Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames complete season with victory over the Sharks
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
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Two teams that aren’t headed to the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks, played on Wednesday night in the Saddledome. The game featured the NHL debuts of a pair of Flames prospects, but otherwise the game had all the on-ice intensity of a pre-season game. But the Flames managed the puck well, built their game and gradually took things over.
The Flames put a bow on their 2022-23 season with a 3-1 win over the Sharks.
The Sharks opened the scoring midway through the first period. The Flames won an offensive-zone face-off, but the Sharks got the puck back and executed a nice breakout play that sent Noah Gregor into the Flames’ zone with Michael Stone in pursuit. Gregor’s initial shot was stopped by Dustin Wolf, but Gregor buried his own rebound to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead.
The Sharks nearly scored another one, as Gregor threw a pass in the air from the corner into the net-front area for teammate Fabian Zetterlund. Zetterlund gloved the puck into the net and, upon review by the officials, the goal was thrown out.
The Flames tied things up midway through the second period. Jonathan Huberdeau did a nice job protecting the puck in the offensive zone along the boards after an initial scoring chance was defused. A couple passes from Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane gave Nikita Zadorov a clean shooting lane, and he beat Kaapo Kahkonen with a wrist shot to tie the game at 1-1.
The Flames took the lead early in the third period off a rush into the Sharks zone that was cycled back to the point. With Matt Coronato in front looking for a tip, Zadorov threw a wrist shot on net from the point that went through clean, beating Kahkonen high to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
Zadorov scored an empty-netter from the defensive zone with a minute left in regulation to complete his hat trick and give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
The Flames held on for the 3-1 victory.
Why the Flames won
Neither team had much to play for, but the Flames kept their form well, did a good job managing the puck, and eventually took over the game. Neither team had much going on early in this game, but the Sharks faded (and the Flames got better) as the game went on.
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Let’s go with Zadorov, who scored three and looked dangerous most of the evening.
The Flames had a good start to the third period, but Zadorov’s go-ahead goal was pretty big, as it rewarded them for what had been a pretty lengthy stretch of solid hockey for the home side.
This and that
2019 seventh-round pick Dustin Wolf and 2021 first-round pick Matt Coronato made their NHL debuts.
Puck drop occurred at 8:21 p.m. local time, delayed to accommodate the game being a national broadcast in the United States on TNT.
Referee Chris Rooney left the game midway through the second period after being struck on the arm by a puck, but he returned for the third period.
The Flames (38-27-17) have completed their 2022-23 season. Exit meetings and a long off-season are to follow.
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