59Talbot and Rittich
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames lose in overtime against the Utica Comets

As per tradition, the Calgary Flames dressed a largely NHL-ready roster for the Calgary half of their split squad series with the Vancouver Canucks. The Canucks sent their odds and sods to the Scotiabank Saddledome. Somehow, the game went to overtime, and the Flames lost by a 3-2 score.

The rundown

The locals were sharp early. They had the first 14 shots of the hockey game. Midway through the first period, they scored on what was a fairly innocuous shot. Collecting a TJ Brodie dump-in, Johnny Gaudreau beat a Canucks defender to the puck and chucked it on net. It fluttered over Richard Bachman’s left shoulder to make it 1-0.

Shots were 17-2 Flames in the opening frame.

The Flames doubled their lead in the second frame. They continued to carry play. Off a bit of a broken play in the Canucks zone along the boards, Sam Bennett batted a loose puck to Michael Frolik. Frolik’s shot beat Bachman inside the near post to make it a 2-0 hockey game.

Shots were 13-5 for the locals in the second period.

The Canucks tried to make a game of it in the third period, cutting the lead to 2-1 after Mitch Eliot’s point shot found a hole in Cam Talbot’s position and/or padding. They tied things up off the rush late in regulation, as Jake Virtanen’s wrister snuck past Talbot just inside the near post to make it 2-2. Shots were 5-5.

Virtanen scored in overtime to end it. Vancouver won 3-2.

Why the Flames lost

The Flames dressed the reigning Norris Trophy winner, the guy that was seventh in league scoring, a perennial Selke Trophy contender, and many other regular NHL players from a team that finished second overall in the 2018-19 regular season.

But they took their foot off the gas in the third period and some, uh, not great goaltending from Talbot made the difference.

Red warrior

He didn’t get on the scoresheet, but Mark Giordano was dialed in from puck drop. He was throwing the body around. He was making smart defensive plays. He was trying to set up teammates for tap-ins. He looked to be in mid-season form already.

Bennett was also pretty noticeable all evening.

This and that

This wasn’t a terribly interesting game from an evaluation standpoint, as the Flames were basically in control for the duration. Bennett took an errant puck to the head during the second period, so Jakob Pelletier got a shift with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik and looked good.

Lucic didn’t look particularly fleet-footed, and Talbot probably wants both goals he allowed in regulation back.

Up next

The Flames are off on Tuesday, with a few roster moves pending to trim the camp group down a bit. They’re back in exhibition action on Wednesday night when they host the San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome.