Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames climb back to .500 with win in Anaheim

Photo credit:Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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The Calgary Flames headed to scenic Southern California on Thursday evening, with a chance to get back to the .500 mark with a good effort against the Anaheim Ducks. And that’s what they delivered. The Flames out-worked, out-played and out-shot the Ducks en route to a 3-0 road win.
The win gets the Flames back to the .500 mark for the first time in a month, and extends their points streak to five games (3-0-2).

The rundown

The Flames were really sharp and energetic early in this hockey game, and it led to the club taking a lead. Just over two minutes into the game, they opened the scoring.
Connor Zary carried the puck into the Anaheim zone, protected the puck and button-hooked towards the point. He found Nick DeSimone entering the zone and fed him with a nice pass. DeSimone leaned into a shot and it beat Lukas Dostal and ended up in the Ducks’ net to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
The Flames carried play for the first half of the period, but the Ducks battled back and dominated stretches of the second half of the period.
First period shots were 13-12 Ducks (13-9 Ducks at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances (via Natural Stat Trick) were 10-5 Ducks (high-dangers were 3-0 Flames).
The Flames added to their lead midway through the second period on the power play. The Ducks generated an odd-man rush shorthanded, but the Flames managed to break it up before they could get a shot through. They did a nice job moving the puck up ice, leading to Elias Lindholm skating right up the middle lane of the Ducks’ zone and firing a shot past Dostal to make it 2-0 Flames.
The Flames had all kinds of power play time in the later stages of the second period, but couldn’t get anything else past Dostal. (That included 33 seconds of five-on-three time after Zary was high-sticked on a five-on-five power play.)
Second period shots were 24-9 Flames (9-7 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 8-6 Ducks (high-dangers were 5-2 Ducks).
Both sides had their looks in the third period, with both teams enjoying some lengthy stretches both on special teams and at five-on-five camped in the opponent’s zone.
The Flames did a pretty savvy job of keeping the Ducks to the outside and allowing their goaltender to see lanes and make saves. Anaheim pulled Dostal for an extra attacker late in regulation, but A.J. Greer scored an empty-netter to cement a 3-0 Flames victory.
Third period shots were 7-5 Flames (4-4 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances 3-2 Ducks (high-dangers were 2-1 Ducks).

Why the Flames won

It’s simplistic, but they won because of their goaltending and scoring.
Their goaltending had to face a lot of high-quality chances, even if the Flames generated more shots that the Ducks. Their scoring generated a ton of chances, and they executed on enough of them that they never trailed during this game.
Yeah, the Ducks are further down the standings than the Flames, but they’re a scrappy bunch that works hard and has the ability to generate chances. And they did so. But the Flames did enough to out-work ’em to get enough good chances to out-score ’em. It wasn’t a perfect 60 minutes of hockey, but it was a pretty good showing for the team in red and white.
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Red Warrior

We’re giving the nod to a pair of Swedes. Lindholm scored a nice goal, sure, but he was noticeable, engaged, and won a bunch of face-offs and had two assists. And in the blue paint, Markstrom was simply superb for the second outing in a row.

Turning point

Pick any number of Markstrom saves that he made while the Flames were nursing a 1-0 lead. Had the Flames’ netminder been a bit leakier, this game could have turned out much differently.

This and that

This was the first shutout by the Flames this season. It’s the 19th career clean sheet for Jacob Markstrom, his 14th with the Flames.
Nick DeSimone’s goal was the first of his NHL career.

Up next

The Flames (14-14-5) are back in action on Saturday night when they face the Los Angeles Kings.

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