The Calgary Flames haven’t been amazing of late. They hosted the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night in a very tight-checking game that was dictated by a lot of special teams play. The two squads grinded things out into extra time, where the Canucks captured a 3-2 overtime win over the Flames.
The opening period was a bit scrambley, with each team exchanging early penalties. The Canucks scored on their power play, as Brock Boeser beat David Rittich with Bo Horvat providing a screen to make it a 1-0 Canucks lead.
But the Flames answered back shorthanded. Noah Hanifin was stopped by Jacob Markstrom on a breakaway, but Mark Jankowski snuck in as the trailer and cleaned up the refuse, bonking in the rebound to tie the game at 1-1.
So good a Vancouver player had to give him a hug pic.twitter.com/Z2XDMLNnq2
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) December 30, 2018
Shots were 13-6 Flames in the first period, and scoring chances were 12-3 Flames.
The Flames made a big push to open the second period, generating the first six shots of the period. They couldn’t bury their chances… until they were shorthanded again. Travis Hamonic beat Markstrom on a two-on-one rush to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
— Sportsnet 960 (@Sportsnet960) December 30, 2018
But the lead didn’t last too long, as Hanifin got caught up ice and that gave Elias Pettersson time, space and a clean shooting lane to beat Rittich with a heck of a wrist shot off the rush to tie the game at 2-2.
Shots were 10-9 Canucks in the second, while chances were 10-8 Flames.
It was a tight-checking third period, with neither team giving the other side much real estate to operate. Shots were 8-8 and chances were 6-3 Flames, but regulation time solved nothing.
In overtime TJ Brodie had a great chance for the Flames while Pettersson had a golden opportunity for the Canucks. Alex Edler scored off an odd-man rush to make this a 3-2 win for the Canucks
Why the Flames Got A Point
The Flames couldn’t bury their chances at even strength (or on the power play for that matter), but they still managed to stay in this game because their penalty-killing group did a great job negating the Canucks’ power play after the opening goal. When your only goals are shorthanded, you’ll have a tough time getting two points.
Give the Canucks credit, though, they battled all game long and made life tough on the home team. The Flames weren’t great, but the Canucks were pretty good.
Jankowski looked dangerous all night, even when the Flames were playing at even strength. But an honourable mention to Rittich, who was really dialed-in throughout this one.
The Turning Point
Pettersson’s laser beam of a goal tied this game up and ultimately sent things to overtime. In a game where neither side had much going on at even strength, it was a big one.
(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Corsica.Hockey)
This and That
The Flames’ second shorthanded goal of the game gave them the outright NHL lead in that category (with 12). Jankowski now has a share of the NHL lead in shorthanded goals and points, which he shares with Arizona’s Michael Grabner.
When entering the third period tied, the Flames are now 3-0-2 on the season.
The Flames (23-12-4) practice tomorrow. They host the San Jose Sharks on Monday night in the annual New Year’s Eve game.