Aside from a rough start to the first period, the Calgary Flames were pretty good in Game 2 against the Anaheim Ducks. Unfortunately for them, their dominant second period resulted in only a single goal and a tied third period was derailed by some silly penalties and bad bounces.
The Flames’ dismal streak at Honda Center has been stretched to 29 games. The Flames lost Game 2 by a 3-2 score to give the Ducks a 2-0 series lead.
The Flames got out to a better start than they did in Game 1 – they didn’t take a bad penalty early and they didn’t give up a goal in the first minute – but for the second time in this series they spotted the Ducks an early lead. Jakub Silfverberg picked up a loose puck in the Flames zone and beat Brian Elliott over his shoulder short-side with a wrist shot to make it 1-0. It was a shot that Elliott probably should’ve had.
A few minutes later, the Ducks got another one that Elliott probably wants back. On a four-on-four, Ryan Getzlaf chucked the puck deep into the Flames zone and went after it. Every Flames defender (all four) went after him in the corner, allowing him to shuffle the puck over to Rickard Rakell and Rakell tucked the puck just inside the far post on a wrap-around. Elliott barely reacted to it, seemingly bewildered by the crowd of players in the corner with Getzlaf. Anyway, it made it 2-0 Ducks.
A late four minute penalty to Matthew Tkachuk gave the Flames a late penalty kill. Just when it seemed like the game could have gotten really out of hand, a pair of familiar penalty killing dynamos gave the Flames some life. Mikael Backlund scored a short-handed goal on a breakaway off a great feed by Michael Frolik (and a lot of nice stick work just inside the Ducks point) to make it 2-1.
SHORTY FOR MIKAEL BACKLUND pic.twitter.com/aLJfdyfhb2
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) April 16, 2017
Shots were 12-11 Anaheim in the first period.
Calgary came out strong to start the second, killing off the remainder of the Tkachuk double minor and looking poise with the puck. They had a few nice chances, but it wasn’t until Johnny Gaudreau drew a Kevin Bieksa penalty (via getting chopped in the hands) that the Flames were able to tie things up. There was a gorgeous bit of passing, finished off by Monahan beating John Gibson through traffic to make it 2-2.
Monahan with a PPG to make it 2-2
That passing tho. pic.twitter.com/Nyl4xzMPPl
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) April 16, 2017
It appeared like the Flames took a lead late in the second, as Alex Chiasson put the puck past Gibson on a scramble. It was ruled no goal on the ice and after a review by the officials, it was held up as no goal. (We’ll get into this in a bit more detail later on.)
Shots were 15-6 Calgary in second.
The third period was tightly played, with each team seemingly afraid of making mistakes (lest they end up in the back of their net). This game seemed destined to be played in extra time until Dougie Hamilton hit the scoresheet with his fourth minor penalty of the series. A Ducks forward was impeding his progress up the ice and a seemingly frustrated Hamilton grabbed his stick (and got caught). Whoops. Getzlaf scored an odd one off a face-off scramble; his hard slap-pass across the ice hit Lance Bouma’s leg in the slot and that deflection beat Elliott just inside the far post to make it 3-2. T.J. Brodie took an undisciplined cross-checking minor soon after, burning off much of the clock and Calgary’s hopes to tie the game up. Shots were 11-11 in the third period.
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
The Flames got some bad breaks. Let’s not sugar-coat it, they probably deserved better than they got. But they also gave up two straight-up bad goals – a wrister from outside the high-danger area that beat their goalie clean and a wrap-around where seemingly nobody was aware that Rakell even had the puck.
They were really good for the most part, but those two bad goals put them behind the eight-ball and made them susceptible to dumb bounces costing them the game. And that’s exactly what happened.
THE TURNING POINT
Without a doubt, Hamilton’s bone-headed third period penalty and the Anaheim goal that deflected in off of Bouma were the turning point. Brodie’s minor shortly thereafter, putting the Ducks back on the man advantage, also was pretty bad and prevented the Flames from generating much momentum after going down 3-2.
Backlund was very good tonight. He created chances. He had many shots. He was good in every situation.
(Percentage stats are even strength. Game score is overall. Data via Natural Stat Trick.)
THIS AND THAT
Glen Gulutzan on disallowed goal: “I don’t know anymore. I don’t know the rules.” #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) April 16, 2017
Micheal Ferland and Kevin Bieksa got into a fight in this game, because of course they did.
The Flames have a travel day tomorrow. They’re back at it for Game 3 from the Saddledome on Monday night.
GETAWAY WITH AMA