Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames head to the All-Star break with a win over Chicago
By Ryan Pike25 days ago
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The Calgary Flames and Chicago Blackhawks met on Saturday night as both clubs completed their game commitments prior to the All-Star break. Neither team looked like world-beaters, but the Flames managed to grind out a narrow victory.
The Flames climbed back to the .500 mark – again – with a 1-0 home victory over the Blackhawks.
The opening 20 minutes were back and forth, but the Blackhawks had the majority of the strong chances. The Flames had troubles with turnovers and odd-man rushes against the plagued them – and seemed to set the tone for this game early on.
Jacob Markstrom made a bunch of good saves early on, as the Flames were a bit leaky defensively.
First period shots were 11-10 Blackhawks (10-10 at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 13-10 Blackhawks (high-dangers were 9-1 Blackhawks).
The second period was similarly even, with Chicago getting slightly fewer strong chances, but several strong chances nonetheless.
The Flames managed to take the lead with a power play midway through the frame. With 14 seconds remaining in the man advantage, Yegor Sharangovich’s shot from the slot was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but Elias Lindholm was parked to Mrazek’s right and received the rebound and fired the puck into the open net. That gave the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Second period shots were 12-9 Flames (9-8 Blackhawks at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-5 Flames (high-dangers were 3-1 Blackhawks).
The third period was about as even as the other two, except a little bit lower-event. The Hawks seemed to run out of gas, while the Flames seemed content to lean on their structure and ride this one out. Chicago had a flurry of chances late in regulation, but the Flames held on for a 1-0 victory.
Third period shots were 12-7 Blackhawks (8-7 Blackhawks at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 11-6 Flames (high-dangers were 6-1 Flames).
Why the Flames won
The Flames weren’t great in this hockey game. The Blackhawks carried play for big chunks of this outing, but just couldn’t zone time or scoring chances into goals. The reason? Markstrom was superb and helped paper over a lot of the Flames’ flaws. Chicago also seemed to run out of gas in the third period.
Combine that with a timely power play goal, and that was enough for the Flames to escape this outing with two points.
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It’s gotta be Markstrom.
Take your pick between Lindholm’s go-ahead power play goal, or the half-dozen (or more) strong scoring chances that Markstrom kept out of Calgary’s net.
This and that
The Flames leaned heavily on their top four blueliners in this game.
The Flames wore their fancy black alternate jerseys.
The Flames (22-22-5) are off for the All-Star break! They’re back practising next Monday in Boston, and are back in game action next Tuesday when they face the Bruins to kick off a four game road trip.
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