Calgary Flames Post-Game: weathering the storm
Photo credit:James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike10 months ago
The Calgary Flames have had a tough week. They lost to Florida. They lost to Tampa Bay. And they skated into Raleigh, playing their second game in back-to-back nights, and faced their third consecutive strong opponent in the form of the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Flames lost by a 6-3 score to the Hurricanes, but should be commended for battling back and making a game of it rather than folding up shop after allowing four consecutive goals midway through the game.
The Flames were awesome in the opening 20 minutes. They skated well. They passed well. And they probably deserved to get more than just one goal.
Their goal came off a really smart forecheck by Blake Coleman. The Hurricanes bobbled the puck in their own zone and Coleman simply grabbed the loose puck and fired it at the net. By the time Frederik Andersen realized that there had been a turnover, the puck was behind him, and the score was 1-0 Flames.
But the Hurricanes would answer back before the period ended. The Flames lost a defensive zone draw and Carolina cycled the puck around. Eventually, Brett Pesce’s point shot would head towards a crowd in front of Dan Vladar and get deflected into the net by Jesper Fast to tie the game up at 1-1.
Shots were 21-10 Flames (17-9 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 14-7 Flames in the first period.
The wheels fell off for a bit for the Flames during a stretch in the second period.
Off another defensive zone face-off loss for the Flames, Carolina cycled the puck around. The initial pot shot was stopped by Derek Stepan won a battle with Adam Ruzicka in front of the slot and battled the loose rebound into the net to give Carolina a 2-1 lead.
92 seconds later, Carolina padded their lead. Andrei Svechnikov fired a puck on Vladar off the rush. Vladar got most of it, but it squirted through his pads and trickled into the net to give the ‘Canes a 3-1 lead.
A little later, the Hurricanes scored again. Again, the Flames lost a defensive zone draw. Again, the Hurricanes got a couple chances. Vladar made the initial save, but Tony DeAngelo batted in the loose rebound to make it 4-1 Hurricanes.
The Flames answered back before the end of the period, though. Coleman sprang Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm into the Carolina zone on a two-on-one. Tkachuk went five-hole on Andersen to make it a 4-2 Hurricanes lead.
Shots were 18-7 Hurricanes (17-6 Hurricanes at five-on-five) and scoring chances 10-5 Hurricanes in the second period.
Midway through the third period, the Flames inched even closer. On a bit of sleepy neutral zone coverage, Erik Gudbranson fired an outlet pass to Johnny Gaudreau for a breakaway chance. Gaudreau beat Andersen high to cut Carolina’s lead to 4-3.
But that’s as close as the visitors got. Brady Skjei scored on a point shot with a bit of traffic in front of Vladar to extend Carolina’s lead to 5-3 just as their power play expired. An unsuccessful coach’s challenge led to a late Carolina power play and a goal from Svechnikov that beat Vladar inside the near post to make it a 6-3 final score.
Shots were 11-9 Flames (10-4 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 8-7 Flames in the third period.
Why the Flames lost
The Flames played with a lot of energy and pace. But their details weren’t great at times. Case in point? Three of Carolina’s goals – their first, second and fourth goals – were scored off Flames defensive zone face-off losses.
Another case in point? They were 0-for-4 on the power play. They only had four shots on goal in eight minutes of man advantage time. They just couldn’t put the details of their power play together to generate seriously dangerous chances (or to bury them).
Coleman had a couple points and made really smart plays that led to two of Calgary’s goals.
The turning point
Two Hurricanes goals in a 92 second span in the second period completely blew this game open in favour of the hosts.
Percentage stats are 5v5 and via Natural Stat Trick. Game score via Hockey Stat Cards.
This and that
The Flames made a bunch of changes for this game, including having Vladar start on back-to-back nights.
New forward lines were:
- Tkachuk – Lindholm – Coleman
- Gaudreau – Monahan – Mangiapane
- Dube – Backlund – Ritchie
- Lucic – Ruzicka – Lewis
The special teams group were primarily:
- PP1: Lindholm – Gaudreau – Tkachuk – Mangiapane – Kylington
- PP2: Coleman – Monahan – Ruzicka – Hanifin – Andersson
- PK1: Backlund – Lindholm – Gudbranson – Tanev
- PK2: Coleman – Lewis – Andersson – Hanifin
- PK3: Dube – Mangiapane – rotating D
The Flames (17-10-6) fly home tonight. Their next scheduled game is a home game against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.
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