Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames extinguished by Rangers in return home

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
7 months ago
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The Calgary Flames returned home on Tuesday night after a five game road trip that saw them post a 1-3-1 record. The Flames had a pretty decent first period, but then the game unravelled on them en route to a 3-1 loss to the visiting New York Rangers.

The rundown

The Flames were rock-solid in the opening 20 minutes. They skated well, generated chances, and managed the puck well. They opened the scoring just 1:15 into the game off a very nice bit of hockey from Mikael Backlund’s line.
Andrew Mangiapane had an initial rush chance that was stopped by Igor Shesterkin. Backlund wooshed in and grabbed the rebound, winning a bit of a puck battle and throwing the puck to Blake Coleman in the slot area. Coleman fired the puck past Shesterkin to make it 1-0 Flames.
The Flames and Rangers each had chances in the remainder of the period, but their goaltenders stood tall.
First period shots were 8-8 (all five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 9-5 Flames (high-dangers were 4-4).
The game got away from the Flames roughly midway through the second period.
With Matt Coronato in the box after taking a holding penalty on the forecheck, an Erik Gustafsson point shot was deflected by Alexis Lafreniere and beat Jacob Markstrom to tie the game at 1-1.
A while later, with Nikita Zadorov in the box for holding, Artemi Panarin found Chris Kreider to Markstrom’s left and Kreider made a gorgeous tip that roofed the puck past Markstrom to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
A couple minutes after that, the two clubs were playing four-on-four after they took penalties 25 seconds apart. The Rangers cycled the puck around the Flames’ zone, and eventually a Filip Chytil point shot trickled through Markstrom’s pads and over the goal line to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Gustafsson nudged it over the line and was credited with the goal.
Second period shots were 8-6 Flames (4-1 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 8-1 Flames (high-dangers were 5-0 Flames).
The third period was a fairly sleepy affair, as the Rangers were perfectly content to kill the clock. The Flames had their chances, but they could’ve solve Shesterkin, and this game ended as a 3-1 Rangers victory.
Third period shots were 8-6 Flames (6-3 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-3 Flames (high-dangers were 4-0 Flames). And we’ll mention “score effects” in regards to the second and third period shots and chances; the Rangers had the game well-in-hand by the last few minutes of the third period and were just trying to ride things out.)

Why the Flames lost

If this game stayed at five-on-five, the Flames would have had a good shot at two points. Their opening 20 minutes saw them play a really consistent, reliable brand of ice hockey. But once they got into penalty trouble, and their penalty kill couldn’t bail them out, the game got away from them and they couldn’t find a way to reel it back in. (This has become a theme, but their details just weren’t there at key times for the Flames, and the Rangers’ were.)
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Red Warrior

Let’s give it jointly to the one line that was kept together all game: Backlund, Coleman and Mangiapane.

Turning point

Y’know, let’s go with the last 12 minutes of the second period. The Rangers scored three times, twice on the power play, and the Flames just couldn’t muster anything to respond before the period ended. And they had tons of chances – those scoring chances and high-danger chances for the Flames were all well-earned – but Shesterkin just kept deflating their proverbial balloon with some very good stops at key times.

This and that

The Flames rolled out some new lines to begin this game:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Sharangovich
Coleman – Backlund – Mangiapane
Ruzicka – Kadri – Duehr
Hunt – Dube – Coronato
Hanifin – Weegar
Gilbert – Tanev
Zadorov – Oesterle
Dryden Hunt played his first game with the Flames. Rasmus Andersson served the second game of his four game suspension.
Adam Ruzicka was crunched by Jimmy Vesey late in the first period and never returned, giving the Flames 11 forwards and forcing them to jumble their lines for the remainder of the game. (The Backlund line was kept together, but that’s it.)

Up next

The Flames (2-4-1) are back in action on Thursday evening when they host the St. Louis Blues.

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