35Johnny Gaudreau
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Home sweet home

After a fairly uneven performance against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, the Calgary Flames returned home to the palatial Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night looking for a win. The bad news is they were just as uneven as they were in Denver. The good news is they were just good enough to grind out a 3-0 win against the visiting Vancouver Canucks.

The Rundown

The Flames started their second game in a similar way they did their first – by taking a penalty. Granted, they took a minor 33 seconds in rather than 10 seconds in, so that’s an improvement. Both teams were fairly sloppy in the opening period, with many unforced errors and turnovers on either side.

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But the Flames took advantage of a Canucks gaffe near the end of the period to take their first lead of the season. The Canucks took possession of the puck in their own zone following a face-off. Johnny Gaudreau pressured Tyler Myers, who whiffed on a D-to-D pass and left the puck unattended for Elias Lindholm, who buried it past Jacob Markstrom to make it 1-0 Flames.

Shots were 11-10 Canucks and scoring chances 9-8 Canucks in the messy opening 20 minutes.

The Flames found their legs in the second frame and managed to pad their lead. The top line got a nice cycle going, fueled by some smart fore-checking by Sean Monahan. After a bit of puck movement and circling in the zone, Gaudreau made a nice pass to the front of the net (from behind the net) to Monahan, for a redirect past Markstrom and a 2-0 edge.

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Both teams had man advantages in the second, but neither amounted to very much.

Shots were 14-5 Flames and scoring chances 8-2 Flames in the second period.

An early third period power play for the Flames was magically transformed into a Canucks five-on-three after Milan Lucic and Elias Lindholm took minors in rapid succession. But the Flames managed to hold onto their lead, especially due some nice work in net by David Rittich.

The Canucks pulled Markstrom for the extra attacker with a couple minutes left, allowing an empty-netter to Gaudreau to make it 3-0 Flames to cement the victory.

Why the Flames Won

Well, both teams were sloppy. The Flames were just better at taking advantage of their opponent’s sloppy play. Calgary’s goaltending (and some rough puck luck for the Canucks) was enough to overcome their own lack of discipline.

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The Flames were the better five-on-five team, easily, but they did a lot to keep Vancouver in the game by taking a succession of head-scratching penalties. The Canucks had six power plays and put up 10 shots and 10 scoring chances, but couldn’t bury anything.

Red Warrior

Monahan had a goal and led the Flames in shots and scoring chances. In a game where offense was hard to come by, he did his level best to create some.

Honourable mentions to Rittich (for many saves) and Gaudreau (for a three point game) for their performances as well.

The Turning Point

The early Monahan goal in the second period was huge for the Flames. On a night where they seemed prime to give up a goal off one weird play (or penalty) or another, having a two goal lead gave them some much-needed breathing room.

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The five-on-three penalty kill to open the third period was also pretty huge in terms of cementing the victory for the Flames.

The Numbers

Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.

Mangiapane 69.2 50.0 0.540
Backlund 63.6 25.0 0.395
Andersson 60.0 50.0 0.525
Rieder 60.0 28.6 0.150
Kylington 59.1 50.0 0.475
Tkachuk 56.3 20.0 0.325
Brodie 51.7 58.3 0.125
Giordano 50.0 54.6 1.025
Lucic 45.8 50.0 -0.325
Gaudreau 44.4 69.2 2.525
Lindholm 44.0 73.3 1.000
Monahan 44.0 69.2 1.620
Ryan 43.8 40.0 -0.095
Jankowski 43.8 37.5 -0.020
Bennett 42.1 25.0 -0.020
Frolik 40.0 16.7 -0.210
Hamonic 38.5 37.5 -0.250
Hanifin 37.0 44.4 -0.025
Rittich 3.400

This and That

Flames head coach Bill Peters made a minor shuffle after 20 minutes:

We eager await Allan Walsh’s tweet on this development.

Up Next

The Flames are off tomorrow. They’re back in game action on Tuesday night when they welcome the Los Angeles Kings to town.

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