For the third consecutive game since their bye week, the Calgary Flames scored first in a home game. For the third consecutive game since the bye week, they never scored again and lost in extra time. After three straight games with uninspiring third periods, this one resulted in a 2-1 overtime loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
Maybe they should stop playing for the tie.
The opening frame was pretty even, but the Flames had a bit more jump than the visitors – who played the previous night in a different city. Sean Monahan opened the scoring by finishing off a beautiful passing sequence among himself, Micheal Ferland and Johnny Gaudreau (that was preceded by a nice chip-in play by Brett Kulak).
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 25, 2018
Shots were 8-6 Flames, scoring chances were 5-5.
Nobody scored in the second period, but the Flames probably should have at some point. They were all over the Kings, out-shooting them 16-8 and out-chancing them 15-5. Darcy Kuemper and some bad luck kept the game close.
The Flames sat back a bit in the third and the Kings pressed, which led to the game-tying goal. With Mark Jankowski in the box, Jake Muzzin’s point shot through traffic beat a screened Mike Smith to make it a 1-1 game. Neither side had too many amazing chances, though, as both team seemed content to play for overtime and the Flames did virtually nothing to push the pace. Shots were 7-7, scoring chances were 7-2 Flames.
The Flames didn’t have a ton of urgency in overtime, and it cost ’em. They had a near-miss after Smith’s attempted pass was intercepted by Anze Kopitar. But in the final minute, Smith biffed a clearing pass and a few passes later Tanner Pearson scored on a one-timer to end this one in OT. Shots were 3-0 Kings.
Why The Flames Lost (in Overtime)
They started well, had a great second period, but seemed to completely lose their sense of urgency in the third period and couldn’t turn it back on for overtime.
Oh, and the power play. It had 11 shots. That’s good. It scored zero goals. That’s bad. They need more goals from their power play, by hook or crook.
Monahan crawled out from under whatever rock he’s been hiding since the bye week, scoring a nice goal and generating a ton of scoring chances. After a few sleepy games, the top line was excellent.
The Turning Point
It’s obviously the overtime goal, but you could also make a case for the last 15 minutes of the third period where the Flames lost all sense of urgency.
(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Corsica.hockey)
This and That
The Flames received two of their five power plays as a result of unsportsmanlike conduct calls (and another one from a puck-over-glass delay of game).
The Flames iced the puck 10 times in this game.
The Drive to 95 (Points)
The Flames now have 57 points with 34 games remaining. They need 38 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 19-15-0 record to hit the 95 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off.
The Flames (25-16-7) head up Highway 2 tonight and they finish off their pre-All-Star schedule tomorrow night in Edmonton against the Oilers.