Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames rally back to overcome Senators
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
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The Calgary Flames played pretty decent hockey for two periods against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, but trailed after each of the first two periods. In the third period, the Flames made some minor tweaks and slayed the Senators with four unanswered goals.
The Flames beat Ottawa by a 6-3 score to climb back to the .500 mark.
The first period was pretty evenly-matched, with the Flames executing fairly well throughout but getting hamstrung by a couple bad shifts and bad bounces.
The Senators opened the scoring about four minutes in. The Senators gained the offensive zone, threw the puck to the point, and Jacob Bernard-Docker’s shot from the point hit Jacob Markstrom’s pad, bounced off Yan Kuznetsov’s shinpad, and bounced into the Flames net to give Ottawa a 1-0 edge.
But just 44 seconds later, the Flames answered back. The Senators attempted a breakout from their own end, but the puck blooped off the defender’s stick, took an odd bounce and went right to Connor Zary. Zary held onto the puck, waited out the defender (who laid on the ice to prevent a pass to Nazem Kadri) and fired on net, beating Joonas Korpisalo high glove-side to tie the game at 1-1.
Late in the period, the Flames got hemmed in their own zone and just couldn’t clear the puck… and it came back to bite ’em. After three or four failed zone exit attempts, the Senators kept pressing. During a goal-mouth scramble Ridly Greig was shoved into the crease, landing on Jacob Markstrom, and Dominik Kubalik chipped the puck into the open net to give Ottawa a 2-1 lead.
First period shots were 14-13 Flames (13-12 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 6-6 (high-dangers were 4-2 Senators).
The Flames drew even early in the second period off a lot of good things done by the top line. Elias Lindholm battled below the goal line, winning possession of the puck. With his stick tied up by a defender, he booted the puck into the slot with his skates. Jonathan Huberdeau collected the pass, shuffled it to Yegor Sharangovich, and Sharangovich’s shot beat Korpisalo to tie the game at 2-2.
But the Senators retook the lead later on, while on a power play. With Martin Pospisil in the sin bin, the Senators cycled the puckin the Calgary zone. Brady Tkachuk received a pass from Claude Giroux in front of the net and went bar-down, beating Markstrom high to give Ottawa a 3-2 lead.
Second period shots were 12-7 Flames (11-6 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-5 Flames (high-dangers were 5-3 Flames).
The Flames tied things up early in the third period off a really nice set play off a face-off win. The Flames forwards threw the puck to the point for Noah Hanifin and then created some screens. Hanifin pinched down from the left point and, with Zary parked in front of Korpisalo, Hanifin’s shot beat the netminder to tie the game at 3-3.
Midway through the frame, the Flames got their first lead. Once again, it was a nice battling and cycling play in the Senators zone. Zary won a battle and Kadri threw the puck to the point. Hanifin’s initial shot was stopped by Korpisalo, but Blake Coleman battled to the front of the net and swept the rebound into the net to give the Flames a 4-3 lead.
The Flames added some insurance later in the period. After entering the zone off the rush, Kadri passed to Hanifin at the point. His initial shot hit Jacob Chychrun in the leg on the way to the net, but Sharangovich jammed the rebound into the Ottawa net to give the Flames a 5-3 lead.
Coleman added an empty-netter late in the third period to give the Flames a 6-3 lead.
Third period shots were 13-10 Senators (13-9 Senators at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 12-11 Senators (high-dangers were 5-4 Flames).
Why the Flames won
The Flames played a pretty solid game overall, but they were a bit sloppy in terms of their puck management for chunks of the first two periods. In the third period, they tightened things up and just rolled over the Senators. Ottawa had leads at multiple points in this game because of bad bounces and Calgary mistakes.
When the Flames stopped making so many mistakes, Ottawa’s lead evaporated.
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Let’s give this award jointly to the line of Kadri, Zary and Pospisil. And we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a nod to Hanifin as well.
(A lot of Flames had pretty strong outings.)
It’s a cop-out, but the entire third period saw the Flames impose their will on the Senators and take over the game for big chunks of time.
This and that
This was Pride Night! A bunch of Flames players wore Pride Tape on their sticks during warm-up.
This was Yan Kuznetsov’s first career NHL game.
This was Mikael Backlund’s 949th career NHL game, tying him with Mark Giordano for second on the franchise leaderboard in games played.
The Flames (18-18-5) are back on the road. They visit the Arizona Coyotes in Tempe on Thursday night.
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