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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Flames drop preseason finale in Edmonton

The Calgary Flames polished off their preseason schedule on Saturday afternoon with a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. The result camouflages what was actually a pretty solid game for the Flames in a few areas, but their power play and some iffy defensive zone play conspired against them.

The Rundown

The locals got down early, as Anthony Peluso went to the box for tripping and Jujhar Khaira finished off a nice passing play on the rush for the Oilers’ power play to make it 1-0. The Flames penalty kill barely had time to get set up.

But the Flames answered back soon after, as a Flames power play had some great passing off a face-off win. It ended with Elias Lindholm finding Johnny Gaudreau at the side of the net for a tap-in and a 1-1 game.

The Flames went up 2-1 off a nice bit of passing from rookie Juuso Valimaki. He caught the Oilers sleeping in the neutral zone with a nice outlet pass to Mark Jankowski, and the tall center set one up for a Sam Bennett shot that glanced off Cam Talbot’s blocker and into the net.

Another nice bit of passing made it 3-1 Flames, as Lindholm was sprung into the offensive zone on an Oilers line change by a great Mark Giordano pass. Lindholm beat Talbot with a nifty wrist shot to extend Calgary’s lead.

Shots were 19-5 Flames in the opening 20 minutes, with scoring chances 6-2 Flames as well.

The Flames had a long PP to open the second period and couldn’t do much with it, failing to gain the zone several times and only getting two shots away. The Oilers generated a power play soon after and Connor McDavid scored off a nice pass through the slot from Leon Draisaitl – the Flames couldn’t clear the net-front so Smith really had no clue where the puck was – to make it 3-2 Oilers.

The Oilers tied the game a little bit later, as a Kailer Yamamoto shot glanced off Matthew Tkachuk (who was trying to guard Jakub Jerabak pinching) and beat Smith to make it 3-3. Shots were 13-8 Flames in the second, but chances were 6-4 for Edmonton.

Edmonton went up for good in the early third. During a four-on-four section, as both teams took a series of penalties, Yamamoto beat Lindholm to the side of the Flames net and redirected a Drake Caggiula shot past Smith to make it 4-3. Shots were 10-8 Flames, scoring chances were 4-3 Flames.

Why the Flames Lost

The Flames got a little bit too casual in their own end after they spotted themselves a 3-1 lead. We saw this in San Jose as well: the team just seemed to ease up and relax in their own end, and it made life difficult for themselves. They made turnovers, they clogged up their slot so their goaltender had a rough time, and they didn’t make life easy on themselves by making simple plays.

It’s a shame, too, because for the most part the team played superb in the other two zones.

The other issue? Their special teams weren’t great, and it hurt them in a game where they had seven power plays.

Red Warrior

Gotta go with Lindholm, who was all over this game in all three zones. He took draws, he made nice plays, he scored nice goals.

The Turning Point

The Flames power plays in the second did very little to generate momentum for the club and instead gave the home team a ton of daylight.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5)

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Ryan 88.9 80.0 1.075
Valimaki 85.2 80.0 1.850
Peluso 85.0 80.0 0.840
Prout 84.6 80.0 1.050
Mangiapane 81.0 66.7 0.850
Andersson 73.3 87.5 0.500
Gaudreau 73.1 60.0 2.100
Czarnik 72.7 100 0.625
Dube 69.6 50.0 0.825
Lindholm 69.6 50.0 2.400
Giordano 69.2 87.5 1.925
Jankowski 60.0 87.5 1.020
Tkachuk 58.3 33.3 0.325
Hanifin 57.1 44.4 0.225
Frolik 54.6 50.0 0.240
Bennett 53.3 87.5 1.025
Hamonic 53.1 44.4 0.350
Backlund 50.0 40.0 0.590
Smith -1.150
Rittich

This and That

Tkachuk missed the third period of this game. Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane were given extra shifts in his stead.

The Flames power play went 1-for-7 with 12 shots. Their penalty kill went 1-for-3 and gave up 5 shots.

Up Next

The Flames return home and prepare to make their final cuts to the roster. They open the regular season with a late game on Wednesday night in Vancouver.

  • Jakethesnail?

    Treleving see if you can do some magic and get a goaltender . At the very least find one that will earn his almost 6m salary.
    Since taking the reigns you have not solidified this position.