The Calgary Flames beat the Philadelphia Flyers by an 3-2 score in overtime on Saturday afternoon. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
The Flames find a way (yet again)
The Flames weren’t great against the Flyers, getting out-shot and out-chanced in each of the first two periods. But they managed to build a game and find a way to get two points, as has become their habit this season.
“It was a grind,” assessed Flames head coach Bill Peters. “We got better as we went. Got in our own way a little bit. Took an O-zone penalty, we shot one over the glass and a couple too many men on the ice penalties. They’ve got a good power play. That gave them some momentum, put us on our heels. But we settled in and found a way to get it done.”
The Flames lost the special teams battle to the Flyers, but managed to score three goals at even strength – one apiece three-on-three, four-on-four and five-on-five – to pick up the victory.
Tkachuk bails out Rittich
There are all kinds of friendships in this world, but the kinship between Matthew Tkachuk and David Rittich has been immortalized in a series of GIFs of their post-game hugs. As a matter of circumstance, they both have the same agent and are pending restricted free agents enjoying breakout seasons.
Nobody probably felt worse for Rittich after his third period puck-handling mishap (that made it 2-1 Flyers) than Tkachuk. Nobody probably felt happier that Tkachuk scored a goal that sent things to overtime than Rittich, since that meant the team didn’t lose as a direct result of a rare gaffe from the Flames’ starting netminder.
“I was very happy about the goal because I made a mistake that almost cost the game for us,” said Rittich. “I was actually happy we got a second one.”
Asked #Flames G David Rittich what he said post-game to Matthew Tkachuk, who tied it up and then assisted on OT winner: "Maybe 'Thanks bro, I love you.' Or something like that."
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) January 5, 2019
Peters also expressed his relief that the Flames were able to overcome Rittich’s momentary lapse.
“Unfortunate, obviously,” said Peters. “He made some big saves, too, on the power plays that we alluded to earlier. They ended up with nine shots, got one on it. Would we have liked to have handled that different? Sure we could But it’s a game of mistakes and fortunately enough we were able to overcome ours.”