52Matthew Tkachuk
Photo Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames find a way in Buffalo

The Calgary Flames played their second game in as many nights on Tuesday night. They also played their third consecutive pretty good game, avoiding panic when they trailed after the first period. They beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in overtime to complete their brief road trip.

The Rundown

The Flames started out slow but David Rittich was sharp early, making several strong saves. The visitors got their legs under them and generated some chances later on but couldn’t bury anything. The Sabres got a lead with 3:30 remaining in the first period, as Mark Jankowski’s attempted pass went off James Neal’s skate and went the other way; Jack Eichel beat Rittich with a nice glove-side wrist shot to make it 1-0 Sabres. Shots were 11-11 and chances were 4-4.

Neither team scored in the second period, thought both had their chances. The Flames had a pair of power plays that didn’t generate very much. Shots were 16-11 Flames but chances were 10-9 Sabres.

The Flames pressed in the third period, but struggled at times with puck management and puck control – things kept bouncing on them at unfortunate moments. But they finally managed to break through as Matthew Tkachuk tipped an Elias Lindholm shot to tie the game with 55 seconds left in regulation.

Shots were 9-5 Flames and chances 8-2 Flames.

Tkachuk took a penalty at the horn so the Flames had to kill off a penalty in overtime. After they managed that, they struck again: Mark Giordano back-checked to defuse a Rasmus Ristolainen scoring chance, then sprung Johnny Gaudreau into the Sabres zone. Giordano then rushes up the ice, accepted Gaudreau’s pass and then set him up for tap-in. It was a 2-1 final for the visitors.

Why the Flames Won

The Flames didn’t play a perfect 60-ish minutes of hockey and they were a bit sloppier than they were in Toronto – possibly a product of playing two games in two nights. But they continued to stick to the program and not cheat their system when they got down and eventually they were rewarded.

It also helped that they got good goaltending and timely scoring.

Red Warrior

Let’s go with Giordano, who played a ton and was instrumental on the game-winner. Rittich, Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had good games as well.

The Turning Point

Tkachuk’s tip-in goal guaranteed the Flames a point and seemed to give the group some jump heading into overtime.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Corsica.Hockey)

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Ryan 66.7 42.9 0.180
Gaudreau 66.7 60.0 1.625
Hanifin 66.7 60.0 0.725
Monahan 66.7 60.0 2.115
Lindholm 64.3 60.0 1.440
Giordano 63.6 43.8 1.125
Backlund 63.6 50.0 0.305
Brodie 60.7 43.8 0.565
Neal 60.0 36.4 0.300
Tkachuk 60.0 50.0 0.950
Valimaki 48.0 55.6 -0.150
Hamonic 48.0 66.7 0.125
Frolik 47.1 71.4 0.055
Andersson 46.2 50.0 0.175
Bennett 45.0 33.3 0.155
Dube 41.2 42.9 0.085
Hathaway 38.5 50.0 -0.075
Jankowski 32.0 50.0 -0.430
Rittich 2.050
Smith

This and That

The Flames held Buffalo to just eight high-danger scoring chances. In all five games where the Flames have kept their opponents from getting to 10 high-danger chances, they’ve gotten points – they’re 4-0-1, per Natural Stat Trick.

Up Next

The Flames (7-5-1) head home. They practice tomorrow and prepare to host the Colorado Avalanche at the Saddledome on Thursday evening.

  • Korcan

    Another great stick-with-it victory for Flames! So happy they got the 2pts as they deserved it. Great game by Rittich and Brodie looks to be getting his game back on track — maybe his best outing of the season. Way to go Flames!

  • buts

    Great win….the PP sucks it moves the puck around well, entries are better but especially against good P.K. teams you gotta shoot to break down the box which we didn’t. We then pull our goalie and we tie it up on a point shot. Same thing happened against Washington, you shoot more especially with byng in front. A good PP and it wouldn’t have been close.

    • Korcan

      I would like to see them try Andersson with his shot on the point. I think the opposition knows there is no point shot threat, so they clog the netfront to prevent the pass. If the Flames could present a genuine threat from the point, it may make a big difference down low. Remember, last season, how the PP never really took off until they inserted Hamilton on the point? I think the same thing could happen with Ras.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Tkchuk has to stop taking dumb penalties at the wrong time. The PP looks haphazard, doesn’t seem to be any set plays, beginning of the third Lindholm couldn’t find anyone to pass it to, all the other guys were standing in a position he couldn’t get the puck to, they just stood there, eventually he turned it over. Something has to be done, it looks like Peter’s is letting the guys free wheel around.
    Other than that good 2 points.

  • flames2015

    Deryk Ryan with zeros all across the board tonight. No shots, no hits, 1 giveaway. But hey we’re paying him $3.125 million to take 4 faceoffs a night. He’s the brouwer this year on the PP.

  • Kzak

    Not our greatest game, as we look tired and a bit sloppy, but it was certainly an emotional game to be at. There were lots of Flames fans at the game, including the Jankowski, Bennett and the Tkachuk (I think) families, also had a brief talk with Monahan’s aunt. So glad we pulled it off. Go Flames!

  • Off the wall

    Has Andersson ever shown himself well in the final stages of the game. Had he not kept the puck in, Lindholm wouldn’t have got the shot away, resulting in Byng tying it up.

    Wasn’t it the Washington game where he let a slap shot rip in the last minute or so and was tipped by Byng?

    Andersson is certainly doing well. Did the haircut have something to do with it? ?

  • Justthateasy

    Gio is the greatest. What an effort after taking the guy into the boards behind the net in overtime and and then getting his butt down the ice to be part of the two-on-one with Johnny.

      • Albertabeef

        Last week maybe Gio deserved it. He’s not perfect. I made a comment but it was only asking people to not blame TJ for all the goals when Gio was the one out of position and lost coverage of his guy. Gio knew it too and you could easily read that from him on that goal. Don’t know what others said through.

  • MDG1600

    What I like is two games in a row with a good defensive effort. I hope they can bring the same effort to the saddledome and get out of the playing lousy at home rut which seems to have carried over from last year.

  • Clayton

    What a difference in effort between the two captains. Gio hustles and makes a great Defensive play, then hustles to get back into the play and create the 2 on 1…notice who Johnny got a step on for the rebound…yep, Captain Jack! Gio is certainly giving Johnny a run for the team MVP!

    • KootenayFlamesFan

      As far as I’m concerned Lindholm is in that conversation as well. Wins face offs, scores, plays physical (relative to most others on the team) and has great hustle. Defensive numbers aren’t great but to my eye he doesn’t seem that bad.

  • oilcanboyd

    Another scheduling dump on the Flames this week on Thursday. Flames have been criss-crossing North America, playing 2 at home, 2 on the road. Colorado hasn’t played since Saturday vs the Wild. Another ambush like the one against the Pens. Next game for them is the next night against the ‘Nucks a Pac Div rival. Oh well, at least it is not against the oilers. End of scheduling rant! GFG

    • KootenayFlamesFan

      Ya, over on ON they’re whining about he schedule but it seems like they’re playing all the same teams we do but the night after they play us or someone else.

    • cjc

      Colorado sitting for a four days could work in the Flames’ favour, especially if Calgary can get out front quickly. Too much rest can make a team rusty – just look at how badly most teams played after their bye weeks last year.

  • FlamesFanFromMI

    I love the swagger Johnny has in this game. There was more then one occasion where he had opposing player turned inside out , and then again. Mony hit someone I saw it. Good game guys.

  • cjc

    The big O-fer on the powerplay is a concern. That may cut it against a team like Buffalo, but if they want to keep up with the best teams in this league, they’ll need their special teams to start clicking.

    Saying that, Giordano has been playing some of the best hockey of his career and I can’t wait to see what Andersson can do in 2-3 years.

  • Getpucksdeep

    A Herald writer made a great point this morning. Two games in a row where the officials blew calls, badly and the Flames as a team did not panic or lose their composure at all, they just kept after it. Good signs.

      • Derzie

        It’s a fast game and hard to call BUT Bettman has given the refs so much protection that they are not being accountable for the quality of their refs. That needs to change. Refs should be invisible and call the game as it’s played. Some do it’s just that some don’t. Shouldn’t happen at the highest level. With expansion, it will get worse. Not enough high level talent to go around perhaps.