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Post-Game: big third leads Flames over Devils

The Calgary Flames were a fairly sloppy hockey club through the first 40 minutes on Tuesday night. Then they erupted for a six goal third period, which lifted them to a 9-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

The Rundown

The home side opened the scoring five minutes into the game off a nice passing sequence. Elias Lindholm’s outlet pass from just inside the Flames blueline sprung Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau on a two-on-one rush. Gaudreau was given tons of time to tuck the puck between MacKenzie Blackwood’s pads to make it 1-0 Flames.

But the Devils tied up the game late in the period. TJ Brodie mishandled the puck at the offensive blueline, allowing Blake Coleman to jump on the loose puck and beat David Rittich on a breakaway to make it a 1-1 game.

The Devils took a lead into the intermission of a pretty rough clearing attempt by Mark Jankowski and a weird tip-in in front of Rittich. Jankowski tried to rim the puck around from the far corner to the opposite point. It was grabbed by Damon Severson and hucked at the net, where Kyle Palmieri tipped it with one hand on his stick between Rittich’s legs to make it 2-1 Devils.

Shots were 11-8 Flames and scoring chances were 11-6 Flames in the first 20 minutes.

Another defensive lapse early on led to another Devils marker. Mark Giordano and Brodie were incredibly far apart at the defensive blueline, which allowed Will Butcher to spring Kenny Agostino into their zone on a partial breakaway. He beat Rittich high blocker side to make it 3-1 Devils.

The Flames got one back, though, off a nice fourth line forechecking shift. Derek Ryan mucked around below the red line and was joined by Giordano, who found Sam Bennett wander into the slot with a stealthy back-handed pass that Bennett buried to make it a 3-2 hockey game.

The Flames tied things up a little while later as the first line joined the forecheck, with Monahan out-muscling a Devils defender and feeding Lindholm in the slot. Lindholm’s initial shot was stopped, but he buried the rebound to tie the game at 3-3.

The Flames got a late power play, but a broken stick and a lapse at the offensive blueline led to a two-on-one for the Devils. Coleman fed Travis Zajac and his wrist shot beat Rittich high blocker side – just inside the far corner of the net – to give the Devils a 4-3 advantage.

Shots were 12-11 Devils and scoring chances 10-7 Flames in the middle frame.

The game tilted entirely in the first 2:37 of the third period, as the Flames scored on each of their first three shots.

Shot #1 was an ugly chip-shot by Ryan that ramped up and over Blackwood and into the net to tie the game at 4-4.

Shot #2 was a penalty shot by Gaudreau after he was hauled down on a breakaway. That gave the home team a 5-4 edge.

Shot #3 was a beauty of a two-on-one opportunity, as Gaudreau fed Ryan for a tap-in to make it a 6-4 Flames lead.

Gaudreau completed his hat trick by taking a Monahan feed and calmly depositing it behind Blackwood to give the Flames a 7-4 lead midway through the third.

Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk added late goals to cement a 9-4 victory for the Flames.

Why the Flames Won

The Flames were super sloppy defensive for the first two periods. They made life much tougher on themselves – and their goaltender – than they needed to. But they flipped the switch to open the third period and, as has become their manner, they overpowered a weaker team when the game was on the line.

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t a complete effort, but it was good enough to get them a sorely-needed two points.

Red Warrior

Gaudreau had six points, so let’s give it to him. He was all over the ice in the best way possible.

The Turning Point

Gaudreau’s penalty shot goal gave the Flames the lead and completely sucked the life out of the visiting team.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Ryan 75.0 58.3 3.410
Czarnik 69.6 50.0 0.730
Bennett 69.6 45.5 2.405
Hanifin 68.0 56.3 1.850
Gaudreau 66.7 69.2 5.800
Hamonic 66.0 50.0 1.775
Lindholm 65.5 69.2 3.760
Andersson 65.5 66.7 1.425
Monahan 64.0 66.7 3.735
Tkachuk 60.0 66.7 1.675
Frolik 59.0 66.7 0.350
Jankowski 57.9 20.0 0.145
Backlund 57.9 66.7 0.980
Giordano 56.5 55.6 1.100
Fantenberg 56.3 57.1 1.275
Mangiapane 55.6 40.0 0.050
Brodie 53.9 60.0 -0.250
Hathaway 50.0 33.3 0.000
Rittich -0.800
Smith

This and That

Gaudreau’s six point evening was the most for any player in the NHL this season. It’s the first six point game since Mar. 20, 1994 and one point shy of Sergei Makarov’s team record from 1990. Four points in the third period tied a team record for most points in a single period.

His penalty shot goal was the team’s first since Matt Stajan scored against Edmonton on Mar. 22, 2014.

Up Next

The Flames (43-20-7) are off tomorrow, then back in action on Friday night when they host the New York Rangers.

  • Hockeysense9393

    Am I safe to talk now? lol
    I’ve read, for the last couple weeks…. We’ll, just say that even quite a few “REAL” Flames fans are running around, truly like Chicken Little!! Short sightedness and no real concept of what it takes to truly build a winning team. What it takes to really learn how to win…

    The Flames are battling teams that have been working this area for a number of years. The Flames are mainly on a 1st year (if not 3rd year) drive for a winning window that teams always talk about. Putting a good group of players together that you feel can win for the next few years at least. We could only imagine this team, with 12 games left….to be fighting for first in our division, never mind our conference. You pessimists do realize that even with a 4 game losing streak, they are still fighting for top spot in the conference right? That means all the other teams you compare the “inferior” Flames to, have struggled in some measure or worse then the Flames through the season as it stands. Yet, all these pundits complain constantly…
    Stay on the wagon or just relax….nothing to see here with that attitude. This team is fun to watch and fun to follow this year. You know this should go on for at least 4 more years right? So relax…..

    Again, this is the first real year thy are making a statement. How long has Tampa Bay or San Jose been working on this? Why are we trying so hard to compare ourselves to them…already?
    Chicago…Pittsburgh?? Come on….we need to enjoy the team for what it is. A new team on the scene.
    If they make noise, great. They are making noise this season anyways, so everything else is a bonus.

    Us “REAL” Flames fans are just enjoying the start of a great ride!! Go Flames Go!!

  • Jobu

    For once Jobu agrees with Francis. If you don’t understand the difference between bad goaltending and bad defense then don’t even think about booing your own goaltender.

    Jobu is looking at YOU, Saddledome. Shameful.

  • RKD

    What’s wrong with Monahan? Is he injured? This guy is invisible, maybe he’s hurt. I don’t like our chances with Monahan as #1C going into the playoffs. Monahan: Shut the #@!* up and watch!

  • Korcan

    Great third period. Nice to see the 1st line get their mojo back. Fantenburg continues to look like a good TD acquisition. Is it just me or is Brodie beginning to look like the weak link on the Flames blueline?

  • Hockey4life

    There was a massive difference in Johnnys game tonight. He was back to do the things that made him successful at the beginning of the year. He drove the puck to the net, he carried it deep in the zone rather then button hook, he held onto the puck rather then force passes that weren’t there, he backchecked, he waited for clear lanes to pass, he didn’t constantly drop the puck back to the dmen causing turnovers. If he continues to do this, we are in for exciting playoff hockey.

  • buts

    This team won running on fumes. They will recharge, refocus. All you team thrashers don’t know the grind of a nhl season. BP is smart and will tighten them up defensively.

  • Gus Fring

    Well we needed that! I didn’t see the first 2 periods I was like oh sh&* when the 3rd started. I was like how the hell are we losing to Jersey! Then the onslaught started. This was a game we needed to give our first line some much needed confidence! I also like the fact that we never stopped wanting to score. Too many times in years past we have just let up and played defensive not to run up the score. I like what BP is doing you need a killer instinct. Don’t let up! Keep stepping on there throats til they stop moving! That’s what the elite teams do! If we can continue with this dominate attitude to end the season I think we would go far in the playoffs! GFG!

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Tonight’s Takeaways:

    Brodie on that shift that saw him set up a glorious scoring chance only to get stripped of the puck by Coleman on the first Devils’ goal reminded me Amy Sky’s “Love, Pain and the Whole Damn Thing.” With Brodie, you get everything.

    At some point except Sutter to bust Francis in the chops during their intermission bit as the mouthy Francis doesn’t let the poor guy get a word in edgeways and a Sutter is not to be trifled with.

    Didn’t buy Hrudey’s assessment that the Flames played solidly for the first 15 minutes of the first only to find themselves trailing at the end of the period because of the Jersey bounce. The Flames possessed the puck a lot in the 1st but didn’t generate many scoring chances and also turned it over far too often.

    Johnny to the ref after getting mugged in broad daylight, “What’s a guy gotta do around here to get a penalty?” Sadly, but not astonishingly, the ref didn’t know.

    When the Flames did get the PP, they pee-peed—no SOG and gave up a shorty. Mercy!

    If Andersson’s point shot is likened to a muffin, what the heck would you call the shot Rayn took to score his first goal? A blancmange?

    Does Johnny get 100 or more points this season? It’ll be close.

    Some years back I was at a Flames’ game at the Dome when one of the enemy scored a hattie. My very large buddy who was a fan of the opposition didn’t have a hat to toss, so he yanked the tattered lid off the guy sitting in front of him and pitched it. The now capless guy was so petrified when he saw my dreadlocked, musclebound buddy he uttered not a peep of protest. Buddy told the guy not to worry as he’d take care of him when the game was done, and did he ever. In addition to buying the guy 3 Flames’ caps and a Flames’ jersey, he paid for the guy to cab it home.

    The third period, now that was a rock-solid effort by the Flames. With all due respect to the Devils and their AHL lineup due to injuries, there is no way NJ should have been ahead after 2 periods. Great that the Flames finally found their game in the 3rd and gave the Devils hell and then some.

    • Lazarus

      Dreadlocked and musclebound, big enough to pluck another man’s hat and toss it? Sounds like a POS, I don’t care what he did after that. You don’t touch another man’s hat, I don’t care the situation. People have gotten killed for less than that…

      • Lazarus

        Not to mention he was behind this guy so elevated in the seating tier. Big guy, throws your hat for the oppostions hat trick, standing higher than the poor guy.. F#@K That. That is a complete jerk off move.

  • deantheraven

    What a game! Agree with the penalty shot breaking the backs of the Devils, but to me the real turning point for the Flames was the Bennett goal. Gio put the game on his back and went down low, battled and hit Benny with a perfect blind pass. Bennett missed the post(!) and the Flames went into overdrive.
    And how about that third period??

  • Lazarus

    Flames win in spite of Brodie and Rittich. Peters saw it too. Brodie sank to 4th most minutes on the D Line. I can not say enough about Peters seeing who is playing well and who doesn’t deserve the ice.
    No coincidence that Peters leaned on Hanifin and Hamonic and the game went from 3-4 to 9-4. Brodie is a disaster. Lackadaisacal, and needs to eat some popcorn. Let him get his head straight. Rittich hasn’t shown me in the last 2 games he deserves the next start. This game should have always been a slam dunk but was anyone’s game into the 3rd period.
    Monahan didn’t look like a 1st line Center at all either eh?
    This game was nearly lost and the team got Rittich off the hook.

  • Zohan72

    I have to agree with some of the other comments, when it comes to Brodie, its all about risk management. Not the best d man out there but has tremendous wheels and is often up against the opponent’s best every night. Sometimes you can afford the loose play, when your keeper is lights out, but other times you need to put a cap on the free play. Love what I am seeing from the Phantom and Anderson pairing – its going to be hard for Stone, Prout or even Val to get much ice time if they keep playing like they are.

    As for the keepers – yep its what we have, so we have to deal with it for this year. Sometimes its better the devil you know. I am more concerned about what they do this summer, Smith won’t likely be back but who is going to be on the market that we can afford?