Calgary Flames Post-Game: After late lead evaporates, Flames lose in overtime in Ottawa

Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
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Monday night’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators was the best and the worst of the 2022-23 Calgary Flames in one tidy little package. On one hand, they were quite good when they were good, dominating possession and spotting themselves what looked like a sturdy 3-1 lead.
Then, all of a sudden, cracks didn’t just appear in the dam: the dam collapsed entirely. They allowed two goals late in the third period, then lost in overtime to leave Ottawa with a single point when they really could’ve used a second.

The rundown

The Flames pressed offensively at times throughout the opening period, but a bad read and a nice read by the Senators led to the opening goal for the home team. Nikita Zadorov pinched from the left point to maintain possession and MacKenzie Weegar looked like he was waiting for a rim-around pass on the right point. Anticipating a turnover on a 50/50 puck, Brady Tkachuk bolted from the Senators zone. Tim Stützle got the puck and sprung Tkachuk on a breakaway. He beat Jacob Markstrom to give the Senators a 1-0 lead.
But the Flames answered back on a power play later in the period. The Flames had a good amount of puck movement, ending with a Noah Hanifin shot from the left point that was deflected by Dillon Dube in front of the net. The deflection beat Mads Sogaard to tie the game up at 1-1.
The Flames dominated the first half of the second period, with Ottawa not registering a shot on goal until midway through the frame. The Flames took the lead just shy of six minutes into the period. They had a power play that was expiring, and Tyler Toffoli received a pass from Weegar and fired it past Sogaard from the same spot to the goalie’s right that he always shoots from on the power play. That goal gave the Flames a 2-1 lead.
The Flames added to their lead in the third period. With the puck loose along the wall in the Senators’ zone, the Flames battled and came away with the puck after Chris Tanev held the puck in at the blueline. The Flames made a couple quick passes around the zone and kept the puck moving, ending with Toffoli putting the puck into the slot for a quick Dube redirect past Sogaard to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
The Senators pressed as the clock wound down, though. With a bunch of bodies in front of Markstrom (and Sogaard on the bench for the extra attacker), the netminder made the initial save off Stützle off a nice shot from the point, but Drake Batherson jammed in the loose rebound to cut the Flames’ lead down to 3-2.
46 seconds later, with Sogaard on the bench again for the extra attacker, the Senators kept pressing. Stützle fed Alex Debrincat, and Debrincat’s shot from a sharp angle beat Markstrom high to tie the game up at 3-3.
Both teams got their looks in overtime, but Debrincat sprung Stützle for a rush chance with a great pass through the neutral zone. Hanifin tried to stick check his man, but Stützle’s shot beat Markstrom short-side to give the Senators a 4-3 victory.

Why the Flames got a point

They Flames were in a position to get two points because they were really, really good for roughly 50-ish minutes. They forechecked. They had defensive structure. Their special teams were good. Markstrom made some really nice saves.
But in the last few minutes, when Ottawa came into the Flames’ zone with desperation, the Flames seemed to lose the plot. Defensive structure? Gone. Big saves from their goalie? Absent. Counter-punch offensive attack or even a passive forecheck? AWOL.
The Flames got a point because they allowed the air to leave their balloon at the precise wrong moment. (And this isn’t the first time that’s happened.) Last five minutes of a long road trip and you have a two goal lead? That’s a game that good teams, playoff teams, find a way to lock down.

Red Warrior

Dube had two goals, both on smart, simple redirects from the slot. Let’s give it to him.
Honourable mention to Toffoli, as well.

Turning point

When it rains, it pours for the Flames at time this season. They seemed destined for a regulation win before two goals against in a 46-second span – in the midst of some super jumpy defensive play – tied the game and sent things to overtime.

This and that

The Flames are now 22-1-4 when leading after two periods.
Blake Coleman took three minor penalties in the first period.

Up next

The Flames (25-18-11) are headed home. They’re back in action on Thursday night when they host the Detroit Red Wings.

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