Photo Credit: Jeff Vinnick/USA Today Sports

Post-Game Wrap-Up: Flat Flames felled by Jets in Game 2

The Calgary Flames came into Game 2 of their Qualifying Round series with the Winnipeg Jets poised to take a stranglehold on the series, facing a team down several key regulars. Instead, the Flames came out flat and spent the entire game chasing en route to a 3-2 loss to Winnipeg.

The best-of-five series is now tied up at one win apiece.

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The Rundown

The Jets came out of the gate with determination, missing Mark Scheifele, Mason Appleton and Patrik Laine from their Game 1 lineup due to injury. The result was easily their best period of the post-season, as they fore-checked well. The Flames responded with a sleepy period with some iffy puck management decisions.

These two trends collided on Winnipeg’s opening goal. Mark Giordano pinched in the offensive zone, but the puck got past him. Dillon Dube lost track of Jansen Harkins on the rush back to the Flames zone and Harkins took a pass from Adam Lowry and beat Cam Talbot with a wrist shot to make it 1-0 Jets.

The Flames were pretty sloppy with the puck in the first period. Shots were 10-9 Flames and scoring chances 7-4 Flames, but the Jets had both high-danger scoring chances.

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The Flames kept getting in their own way early in the second period, taking two holding penalties on the same sequence and giving Winnipeg a full two minute five-on-three advantage. The Flames killed it off, but shortly afterwards the Jets got a second goal. Josh Morrissey’s point shot was stopped, but Lowry jammed in the rebound (left all alone in front) to give Winnipeg a 2-0 lead.

But the Flames showed signs of life later in the period. Fore-checking by Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau caused Nikolaj Ehlers to cough up the puck in his own end to Elias Lindholm. Lindholm went short-side on Connor Hellebuyck to cut the Jets lead to 2-1.

Before the end of the period, some hustle and some puck luck evened things up for Calgary. Sam Bennett tried a wrap-around. He didn’t score, but the errant shot went in off Nathan Beaulieu’s skate to tie things up at 2-2.

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Shots were 11-11 and scoring chances 8-7 Jets in the second period.

The Flames and Jets traded power plays in the third period. The Flames couldn’t do much with theirs. Ehlers redirected a Neal Pionk point shot past Talbot (with Giordano in the box) to give Winnipeg a 3-2 edge.

The Flames pulled Talbot late for the extra attacker (while killing a penalty) to try to tie things up. Gaudreau drew a penalty to give the Flames a brief six-on-four advantage, but the Flames couldn’t tie it up. Winnipeg held on for the 3-2 win.

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Shots were 9-6 Flames and scoring chances 3-2 Flames in the third period.

Why the Flames Lost

The Flames were their own worst enemy in a lot of ways. They didn’t manage the puck well and they made a lot of weird execution decisions throughout the afternoon. Their power play was especially cringe-worthy, generating just four shots on six advantages. They also were atrocious at the face-off dot.

The game really is just an accumulation of little decisions and factors throughout the three periods, and the Flames weren’t good enough in those areas of the game to get a stranglehold on this game.

Red Warrior

Talbot was quite good throughout this game and he was a lot busier than he was in Game 1.

Honourable mention to Lindholm, who played a ton, scored a goal, and managed to stay out of the box.

The Turning Point

The dueling third period PPs were the thing that swung the game for Winnipeg. Calgary did very little with their two minute advantage, while the Jets managed to make theirs count.

The Numbers

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

Gaudreau 70.6 37.5 0.800
Monahan 68.8 37.5 0.510
Hanifin 65.2 16.7 1.200
Lindholm 64.3 37.5 1.340
Backlund 61.9 33.3 0.615
Tkachuk 60.0 33.3 0.625
Mangiapane 59.1 33.3 0.105
Dube 57.9 80.0 0.225
Andersson 56.5 14.3 0.425
Gustafsson 56.3 100 0.250
Lucic 52.9 80.0 0.740
Giordano 45.8 44.4 0.075
Bennett 45.0 80.0 0.705
Forbort 42.1 80.0 -0.200
Brodie 41.7 44.4 -0.275
Ryan 15.4 0.0 -0.460
Rieder 15.4 0.0 -0.450
Rinaldo 11.1 0.0 -0.500
Talbot 0.050

This and That

Lindholm, Giordano and Derek Forbort were on the ice for the first 1:49 of Winnipeg’s two minute five-on-three early in the second period.

This is the 10th consecutive Game 2 that the Flames have lost in the post-season.

Zac Rinaldo had zero shifts in the third period.

Up Next

The series is now tied up at 1-1. Game 3 of this series is set for Tuesday afternoon beginning at 4:45 p.m. MT on Sportsnet’s national feed. (If the earlier game runs long, this could be adjusted.)