Photo Credit: John Hefti/USA Today Sports

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Flames take bite out of Sharks

On Saturday, the Calgary Flames played a great game against the Vancouver Canucks. On Monday, they played another good one. The Flames waltzed into San Jose and beat the Sharks by a 6-2 score in a game in which they never trailed.

The Rundown

The Flames got on the board early. Dillon Dube drew a penalty in the offensive zone. While the first power play unit couldn’t score, the second unit cashed in. Mikael Backlund entered the offensive zone with speed. A few passes later and Milan Lucic redirected a Backlund slap-pass in the slot to give the Flames a 1-0 edge.

A little bit later, the Flames managed to get a fourth line goal. Zac Rinaldo won a battle along the wall and fed Mark Jankowski. Jankowski’s slapper missed the net, but Tobias Rieder jumped on the rebound off the end boards and beat Aaron Dell to make it 2-0.

A little bit later, the Flames went up by three goals. Sean Monahan won a face-off and then the Flames were all over the Sharks. A flurry of shots later, Rinaldo – on the ice in place of Elias Lindholm for the face-off – beat Dell to make it 3-0.

But the Sharks got on the board before the end of the period. On an odd-man rush, Erik Karlsson fired a bouncing puck over David Rittich’s pad to make it 3-1 Flames.

Shots were 15-10 Flames and scoring chances 13-4 Flames in the opening period.

The Sharks got close early in the second period. With Rasmus Andersson in the box, Brent Burns unleashed a rising shot from the point that found its way through some screens and beat Rittich high to make it 3-2.

But the Flames scored again off a favourable bounce. Lucic’s feed to the slot on a two-on-two rush reflected off Timo Meier, off Jankowski, and beat Dell to give the Flames a 4-2 advantage.

Shots were 14-13 Flames and scoring chances 11-6 Flames in the second period.

The Flames added to their lead early in the third period. Matthew Tkachuk drew an early penalty. Then on the ensuing power play, he went between the legs and shelved a shot over Dell to make it 5-2 Flames.

Backlund added a late power play goal to make it 6-2 Flames.

Shots were 13-8 Sharks and scoring chances 14-5 Sharks in the third period.

Why the Flames Won

Well, they’re a better team than the Sharks and they thoroughly looked like it. Missing Mark Giordano, Travis Hamonic and Sam Bennett, they out-battled, out-hustled and out-chanced the Sharks. They out-scored them 3-1 at even strength and 3-1 on special teams. They didn’t get their show run in the second period when the Sharks pushed and they did what they had to do in order to hit each intermission with a multi-goal lead.

Red Warrior

Playing on short notice due to the illness to Bennett, Rinaldo was superb. Heck, the entire fourth line was quite good – and each of them scored goals!

For the second consecutive game, it’d be challenging to single out any Flames skaters that didn’t have solid games.

The Turning Point

Let’s just go with the first period as a whole. The Flames were great, scored three times, and never looked back.

The Numbers

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

Monahan 62.1 36.4 1.050
Gaudreau 59.4 36.4 1.525
Hanifin 51.4 42.9 1.900
Dube 50.0 33.3 0.300
Stone 50.0 33.3 0.175
Andersson 50.0 36.4 0.850
Rinaldo 50.0 100 1.925
Brodie 48.7 33.3 0.075
Lindholm 48.0 30.0 0.620
Lucic 47.6 25.0 2.600
Ryan 41.2 28.6 -0.015
Tkachuk 38.5 20.0 0.950
Jankowski 37.0 60.0 1.535
Rieder 37.0 60.0 0.925
Mangiapane 31.6 25.0 0.415
Backlund 30.8 20.0 1.050
Kylington 27.3 40.0 -0.500
Davidson 21.1 100 -0.325
Rittich 1.900

This and That

The Drive to 95 (Points)

The Flames have 64 points. A 95 point playoff pace through 57 games prorates to 66 points, so they’re 2 points off a likely playoff pace with 25 games to go.

Up Next

The Flames (29-22-6) head to scenic Southern California. They’ll face the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night.