Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames lose wild brunch game in Philadelphia

Photo credit:Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
5 months ago
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Friends, often times matinee games are dull, sleepy, drab affairs. Both teams are thrown out of their usual routines and the games often, well, suck. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, as the Calgary Flames and Philadelphia Flyers engaged in a really energetic, scrappy afternoon of hockey.
The Flames were held back by some sub-par special teams play, losing by a 3-2 score to the Flyers.

The rundown

The opening period saw a few chances, but largely felt like each team trying to figure each other out and find their own rhythms. Each team had a pair of power plays, and neither could cash in, though the Flyers had a few good chances on both teams’ man advantages.
First period shots were 9-8 Flyers (6-5 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 5-3 Flames (high-dangers were 3-3).
The second period had goals, hits, scraps, and general mayhem.
A couple minutes into the period, after the Flames killed off a penalty that carried over from the first period, they opened the scoring. Martin Pospisil threw a pass into the neutral zone that Nazem Kadri relayed up to Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau headed into the offensive zone, fended off a Flyers defender with some good positioning, then went bar-down on Carter Hart to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
But the Flyers responded soon thereafter. Huberdeau attempted to block a Sean Walker point shot. He did… but it went back to Walker, and his next attempt go through to Jacob Markstrom. Markstrom made the initial stop, but Morgan Frost was left all by his lonesome to Markstrom’s left, and he jammed in the loose rebound to tie things up at 1-1.
Midway through the period, the Flames reclaimed the lead. An initial scoring chance was stopped by Hart with a crowd in front, but MacKenzie Weegar crept down from the point and backhanded the loose rebound past the Flyers netminder to make it 2-1 Flames.
But near the end of the frame, the Flyers drew even. (Again.) On their fifth power play of the game to that point, the initial point shot went wide, bounced off the end boards, and Sean Couturier chipped the bouncing puck past Markstrom from the side of the net to make it a 2-2 hockey game.
Second period shots were 24-10 Flyers (16-9 Flyers at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 12-7 Flyers (high-dangers were 6-3 Flyers).
The Flames had dodged a couple bullets on Flyers’ shorthanded chances in the first period, but the home side cashed in during a Calgary advantage early in the third period. Travis Konecny went in all alone against Markstrom and beat him glove-side to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead.
The Flames pressed for the equalizer for the back half of the third period, eventually even pulling Markstrom for the extra attacker. But they just couldn’t solve Hart, and the Flyers held on for the victory.
Third period shots were 9-6 Flyers (7-5 Flyers at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 8-6 Flyers (high-dangers were 2-1 Flames).

Why the Flames lost

This contest felt like two games within one.
At five-on-five, the Flames were pretty solid. They were slightly out-played by the Flyers, but facing a team fairly high in the standings on the road, that was to be expected. When both teams were at full strength, the Flames were able to roll their lines, play their game, and gave themselves a chance for a good result.
But man, the Flames just weren’t up to snuff on either side of special teams. They were shorthanded a lot, a result of some fairly undisciplined play. Moreover, they were pretty rough on their power play, showing a lack of urgency. The Flyers out-shot and out-scored the Flames on Calgary’s power plays, and then did the same thing on their own advantages.
This was a special teams loss, and one that spoiled a really good goaltending performance from Markstrom.
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Red Warrior

It’s gotta be Markstrom. He was easily the most impactful Flames player in every game situation and gave his team a chance to win.

Turning point

Take your pick between these two goals:
  • Couturier’s power play goal late in the second period sent the teams into the intermission all tied up.
  • Konecny’s shorthanded goal gave the Flyers a lead early in the third period.

This and that

Noted goon Elias Lindholm had his first career NHL fight in the second period, dropping the gloves with Joel Farabee, after an awkward collision on Cam York in front of the Flyers’ bench.

Up next

The Flames (17-17-5) are off to the Windy City! They polish off their road trip in Chicago with another matinee game on Sunday.

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