Calgary Flames forward Brett Ritchie scored just over six minutes into the first period on Wednesday to give his team a 3–0 lead — and chase Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Smith — in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinal.
Playing in his fifth game of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs, Ritchie scored his first career post-season goal at the 6:05 mark of the opening frame. Ritchie’s goal was unassisted.
After stealing the puck from Oilers forward Evander Kane just inside the blue line, Ritchie deked past Duncan Keith before firing a quick shot that beat Smith under his blocker to give the Flames an early three-goal cushion.
Slipped that right through Mike Smith. pic.twitter.com/TSJ3WB9O5M
— y – Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) May 19, 2022
Ritchie’s goal came after Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane scored in the first minute of regulation to put the Flames up 2–0. Smith exited Game 1 after giving up three goals on 10 shots in 6:05 of action.
Smith, 40, spent two seasons with the Flames before joining the Oilers as an unrestricted free agent in 2019. The veteran goaltender posted a .938 save percentage in the Oilers’ seven-game victory over the Los Angeles Kings in the first round.
Ritchie, 28, scored three goals and added one assist in 41 games with the Flames during the regular season. Entering Wednesday’s action, the Orangeville, Ontario product had appeared in seven playoff games as a member of the Flames and Dallas Stars without recording a single point.
Rasmus Andersson, Johnny Gaudreau, and Mikael Backlund picked up assists on the first two Calgary goals of Game 1. Connor McDavid subsequently scored for the Oilers to make it a 3–1 game midway through the first period.
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