The Calgary Flames headed to Boston tonight after losing a close one yesterday in Philadelphia. They were a bit sloppy, and they were pretty lousy in their own end and killing penalties. Tonight? The game was closer and the Flames were better, but the song remained the same.
The Flames dropped a close 2-1 decision off a power-play goal late in the third to stretch their losing streak to six games. They’re now 26-33-4 on the season and have 19 games to go.
The Flames came out with energy, albeit sloppy energy, in the first. They had a few chances, but the Bruins struck first as Landon Ferraro beat Joni Ortio top-corner to make it 1-0. The Flames couldn’t answer back. Shots were 8-5 for the Flames, but shot attempts were 17-15 for Boston.
Nobody scored in the second period, but the Flames looked pretty damn good. They pressed but the Bruins defended intelligently, and the Flames interrupted their own momentum with a pair of penalties. Shots were 9-8 for Boston and attempts were 18-14 for Boston.
The Flames made the game interesting early in the third, as Jakub Nakladal got his first NHL goal with a one-timer off a nice feed from Jyrki Jokipakka to make it 1-1. From there it looked like both teams were playing for the tie, but the Flames took a sloppy too-many-men call with four minutes left and Patrice Bergeron beat Ortio with a one-timer from the high slot to make it 2-1. They pulled the goalie but just couldn’t get a goal – or a good scoring chance – and that’s all she wrote.
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
Things the Flames were bad at: killing penalties (giving up 8 shots and a goal on five kills), puck retrieval (they spent way too much time chasing the puck), winning face-offs (40% winning percentage), and scoring goals. When your third defensive pairing is the one that puts up all of your offense, life is not good.
Jyrki Jokipakka played nearly 13 minutes, a couple hits, and set up the game’s only goal. He and Nakladal were quite good, but I was impressed at how strong Jokipakka looked considering he hadn’t practiced with the team yet.
The Flames head to Buffalo to tangle with Jack Eichel’s Sabres on Thursday night.