Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames fall short in the Motor City, lose 2-1 to Red Wings
Photo credit:Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike7 months ago
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The Calgary Flames headed to Detroit on Thursday night, hoping to replicate the strong game they played against the New York Rangers. Unfortunately, the Flames were lacking a bit in execution and desperation. They led this game for a mere 99 seconds despite having a hefty shot advantage for much of it, ultimately losing in regulation to the Red Wings by a 2-1 score.
The Flames were all over Detroit for much of the first two periods. After pressing and pressing, they finally opened the score 38 minutes into the game.
On a nice bit of fore-checking, Mikael Backlund took advantage of some Andrew Mangiapane pressure and yoinked away a loose puck in the Red Wings’ zone. Backlund cycled the puck to Noah Hanifin at the point, and multiple deflections – the last one by Blake Coleman – gave the Flames a 1-0 lead as the puck sailed past Ville Husso.
Just 47 seconds later, though, Dillon Dube was called for a trip on Lucas Raymond on a scoring chance. (It was unclear if Dube or Dan Vladar tripped him up, but one of them did.) On the ensuing power play, David Perron slipped through the Flames blueline on a contested zone entry, passed to Dylan Larkin, and Larkin beat Vladar with a wrister off the rush to tie the game at 1-1.
In the third period, the Red Wings took advantage of a Flames defensive lapse and took the lead. Nikita Zadorov pinched up from the blueline into the offensive zone. But the Flames didn’t end up with the puck and alert defender Robert Hägg chipped the puck up ice to send Oskar Sundqvist and Filip Zadina in on a 2-on-1 against Michael Stone. With ages to operate, Sundqvist fed Zadina for a no-doubter that poor Vladar had zero chance to stop. That gave Detroit a 2-1 lead.
The Flames had possession afterwards, but couldn’t do nearly enough to translate possession into dangerous chances. The Flames lost this one in regulation by a 2-1 score.
Why the Flames lost
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
The Flames were the better team in terms of shots and puck possession. They had the puck a lot. They got a bunch of shots on net. High-danger chances? Not as many, but they had an edge. But the Flames took penalties at the wrong time – a few of ’em – and their lapses in discipline and puck management came back to haunt ’em.
The shape of their game was very good. The details, unfortunately, were lacking.
Let’s go with Jakob Pelletier. He had a lot of pep in his step and was consistently noticeable for the road team.
I hate to harp on special teams, but man, the power play sure didn’t do a heck of a lot aside from cycle the puck around the outside of the Detroit zone. Their second advantage, with them trailing by a goal in the third period, really needed more urgency than it showed. The third advantage late in the period was better, but not nearly effective as they needed it to be.
The Flames lost 4 of 5 power play face-offs that they took in this game. That, in particular, was a tough thing to overcome.
This and that
MacKenzie Weegar was rough up a bit in this game, going down the tunnel twice in a lot of pain: once he took a high stick to the face, the second time he got caught by an errant Red Wings elbow.
The Flames were without Rasmus Andersson in this game, as he was hit by a car on Wednesday evening. This snapped his iron man streak after 323 consecutive games played.
The Flames (24-18-10) are headed to scenic Buffalo. They face the Sabres in an early game on Saturday. (It’s a 10:30 a.m. MT start.)
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