The Calgary Flames beat the Philadelphia Flyers by a 6-5 score on Wednesday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
The Flames looked rough, but got two points
The Flames were not perfect in this game. They gave up many, many chances. They were quite scrambly and their puck management was pretty shoddy for the first 45-50 minutes of this game.
But this is also a team that has a lot of offensive weapons and the confidence that their best players can pull victory from the jaws of defeat. On this occasion, they managed two goals in the final 68 seconds to force overtime and then scored early in extra time to capture two points.
“There’s a lot of belief and it is a resilient group,” said head coach Bill Peters, assessing the game. “We had a lot of chances and we gave up more than we would have liked, but we got a lot of chances, too. Stolarz made some big saves and then we were fortunate enough to get enough action at the net late and got rewarded.”
Several players noted how engaged the Saddledome crowd became when the Flames began getting chances late in the third period. Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk seemed as blown-away by the game’s wild finish as many members of the media were.
“I’ve been here for basically two and a half years now and that’s the loudest I’ve heard the ‘Dome,” said Tkachuk. “It was unbelievable. It was a great atmosphere and, I mean, you knew we were going to win in that first shift in overtime.”
Why was Mike Smith pulled?
Flames goaltender Mike Smith wasn’t great in the first 40 minutes, particularly a stretch in the second period where he allowed four Flyers goals on five shots – punctuated by a Dale Weise shot from 52 feet that somehow eluded him.
But Smith’s absence wasn’t performance-related. The coaches were working on figuring out new lines for the final period when they were told Smith wouldn’t be available for the final period.
“I got news he wasn’t right after 40, and real late,” said Peters. “It was real late, just before we went out on the ice and so I was told Ritter was going in. Smitty wasn’t feeling right, tried to play through it, couldn’t, and Ritter went in and did a good job.”
Peters said he didn’t know if it was an injury or health situation.
We’ll have updates on Smith’s availability for the weekend games as they become available.