90Sam Bennett
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames edge Ducks in slopfest

The Calgary Flames have played a lot of up-tempo, high-event hockey this season. On Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, they got into a muck-and-grind game against the visiting Anaheim Ducks. The Flames managed to eke out two points with a 2-1 victory.

The Rundown

The opening period was quite low event, with shots 6-5 for Anaheim and scoring chances 11-5 Flames. Mike Smith made a great save on Troy Terry at one end, while Ryan Miller robbed Austin Czarnik with a paddle save.

The Flames opened the scoring early in the second period off a set play: Mikael Backlund drew the puck off a face-off win, TJ Brodie’s point shot went off Jaycob Megna’s leg and past Miller to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

But after a few minutes of fairly sloppy play, the Ducks tied things up off a Smith puck-handling gaffe. Carter Rowney out-manuevered him for a dump-in, then passed it to Derek Grant for the wrister into the gaping net that made it a 1-1 game.

Shots were 14-14 in the second, while scoring chances were 10-8 Ducks.

The third period was very back and forth, which each side narrowly whiffing on good looks on net. With three and a half minutes left in regulation, the Flames’ best line – their fourth line – broke the deadlock. Andrew Mangiapane elected to shoot on a two-on-one rush (after a pass attempt bounced back to him) and gave the Flames a 2-1 lead (and the victory).

Shots were 9-6 Flames and chances 7-5 Flames in the third period.

Why the Flames Won

This was a sloppy game for both teams, where passes frequently missed and forwards frequently needing to pivot and scramble back to help their teammates. But the Flames managed to make some adjustments. They weren’t a lot better than the Ducks, but their depth guys were a bit better than Anaheim’s depth guys and that was enough for the razor-thin margin of victory.

Red Warrior

Sam Bennett didn’t hit the score-sheet, but he was noticeable just about every time he hit the ice.

The Turning Point

Mangiapane’s game-winner with precious little time left in the third period gave the home side a bit of daylight in a game where they needed play-makers to make some plays.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Natural Stat Trick)

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Mangiapane 70.4 33.3 1.675
Hathaway 67.9 33.3 0.735
Hanifin 65.0 40.0 0.650
Ryan 64.3 28.6 0.655
Giordano 63.9 45.5 1.025
Monahan 63.6 42.9 0.575
Hamonic 62.8 33.3 0.850
Andersson 59.5 41.7 0.400
Tkachuk 59.4 55.6 0.375
Czarnik 58.8 50.0 0.275
Gaudreau 55.9 37.5 0.250
Lindholm 50.0 57.1 0.020
Jankowski 50.0 50.0 -0.095
Bennett 50.0 20.0 0.000
Backlund 48.3 66.7 1.140
Prout 48.0 66.7 0.800
Frolik 45.8 77.8 0.030
Brodie 38.7 54.5 1.500
Smith 1.750
Rittich

This and That

The Flames are now 31-1-4 when leading or tied after two periods. (They’re 9-0-4 when tied after two periods.)

Up Next

The Flames (38-16-7) jet off to Ottawa tomorrow. They face the Senators on Sunday evening in their final game before the trade deadline.