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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

About last night: notes from the Flames’ pre-season loss to Vancouver

The Calgary Flames were the better team for 40 minutes at home against the Vancouver Canucks. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough, as they dropped a 3-2 exhibition contest to the Canucks in overtime.

Here’s what was seen and heard following the game.

Bennett’s good night

In the absence of Matthew Tkachuk, Sam Bennett lined up alongside Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund on the second line. He was arguably the team’s best forward.

“Benny’s a good player,” said Frolik following the game. “You can see that he grows every year and I think last year he had a pretty good year. He became a guy who’s hard on the forecheck, who can hit some guys, who can even drop the gloves. He’s a good player and so far he’s been good out there… He’s a good fit there.”

Talbot’s troubles

In his first twirl on NHL ice wearing a Flames sweater, Cam Talbot didn’t have a great night. He allowed three goals on nine shots, with the two goals he allowed in regulation being ones he likely wants back.

“The first one he probably overplayed a bit, or he lost, I’m not sure,” said Flames head coach Bill Peters. “And then we turned pucks over on the next two. Not only that, there’s a couple other ones that we turned it over. I thought it’d be a tough night for our goalies to get in any type of rhythm. They didn’t get a lot of work, so it’s tough. And then especially coming in off the bench cold.”

For his part, Talbot owned his performance against the Canucks.

“It’s never easy, but no excuses – some of those goals can’t go in,” said Talbot. “But like you said, you’re not worried about the results now. You’re just building towards the regular season. Review the tape, correct things positionally and move on.”

Stray thoughts

Hamilton played on the third pairing with Andrew MacDonald, racking up 19:14 of ice time.

David Rittich faced four shots:

  • 12:25 into the first period – Carter Bancks from 40 feet out
  • 19:30 into the first period – Jay Beagle from 33 feet out
  • 3:18 into the second period – Jake Virtanen from 39 feet out
  • 7:54 into the second period – Ethan Keppen from 14 feet out

Via Natural Stat Trick: the Flames out-chanced the Canucks 29-8 overall, but their margin of high-danger chances was only 10-6. They didn’t do a great job converting their puck possession advantage into high value scoring opportunities. Frolik on his own accounted for three high-danger chances.