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Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames get doubled up by Canucks

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Photo credit:Simon Fearn-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
23 days ago
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The Calgary Flames headed to Vancouver on Saturday night for a clash with the Canucks. The Flames weren’t out-and-out bad, but they were really leaky defensively in the opening period and got behind in the game. As a result, they chased and the Canucks managed to defend smartly, manage their lead, and fend the Flames off.
The Flames kicked off a back-to-back set with a 4-2 loss to the Canucks at Rogers Arena.

The rundown

48 seconds into the game, the Canucks scored – on the first shot Jacob Markstrom faced since Mar. 9 against Florida. The Canucks entered the Flames zone after winning a face-off, made a few nice passes, and Elias Pettersson found Nils Hoglander all by his lonesome for a redirect past Markstrom to give the Canucks a 1-0 lead.
The Flames found their footing midway through the period, but they spent much of the opening period making inopportune turnovers and scrambling in their own end.
First period shots were 6-6 (all five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 15-9 Canucks (high-dangers were 8-3 Canucks).
The Flames were very improved in the second period, but the Canucks managed to pad their lead midway through the frame.
Conor Garland made a nice play inside his own blueline to break out of the zone, sending Pettersson and Hoglander in on a quasi-two-on-none. Hoglander went in alone, made a beautiful fake play and then went backhand shelf on Markstrom, beating him to make it 2-0 Canucks.
The Flames kept getting their looks, though, and they got on the board in the final 90 seconds of the second period. The fourth line created a rush into the Canucks zone, and A.J. Greer fed a pinching Rasmus Andersson, and his wrister beat Casey DeSmith to break the goose-egg for the road side and make it 2-1 Canucks.
Second period shots were 12-10 Canucks (11-9 Canucks at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 7-5 Flames (4-2 Flames at five-on-five).
The Flames pressed throughout the third period, looking for the equalizer. They barely missed open nets. They hit posts. But on a late power play, the Canucks cashed in and got some insurance.
With Oliver Kylington in the box, the Canucks won the face-off to open their man advantage and J.T. Miller cranked a one-timer from the face-off dot to Markstrom’s right past the Flames netminder to give Vancouver a 3-1 lead.
Elias Lindholm scored an empty netter to make it 4-1. Joel Hanley responded with a seeing-eye shot late in the game to cut the Canucks lead to 4-2, but it was all for naught.
The Canucks held on for a 4-2 win.
Third period shots were 8-8 (7-5 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-1 Canucks (high-dangers were 2-1 Flames).

Why the Flames lost

If you ignore how leaky the Flames were in the first 10 minutes of the game, they were right there with the Canucks in this one. But you can’t really ignore how leaky they were. If the Flames were a little bit more structured defensively, perhaps they get a better outcome. But at this point in the season, with personnel they have, they’ll lose a few close games because of miscues like we saw on the first two goals.
The Canucks found gaps in the Flames coverage and exploited them. And the Flames battled hard and just couldn’t get enough goals to get a better outcome on this occasion. Once again: the shape of the Flames’ game is generally sound, but they just have a few too many rough spots with their details.
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Red Warrior

Let’s give it to Greer. He had a few rough turnovers, but the guy who played the least for the Flames managed to get a multi-point outing. Nicely done.

Turning point

That Miller power play goal – off a penalty he drew – was a gut-punch for the Flames late in regulation.

This and that

Jacob Markstrom and Connor Zary returned to the Flames after both missing some time due to injuries.
Hanley’s goal in garbage time was his first NHL goal since Apr. 29, 2022 – roughly 23 full months ago.

Up next

The Flames (33-31-5) are headed home immediately. They’ll host the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday evening at the ‘Dome.

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