The Calgary Flames beat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 9-6 score on Tuesday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
Flames triumph in a track meet
Despite scoring first the Flames were trailing for a good part of the game, still managing to come back to capture two points. Head coach Bill Peters noted the game had an interesting flow to it.
“It was a bizarre game, obviously, right?” said Peters. “We score the first one, they get four straight, we ended up with five in the second. You’re not going to see that very often.”
Both starting goaltenders – Calgary’s David Rittich and Columbus’ Sergei Bobrovsky – were chased from the game and replaced with their backups. Mike Smith came into the game for the Flames in the second period, gave up a goal on the first shot he faced… and still managed to pick up the victory.
With the Flames’ fathers on the road trip, Smith noted the game likely unfolded differently for parents of Calgary’s masked men.
“I just told my dad it was probably a very exciting game for a lot of dads up there and a very non-exciting game for a parent of a goaltender,” said Smith. “Obviously not the way you drew it up, but at the end of the day we’re obviously happy to get the two points.”
Line shuffling pays off again
Peters has developed a reputation as a line shuffler, something that’s set him apart from predecessor Glen Gulutzan. As has become the habit when the Flames are in a tight game, he shortened the bench in the third period.
The lines in the later stages of the game were:
- Johnny Gaudreau – Sean Monahan – Elias Lindholm
- Matthew Tkachuk – Mikael Backlund – Austin Czarnik
- Andrew Mangiapane – Mark Jankowski – James Neal
Derek Ryan and Sam Bennett saw zero shifts in the third, while Garnet Hathaway saw just 23 seconds (all on the penalty kill). Peters explained a bit of his short bench philosophy following the game.
“When you’re going down to three, you’re just looking for your nine best guys,” said Peters. “You don’t care who they are, you really don’t care what position they play, you just find a way to make it work. Every time we’ve done it we’ve been rewarded.”