Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames claw back to .500 with overtime win over Stars
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
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The Calgary Flames were the better team on Thursday night against the Dallas Stars. They carried play for long stretches of their hockey game. They barely led during the balance of the game, but they had more shots, more chances, and were unlucky to not win the game in regulation.
Instead, they won the game in overtime, beating the Stars by a 4-3 score in overtime to climb back to .500 for the first time since mid-October.
The opening period of the game was pretty even, and characterized by swings back and forth where each side got good chances. On one such swing back and forth, Dallas scored.
The Flames headed down towards the Dallas end on an odd-man rush, but couldn’t quite pull the trigger on a scoring chance. The play headed in the other direction, with several Flames just a bit behind the rush. The Stars executed a nice little passing play, swinging from below the face-off dots back to the point, allowing Thomas Harley a clear shooting lane. He fired a quick, high shot that beat Jacob Markstrom stick-side to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
But the Flames got that one back on a really nice sequence that ended with a fortunate bounce. Andrew Mangiapane received a pass, swooped into the Dallas zone with speed, and basically circumnavigated the entire zone following the boards while the Stars chased him. Chris Tanev jumped into the rush, received a drop-pass from Mangiapane along the boards, and fired a puck into the net-front area. It seemed intended for a redirect by a player in red, but instead of bonked in off of Roope Hintz’s skate to tie the game up at 1-1.
Later on in the period, the Flames took advantage of a neutral zone turnover and scored a goal off some nice execution. Jonathan Huberdeau led the Flames in on a three-on-two rush. He fed the puck wide to Mikael Backlund, who threw the puck on net. Blake Coleman got a whack at it, and then Noah Hanifin swooped in and swatted in a bouncing rebound past Scott Wedgewood to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
But with a minute left in the period, the Stars drew back even. Off an offensive zone face-off win, Miro Heiskanen’s point shot bonked off Tyler Seguin’s stick and wobbled into the slot area for Mason Marchment. Marchment fired a quick low shot past Markstrom to tie the game at 2-2.
First period shots were 10-9 Flames (all five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-9 Stars (high-dangers were 6-3 Stars).
Neither team scored in the second period, but the Flames had a strong power play that generated four shots (and four scoring chances, including a high-danger chance). The Flames didn’t completely run Dallas’ show in the middle frame, but they just played a smart, cohesive 200-foot game.
Second period shots were 12-2 Flames (8-2 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 7-4 Flames (high-dangers were 3-1 Flames).
The Stars took the lead back early in the third period. Mason Marchment was sprung on a breakaway and was upended by Chris Tanev and awarded a penalty shot. On the resulting penalty shot, he skated in and fired a shot past Markstrom’s glove to give Dallas a 3-2 lead.
The Flames looked to have tied the game up with about five minutes remaining, as Backlund deflected a Noah Hanifin shot past Wedgewood. But the goal was challenged by Dallas for a missed stoppage, and it turned out that Backlund had illegally gloved the puck down and it was judged to be a hand pass (because the Flames maintained possession).
But a little bit later, the Flames tied it up… for real, this time! An errant Huberdeau pass nearly trickled out of the Dallas zone, but MacKenzie Weegar held the puck in at the blueline and chucked it on net. The puck eluded Connor Zary (battling out front with a Stars defender) and beat Wedgewood high to tie the game at 3-3.
Third period shots were 13-5 Flames (12-4 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 7-6 Stars (high-dangers were 3-3).
In overtime, Nazem Kadri redirected a pass from Huberdeau past Wedgewood to give the Flames a 4-3 victory.
(The goal was reviewed by the situation room in Toronto, causing a few nervous moments for the Flames, but it was upheld.)
Why the Flames won
The Flames played really well and controlled long stretches of this game. They got shots. They got chances. They probably deserved to win this game by a couple in regulation. A combination of poorly-timed miscues and some weird puck luck conspired against ’em at times in this game.
But the Flames just kept at it, wore the Stars down, and managed to grind their way to an overtime victory.
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Let’s give this one to Noah Hanifin, who was tied for the team lead with Elias Lindholm for shots in regulation, and was constantly noticeable in the offensive zone.
And stick-taps to Markstrom, for keeping the Flames in this one after Marchment’s penalty shot goal, and Connor Zary, who dazzled with a lot of slick scoring chances.
The Flames thought they had tied the game. That goal was challenged and overturned. 2:27 later, they scored again. We’ve seen instances where a bad break goes against a hockey club and they have a lull, sometimes lasting awhile. There was no lull.
This and that
With the departure of Nikita Zadorov, Jordan Oesterle slotted back into the lineup for his fifth game of the season and first NHL game since Nov. 1.
The Flames (10-10-3) are back in action on Saturday night when they host Nikita Zadorov and the Vancouver Canucks.
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