Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: Back in the win column against the Lightning
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
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The Calgary Flames returned home from a three game road trip on Saturday night to host the Tampa Bay Lightning. After a bit of a sleepy opening period, the Flames took over the game during the second period and never fully let go of it.
The Flames played a pretty effective 60 minutes of ice hockey en route to a 4-2 victory over Tampa Bay.
Neither team scored in the opening period, as the game had a bit of a sleepy pace as both sides figured their game out. Heck, the opening 10 minutes barely broke two shots on goal combined. It was low-event hockey, and neither team gave up too much… or generated too much.
First period shots were 8-6 Flames (7-6 Flames at five-on-five) and via Natural Stat Trick five-on-five scoring chances were 7-2 Flames (high-dangers were 3-2 Flames).
Things got a shade more eventful in the second period, with the Flames generating a lot in the first half of the frame.
Two and a half minutes in, the Flames opened the scoring. They spent a couple shifts generating pressure in the Tampa zone, but couldn’t convert zone time into a good scoring chance. That changed for the fourth line, as Rasmus Andersson entered the zone, made a short pass to A.J. Greer, and Greer shot from just inside of the top of the circles, beating Andrei Vasilevskiy high glove-side to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
A few minutes later, the Flames struck again. This time, Blake Coleman barrelled into the Tampa zone but couldn’t get a shot off. But he kept possession as the puck went behind the net, and the puck was cycled to the point to MacKenzie Weegar. Weegar’s point shot beat Vasilevskiy stick-side just inside the far post to give the Flames a 2-0 edge.
And the Flames scored again during the in-arena “Minute to Win It” promotion. After a nice bit of zone time and pressure, Yegor Sharangovich leaned into a shot from the top of the circle that beat Vasilevskiy to make it 3-0… and won a fan a trip to Las Vegas, too.
Second period shots were 12-10 Flames (all five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 11-7 Flames (high-dangers were 1-1).
The Lightning pushed back in the third period and got back into the game.
First, Nikita Kucherov jumped on a loose puck in the Flames’ zone, getting there just before the Flames defenders and throwing a pass into the slot for a streaking Brayden Point, whose quick shot beat Dan Vladar to cut the lead to 3-1.
A bit later, Rasmus Andersson received a minor penalty for crunching Steven Stamkos. On the resulting power play, Stamkos swatted down an airborne puck and fired it past Vladar to cut the Calgary edge to 3-2.
But a while later, the Flames reinstated their multi-goal lead. Connor Zary skated in on the wing and fired a puck on net from a sharp angle that beat Vasilevskiy just inside the post. That gave the Flames a 4-2 lead.
Third period shots were 17-6 Lightning (9-6 Lightning at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-6 (high-dangers were 4-3 Lightning).
Why the Flames won
The Flames weren’t amazing for all 60 minutes, but they also weren’t particularly bad during this outing. For a team that’s had some big swings in their performance during games this season, they played a pretty smart composed three periods of hockey. And their performance in the second period, especially the first 10 minutes, was perhaps as strong we’ve seen the club play at five-on-five.
Yeah, the Flames were playing a Lightning team playing their fifth and final game of a long road trip. But the Flames did a good job making the Lightning’s evening challenging.
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A bunch of players in red jerseys looked fairly good in this game. Let’s give this one to Weegar, who was pretty noticeable throughout.
Give some credit to Vladar, too. He got the run support, but he was quite sharp throughout.
The Flames were flat-out excellent in the first half of the second period. They were good for the entire period, but they did a tremendous job of managing the puck, making smart plays, and they were rewarded three times with goals.
This and that
Yegor Sharangovich’s goal extended his goal-scoring streak to five games. Jordan Oesterle’s assist on Sharangovich’s goal was his first point as a member of the Flames.
Dennis Gilbert fought Tanner Jeannot in the third period.
The Flames (12-14-5) are back in action on Monday evening when they host Ryan Lomberg and the Florida Panthers.
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