The Calgary Flames crept a lot closer to punching their ticket to the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs on Tuesday night by way of a 6-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets. The win gave them a 2-1 lead in their best-of-five Qualifying Round series.
Here’s why they managed to win:
No power outage
In Game 1, the Flames scored power play goals. (Twice). In Game 2, they didn’t. In game 3, they scored power play goals. (Three!) They won both games they scored PP goals in. A pattern is forming.
Calgary has three powerplay goals in a postseason game for the first time since April 17th, 2017 (game 3 vs. Anaheim).
Team record is 4 PPG’s in a postseason game, which they’ve done twice. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) August 5, 2020
Through three games, the Flames have scored five PP goals (and a shorthanded goal) and allowed two. If they can keep the special teams mojo going, they’re well on their way to advancing.
Scoring by committee
In Game 2, nobody had it going on for the Flames. One goal was scored when Nikolaj Ehlers basically handed Elias Lindholm the puck in the offensive zone and said “Here you go, sir,” while the other goal was banked in off Nathan Beaulieu’s foot.
In Game 3, six different Flames scored goals. Five different Flames had multi-point games: Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Andrew Mangiapane and Mikael Backlund.
Speaking to the media via Zoom post-game, Backlund noted that the team was aggressive like they were in Game 1. Matthew Tkachuk characterized it as a full time win.
“I thought tonight it was a complete effort,” said Tkachuk. “The guys expected to score scored, the guys expected to make great plays made them, and the guy expected to make the saves made them.”
So far in the series, the Flames have scored 12 goals – five PP, one SH, two empty net and four five-on-five. Nine different players have goals. 14 different players have points. The team’s stars haven’t been dominant five-on-five, but the team’s managed to lean on their depth.
The Flames had a chance to put a depleted Jets club down after Game 1, but they couldn’t deal with a desperate winning club pushing back. Now the Flames have a second chance on Thursday night to take advantage of a team that’s on the ropes – and a chance to punch their ticket to the next round.
If the Flames play the way they did on Tuesday, or a reasonable facsimile, they’ll be well on their way.