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Photo Credit: Segei Belski/USA Today Sports

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Howlin’ for a comeback

The Calgary Flames just played five inconsistent road games, capturing five of a possible 10 points. They returned home hoping to find some consistency, but the old habits remain. But the Flames are still the Flames, and a strong third period push was enough for them to capture two points. They beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 in overtime.

The Rundown

The Flames were pretty disjointed during the early parts of this game, often missing passes by a foot or two and generally not being able to figure out Arizona’s super-structured defensive zone approach.

The Coyotes got on the board first off a defensive miscue by the Flames. Mark Giordano’s outlet pass on a clearing attempt was disrupted by Arizona inside the blueline, leading to a couple quick passes and a Clayton Keller one-timer that beat David Rittich to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Shots were 10-9 Coyotes and scoring chances 9-2 Flames in the opening period.

The second period featured a lot of special teams play. The Flames had two full power plays and a carryover PP from the first period, while the Coyotes had three advantages. The Flames didn’t do much with their carryover advantage, then killed off a Michael Frolik penalty, but the Coyotes kept pressuring and a Phil Kessel spin-and-shoot shot was redirected by Christian Dvorak past Rittich to make it a 2-0 Coyotes edge.

The Flames finally answered back with late power play. A couple quick passes led to a dandy redirect by Johnny Gaudreau at the side of the net to cut the Arizona lead to 2-1.

Shots were 14-13 Flames in the second, but scoring chances were 5-1 Coyotes.

The Flames pressed in the first 10 minutes of the third period but couldn’t bury their chances. At the other end, Noah Hanifin lost a puck battle along the end boards to Vinny Hinostroza, who rifled a wrist shot past Rittich to give Arizona a 3-1 lead.

The home side answered back on a late PP, though, as Matthew Tkachuk redirected an Elias Lindholm shot past Antti Raanta to cut the lead to 3-2.

49 seconds later, with Rittich on the bench for the extra attacker, the Flames finally tied the game. With some traffic in front, Mark Giordano’s point shot found a way through the bodies (via Jason Demers’ stick) and into the Arizona net to even up the scoring at 3-3.

Shots were 17-9 Flames and scoring chances 11-8 Flames in the third period.

Each team had their chances in overtime. Tkachuk buried a feed from Mikael Backlund on a lengthy, lengthy shift to cement the 4-3 victory.

Shots were 5-3 Coyotes in overtime.

Why the Flames Won

Generally-speaking, the Flames looked very much as they have looked lately. A little sluggish, a little out of sync, and then they lost just enough 50/50 battles for it to become problematic.

But they also are a talented enough team that when things start clicking for them offensively, they can be a scary-good team. They stepped on the gas pedal in the third period and overtime and, aside from the Hinostroza goal, they kept the pressure on the Coyotes and found ways to score.

Red Warrior

Giordano led the way with nine shots on goal and really seemed to be generating chances, especially in the second and third periods. When the dam finally burst, he was the guy swinging the sledgehammer.

As per usual, let’s tip our collective caps to Rittich. He allowed a few goals, but he did far more to help the players in front of him than the other way around. Tkachuk also scored twice, which was pretty keen.

The Turning Point

The Flames scored twice in 49 seconds, transforming a rather so-so evening of ice hockey into one where they would capture at least a single point.

The Numbers

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

Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Face-Off%
Game
Score
Bennett 87.5 71.4 0.835
Frolik 76.9 50.0 0.200
Hanifin 75.9 77.8 0.925
Quine 71.4 66.7 0.385
Jankowski 70.0 25.0 0.190
Mangiapane 69.3 57.1 0.265
Backlund 69.0 50.0 1.300
Andersson 68.8 64.3 1.600
Giordano 61.3 54.6 2.175
Rieder 60.0 33.3 0.465
Hamonic 58.1 66.7 0.275
Tkachuk 57.7 44.4 2.775
Gaudreau 57.6 64.3 1.225
Ryan 57.1 50.0 0.125
Kylington 55.0 45.5 -0.050
Brodie 53.9 33.3 0.200
Lindholm 53.6 72.7 1.160
Monahan 53.1 69.2 1.055
Rittich 1.150
Talbot

This and That

In the second period, Bill Peters shook up the defensive pairings. Mark Giordano was put with Travis Hamonic, Noah Hanifin with Rasmus Andersson, and Oliver Kylington with TJ Brodie.

Up Next

The Flames (9-7-2) practice tomorrow. They’re back in action on Thursday night when they welcome the New Jersey Devils to town for their lone visit of the season.

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