Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Flames come up short in Edmonton exhibition tilt

The Calgary Flames hoped to put their mark on their tune-up game against Edmonton on Tuesday night. Well, they were already down by two goals by the time they did so. The Flames didn’t have the horses to stage a comeback and fell 4-1 to Edmonton in exhibition play.

The Rundown

The Flames looked fairly flat early and the Oilers took advantage. The top line were all caught up ice on a rush chance for Edmonton. Oscar Klefbom’s initial shot got stopped, but Kailer Yamamoto beat out Elias Lindholm to the juicy rebound in the slot and beat Cam Talbot to make it 1-0.

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A little while later, Edmonton doubled their lead after Sean Monahan took a penalty. 33 seconds into the man advantage, Connor McDavid received a Leon Draisaitl pass and chipped the puck over top of a sprawling Talbot to make it a 2-0 edge for Edmonton.

Shots were 16-9 Oilers and scoring chances 5-4 Oilers in the first period.

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The Oilers hung back a bit in the second period and the Flames gradually took over the period, though they couldn’t generate their scoring chances at five-on-five into goals. (Mikko Koskinen was superb in net.) But late in the period, with Koskinen on the bench in favour of a Mike Smith relief appearance, the Flames finally got on the board.

With Adam Larsson in the penalty box, Lindholm jumped on a rebound after Smith made the initial stop on Erik Gustafsson’s point shot. His shot went over a sprawling Smith to cut Edmonton’s lead to 2-1. (Matthew Tkachuk was shoved into Smith by Darnell Nurse and nobody opted to challenge the goal.)

Shots were 16-7 Flames and scoring chances 11-4 Flames in the second period.

The Flames kept pouring on the pressure in the third period. They couldn’t score on a power play and then Patrick Russell took advantage of a weird bounce on a dump-in that handcuffed David Rittich, beating him with a back-hander to extend Edmonton’s lead to 3-1. McDavid beat Rittch five-hole off the rush 33 seconds later to make it 4-1 and cement the Edmonton victory.

Shots were 12-7 Flames and scoring chances 7-3 Flames in the third period.

Why the Flames Lost

This will sound familiar if you followed the Flames this season, but they got down a couple goals in the opening period and then had to climb back up the proverbial mountain. They didn’t have enough finish to do it.

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Red Warrior

Sam Bennett took a penalty in the second period, but he was a buzzsaw throughout this game and was noticeable whenever he was on the ice.

Stick-taps to Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk. Lindholm was also good despite being beaten by Yamamoto on the opening goal.

The Turning Point

The second Edmonton goal was a tough one for the Flames, as it got them down by a pair with more than 50 minutes left to go. They just couldn’t claw all the way back into it and Rittich allowing a pair of late goals in relief just let the rest of the air out of their balloon.

(Dis)honourable mention to their third period PP, trailing 2-1, where they generated just a single shot on goal with Zach Kassian in the penalty box.

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The Numbers

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

Tkachuk 77.8 50.0 1.000
Mangiapane 64.3 40.0 0.690
Forbort 64.3 60.0 0.250
Backlund 63.0 40.0 0.265
Dube 60.0 80.0 0.250
Giordano 59.1 62.5 0.575
Rinaldo 57.1 100 0.125
Andersson 56.7 76.9 0.050
Stone 56.3 50.0 0.175
Lucic 54.6 80.0 0.240
Lindholm 52.4 76.9 1.045
Brodie 51.9 50.0 0.200
Ryan 50.0 50.0 -0.255
Gustafsson 50.0 60.0 0.475
Monahan 50.0 76.9 -0.175
Gaudreau 47.6 76.9 0.575
Bennett 37.9 50.0 -0.385
Hanifin 35.7 69.2 -0.550
Rieder 23.5 40.0 -0.675
Jankowski 22.2 33.3 -0.210
Talbot 0.400
Rittich -0.800

This and That

Talbot played the first half of the game and made 19 saves (allowing two goals). Rittich played the second half of the game and made 7 saves (allowing two goals).

The Flames power play units were as follows:

  • PP1: Tkachuk-Lindholm-Gaudreau-Monahan-Gustafsson
  • PP2: Lucic-Dube-Backlund-Mangiapane-Giordano

The penalty kill rotated three forward pairs (Lindholm & Jankowski, Ryan & Rieder and Backlund & Mangiapane) with two defensive pairs (Giordano & Forbort and Brodie & Hanifin).

Up Next

The Flames have a few days of practice ahead of them as they prepare to open their Qualifying Round series on Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets.