smaller lead (1-0) and the Edmonton Oilers were playing at home and really needed a win. So Edmonton managed to take over the game for the second half of the game and despite a strong performance by Jonas Hiller in net, the Flames ended up dropping a 2-1 decision in a shootout to kick off their five-game road trip.
The Flames drop to 20-20-3 on the season, but at least they got a point, right?
The Flames were good in the first. They held onto the puck, they created chances and they had the Oilers running scared in their own end. Sam Bennett opened the scoring with his 11th of the season on a nice pass from Mikael Backlund. Shots were 14-8 for the Flames, while shot attempts were close to even at 22-19 for Edmonton.
The Oilers were a lot better in the middle frame and did a good job at keeping Calgary to the outside. Nobody scored, but shots were 14-5 Edmonton and shot attempts were 23-12 Edmonton. The Flames were lucky not to get scored on.
The second period malaise crept into the third for Calgary, with Jonas Hiller needing to be sharp again. Shots were 15-8 for the Oilers and attempts were 22-19. Mark Fayne finally beat Hiller off a face-off – with many bodies between Fayne and Hiller – to tie it up. The Flames got their legs back late but couldn’t generate enough chances, so it was off to overtime.
In overtime, the Flames dominated in terms of puck possession. They even had a power-play generated by that puck possession, but they couldn’t generate any good chances. Shots were 5-0 for the Flames and attempts were 9-0. They went to a shootout and Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Bennett all failed to beat Cam Talbot. And so, the Flames lost by a 2-1 score.
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
You’re not going to win many games where you get your head kicked-in shots and possession-wise. Especially when you do that on the road, praying your goalie bails you out. Hiller was sharp tonight, but not enough to make up for the lack of urgency in the second and third periods.
Oh, and speaking of lacking urgency, the Flames went 0-for-5 on the power-play. They were given several chances to take over the game via their special teams, and they failed to do so. C’est la vie.
Y’know what? Let’s go with T.J. Brodie. We’ve done it a lot this year, but Brodie was a calming presence on the back end and was one of the few players that consistently jumped into the rush and tried to create offense.
And stick-taps to Sam Bennett, Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano, who were almost as good as Brodie tonight. And Jonas Hiller was also rock-solid in net.
UGLY SWEATER FOR SALE
Want to own Mark Giordano’s ugly sweater? Well, head to eBay (ebay.ca/gio)! The sweater is being auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Giordano’s Team Giordano charity!
In partnership with the Calgary Board of Education (CBE), Team Giordano provides resources to four Calgary schools to assist in meeting student needs and support personal student development. Funded by the Giordanos, the Flames Foundation for Life and the Calgary Italian Open Charity Golf Tournament, the schools are provided new computers, floor hockey equipment, school supplies along with student mentorship opportunities developed and supported by Mark and Lauren. In recognition of his community efforts Giordano was named a finalist for the NHL Foundation Player Award presented annually to the player “who applies the core values of hockey –
commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in
So head to eBay, get a sweet sweater and contribute to a awesome local charity? Sounds rad. Get on it!
The Flames return home for a practice tomorrow, and then it’s off to New Jersey for the second game of their five-game road trip on Tuesday night in Newark.