Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames crash back to .500, again, with loss to Detroit

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
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On Thursday night, the Calgary Flames returned home from a long road trip and laid an egg against the San Jose Sharks. It’s not encouraging, but it happens. On Saturday afternoon, the Flames received a mulligan of sorts when they hosted the Detroit Red Wings. They responded with another disappointing outing against the Winged Wheel – a game that started pretty well, but got away from them.
After getting three games above a week ago, the Flames crashed back down to the .500 mark with a 5-0 loss to Detroit.

The rundown

The Flames got out to a pretty good start in the opening period. They skated. They got zone time. They got a bunch of shots. But Detroit opened the scoring late in the period, on a power play.
With Connor Zary in the box for high-sticking, Detroit won the face-off to the point and Patrick Kane fired a shot that beat Jacob Markstrom to give Detroit a 1-0 lead. It took three seconds of power play time to accomplish.
Just 61 seconds later, a Flames turnover inside their own blueline resulted in another goal. Andrei Kuzmenko was waiting for a pass from MacKenzie Weegar, but Alex DeBrincat got his stick in the lane and disrupted the pass’ receipt. The loose puck was grabbed by Lucas Raymond, who fed J.T. Compher in the slot area. Compher fired a shot past Markstrom to give the Red Wings a 2-0 lead.
First period shots were 12-8 Flames (12-5 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 15-7 Flames (high-dangers were 2-1 Flames).
The game got away from the Flames completely a few minutes into the second period.
During a brief 4-on-3 power play for Detroit, with Martin Pospisil in the box for tripping, the Red Wings cashed in again. This time, 19 seconds into their man advantage, Dylan Larkin got a stick in the net-front area to redirect a Kane feed past Markstrom and make it 3-0 Red Wings.
About a minute and change later, Detroit ended Markstrom’s afternoon prematurely. This time, Detroit entered the Flames zone, made a few passes, and Andrew Copp found David Perron unmarked near the slot. He fired the puck past Markstrom to make it 4-0 Detroit.
Second period shots were 16-8 Flames (7-4 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 4-4 (high-dangers were 2-2).
The Flames had some chances in the third period, including a five-on-three power play.
Raymond added a goal to make it 5-0 late in the third period, skating around the Flames’ zone with the puck without any of the stationary defenders pursuing him.
The Red Wings were able to hold on for the victory.
Third period shots were 10-5 Flames (5-4 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 4-4 (high-dangers were 2-0 Flames).

Why the Flames lost

It feels like we’ve written this quite a bit this season, but let’s play the hits a bit: the overall shape of the Flames’ game was decent enough. They had the puck a bunch. They had a bunch of shots. Their players were moving around and doing stuff.
However, they just didn’t have the details or the execution of those details in their game at all. In a few key moments – the two Detroit power plays, the shifts following those power play goals – the Flames made mistakes, lost battles, and generally got in their own way. And once they got in a hole, they just weren’t able to dig themselves out.
Much like against the Sharks on Thursday, the Flames gave the Red Wings way too much, and the visitors were all too happy to take what they were given.
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Red Warrior

It feels like we’re grasping at straws a bit, but y’know, we thought the fourth line of Dryden Hunt, Kevin Rooney and Walker Duehr showed some good stuff in their limited usage.

Turning point

If you’re trailing by two goals, you can convince yourselves that you can claw your way back. But the two goals allowed early in the second period completely sunk any chances the Flames had at a comeback. They looked like a group resigned to a loss from then on.

This and that

This was Hunt’s first NHL game since Nov. 1. He joined the fourth line in place of Cole Schwindt, who was swapped down to the Calgary Wranglers a couple days ago.
This game commemorated Harvey the Hound’s 40th birthday. Various mascots were in attendance from the Calgary area.

Up next

The Flames (25-25-5) are back in action on Monday afternoon for another matinee, this time a Family Day clash with the Winnipeg Jets.

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