Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames cooked by fast, skilled Red Wings

Photo credit:Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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The Calgary Flames went into Little Caesars Arena on Sunday evening hoping for a strong end to their road trip against the Detroit Red Wings. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened, as the Red Wings used their dazzling speed, skill and tenacity to undo the Flames for the better part of three periods.
The Flames had some decent stretches here and there, but overall Detroit was flat-out better en route to a 6-2 victory.

The rundown

The Red Wings opened the scoring early in this game. The Red Wings got into the offensive zone and cycled a bit, including Justin Holl pinching from the point and handling the puck below the goal line. He found Alex Debrincat parked around the crease area, and his shot beat Dan Vladar to make it 1-0 Red Wings just 1:59 into the game.
Midway through the first, Detroit doubled their lead. They had a nice little bit of puck cycling around the perimeter of the offensive zone that got the Flames chasing a bit. Ben Chiarot fired a shot from the left point that was deflected by Joe Veleno at the top of the face-off circle and it knuckleballed past Vladar to make it 2-0 Red Wings.
First period shots were 14-9 Red Wings (8-8 at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-4 Red Wings (high-danger chances were 3-3).
A couple minutes into the second, the Flames gave up a third. They were hemmed in their own zone as the Wings cycled it, but they managed to break the cycle and escape the zone… momentarily. The Flames gave up the puck in the neutral zone, leading to a rush back into their zone against some tired defenders. Debrincat put a pass on Dylan Larkin’s stick and he fired over Vladar’s shoulder to make it 3-0 Detroit.
The Flames got onto the board midway through the second, as some nice battling for the puck by Andrew Mangiapane, Blake Coleman and Mikael Backlund in Detroit’s zone led to a couple good looks. Mangiapane jammed home a rebound off Backlund’s initial shot to cut the lead to 3-1.
But Detroit answered back fairly quickly. The Flames forwards got caught up ice after a rush into the Detroit zone was broken up. The play went the other way and Larkin set up Debrincat and he buried a feed past Vladar to make it 4-1 Red Wings.
Yegor Sharangovich brought the Flames a little closer at the tail-end of the second period, entering the zone and firing a shot that beat Reimer from just inside the blueline. (Depending on what replay you look at, it may have been slightly deflected by Moritz Seider’s stick.) That cut the lead to 4-2.
Second period shots were 10-8 Flames (all at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 9-6 Flames (high-danger chances were 4-1 Flames).
But Detroit pulled away in the third period with a pair of quick goals, scored just 37 seconds apart.
Jake Walman fired a point shot off a face-off win that beat Vladar to make it 5-2.
After another Flames turnover, Debrincat entered the Flames zone off the rush and beat Vladar to make it 6-2.
The Red Wings hung on for the 6-2 victory.
Third period shots were 12-8 Flames (8-5 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 4-3 Flames (high-dangers were 3-1 Flames).

Why the Flames lost

The Flames were not particularly sharp in this game. They had some puck-handling miscues, coverage issues, and their goaltending didn’t do quite enough to keep them in this one – though one can ask how much Vladar could be asked to do given the quality and quantity of chances his defenders gave up. But combining a rusty Flames squad with a really dangerous, confident and energetic Detroit team was a recipe for a one-sided affair.
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Red Warrior

Sharangovich got his first goal with the Flames, so let’s give him the nod. Honourable mention to the Coleman-Backlund-Mangiapane line, who were also fairly good overall.

Turning point

The Flames trailed for all but the first 1:59 of this game, but the two rapid-fire goals by Detroit early in the third period really seemed to put this game to bed.

This and that

Rasmus Andersson served the first game of his four game suspension. Jordan Oesterle re-entered the lineup in his place after being a healthy spectator for the past four games.

Up next

The Flames (2-3-1) are back in action on Tuesday night when they host the New York Rangers.

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