The Calgary Flames beat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 4-2 score on Tuesday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
The Flames hold on for the win
The Blue Jackets scored first, but the Flames scored the next three goals and then hung onto the lead for dear life. It wasn’t their best game, but they managed to gut out a game against a desperate team and get a big two points.
“I thought they got momentum halfway through the game and kept it,” said Flames head coach Bill Peters. “I didn’t think we ever got it back. They got momentum off their power play. Obviously they scored in the third, and then they had the other opportunity halfway through the period. I thought they did a good job playing with some desperation and we had a hard time getting momentum back.”
Noah Hanifin blocks a shot with his head
The game was punctuated by several saves by David Rittich, several posts hit by Blue Jackets players, and a handful of big shot blocks. The Flames’ commitment to shot blocking unfortunately led to a scary moment in the second period when Noah Hanifin flung himself in front of a shot by David Savard. It caught Hanifin by the ear, leading to Rittich rushing to check on his teammate.
— Sportsnet 960 (@Sportsnet960) March 20, 2019
“It was really scary, scary moment because I was seeing behind him and I saw how he was hit right to the head,” said Rittich. “It wasn’t a really good feeling for me, but I went right away to him and he said he’s fine, so I was kind of better.”
Hanifin left the game for concussion evaluation and to get stitched up, according to Peters, but returned to the game before the end of the period and finished the remainder of the game.
Mark Giordano’s big save
The other big moment in the second period was a big save by Mark Giordano on a Columbus power play.
Strength of goaltending in Alberta:
1. David Rittich
2. Mark Giordano
Last: whatever the Oilers are trotting out lately. pic.twitter.com/fP6HbDkHTz
— FantenbergNation (@FlamesNation) March 20, 2019
So, what exactly happened on that play?
“Just desperation,” said Giordano. “The guy had an open side. I was sort of boxing Ritter out, so I dove and it hit me and fell into him. It was a lucky play, to be honest. Those ones usually find a way to hit you and go in. It was a lucky play and we’ll take it, for sure.”
While Giordano joked that Rittich should get the credit, the Flames netminder noted how important Giordano’s stop was:
More from #Flames G David Rittich on Mark Giordano's save: “It was kind of like Nagano 1998. That save was there a lot of times. But no, actually, he saved a goal. Without him, it was 3-2 and you never know how the game can go.”
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) March 20, 2019