The Calgary Flames beat the Ottawa Senators by a 5-1 score on Thursday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
Mark Giordano makes a big play
The Flames were playing a game against the NHL’s worst team. They gave up the first goal on a bit of sloppy defensive play. Fans could be forgiven if they got a bit nervous.
But leave it to team captain Mark Giordano to score a goal to even up the game and right the ship for his team. Following the game, head coach Bill Peters shared his thoughts on #5’s ability to come up big for his group.
“I don’t think anybody should take it for granted,” said Peters. “He makes big plays at the right times. He knows what the team needs, too. A defenseman scoring a short-handed goal on a breakaway. Seriously?”
The game was Giordano’s 827th regular season contest, passing Robyn Regehr for second on the all-time franchise leaderboard. Next up? Jarome Iginla, approximately 392 games ahead of him. Presuming that Giordano plays the remaining eight games of this season, he would need another four and a half NHL seasons to reel in Iginla and would take until after Giordano’s 40th birthday.
It doesn’t seem particularly likely, but nothing in Giordano’s remarkable career has been.
Andrew Mangiapane maintains his urgency
There are few players in the NHL right now who are doing more with less than Flames rookie Andrew Mangiapane. That’s not to say his linemates aren’t good, but most of the time they don’t get a ton of ice time and have to make due with whatever the game throws at them.
In a close game that the Flames needed to win to maintain the daylight between themselves and the second place San Jose Sharks, Mangiapane had the primary assist on the game-winning goal by Garnet Hathaway and scored an insurance marker.
It goes without saying that having some veteran bodies on the sidelines hoping to get back in has kept Mangiapane’s feet to the fire, but he’s more focused on making sure he’s doing what he needs to do to help his group.
“I think we’ve got a good group of guys,” said Mangiapane. “[James Neal] is healthy, Bennett’s healthy, whenever they get in, right, they’re good players and they’re skilled. Me, I’ve just got to focus on my game and do whatever I can to help the team win.”
Sam Bennett’s status
Sam Bennett didn’t play at all in the third period, a circumstance that led to the Flames dropping to three lines due to issues with flow of the game. Peters didn’t have much of an update on Bennett’s status following the game.
“Just upper body, and we’ll see,” said Peters. “We were getting ready to go out for the third and I was told he wasn’t going to be part of it.”
Peters added that he wasn’t sure if it was the same upper body issue that sidelined Bennett for the prior two games. The Flames are carrying two additional forwards that didn’t dress against Ottawa: Neal and Alan Quine.