The Calgary Flames beat the Philadelphia Flyers by a 4-3 score on Monday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
Johnny Gaudreau is good at hockey
Another game, another multi-point effort from Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau. Gaudreau had a pair of goals, putting him at 25 on the year. He credited teammate Mark Giordano for the nifty pass that led to his second goal of the game on a breakaway.
“It was a nice play by Gio, ripped it off the one wall,” said Gaudreau. “Finally buried on a breakaway. I think I had six or seven the last two or three games that I haven’t scored on, so it was nice to score that one.”
Gaudreau is third in NHL scoring with 64 points in 44 games. His career high for a single season is 84 points from 2016-17.
Pulling things together in the third period
Flames head coach Bill Peters is in a unique situation. It’s safe to say that he’s pleased with the results he’s seeing – the Flames are second in the NHL in points and third in the NHL in points percentage – but the team has relied on some third period pushes to do it, notably in the last few games.
“We were much better in the third for whatever reason,” said Peters. “There were some quality chances in there. I thought Delia played real well, made some big saves, allowed it to stay at 3-2. I liked our third period, we’ll have to figure out our starts a little bit. I thought we were loose. I thought we gave up too much early, but I liked our third period as a whole.”
Answering a question about the team’s play away from the Saddledome, part of Peters’ answer might hit on precisely what makes the team so good and what he thinks is the key to the team having lasting success.
We believe we’re going to win as long as we do the right thing, and when we’re not playing well guys know it, too. So guys know they can dig in. We dig in and get all four lines going and three sets of D, we’re a dangerous team. We’ve got to make sure our work ethic gets above our skill, though. We’re gonna skill our way around the rink, we’re going to be in a little bit of trouble and it’s gonna be iffy. When we go out and work, then we’re a good team.
Read into that as you may.
Short bench in the third period
As per usual, Peters shortened his bench as the game wore on. There were two main adjustments.
Oliver Kylington didn’t play at all during the final 34:20 of the game. Rasmus Andersson took shifts with Mark Giordano, but otherwise the Flames just kept chugging along. Kylington’s numbers weren’t great on the night and there wasn’t any injury apparent on the broadcast, so presumably he was benched.
Neither Garnet Hathaway or Michael Frolik saw a ton of ice time in the second half of the game. Part of that was likely because of the second period power plays with the Flames down a goal; since neither guy plays on the power play, they were out of the rotation and Peters has shown a hesitance to toss guys in cold in close games in the past.
Frolik also was the victim of some middle-six line shuffling, as Austin Czarnik spent much of the third period with Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk while Sam Bennett joined James Neal and Mark Jankowski. Derek Ryan got some spot duty here and there when a right-handed face-off option was needed, but Hathaway and Frolik were largely sidelined.