Photo credit:Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames salvage slow start, beat Coyotes in overtime
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
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The Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes played a hockey game on Tuesday night that was quite a slog for two periods. The game lacked flow, chances, and overall energy and emotion. But the Flames woke up midway through the third period, which woke up the crowd and made the finish to this contest pretty entertaining.
The Flames roared back from a 2-0 third period deficit to beat the Coyotes in overtime by a 3-2 score.
The opening 20 minutes was fairly low-event, low-scoring, and sleepy hockey. In everyone’s defence, it was the first game either team played since Saturday. Neither team lit the lamp.
The most notable part of the first period was Coyotes defender Michael Kesselring (a) cross-checking Connor Zary into Coyotes netminder Connor Ingram, then cross-checking Zary again while he was down on the ice.
First period shots were 7-3 Flames (2-2 at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 3-2 Flames (high-dangers were 1-1).
Midway through the second period, the Coyotes broke the 0-0 deadlock. Off a bit of a broken play with the puck bouncing around in the Flames zone, Sean Durzi opted to just fire the puck on net. His shot wobbled towards the net, glanced off Noah Hanifin (battling with a Coyotes attacker in front of the net) and beat Dan Vladar to make it a 1-0 Coyotes lead.
The Flames had a few near-miss chances – arguably their best even strength scoring chance was an A.J. Greer shot on an odd-man rush that Ingram gloved with ease – but couldn’t muster a ton offensively.
Second period shots were 10-10 (5-5 at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 7-3 Coyotes (high-dangers were 3-0 Coyotes).
The Coyotes got a power play early in the third period, but couldn’t generate anything dangerous. However, on the shift immediately following the expiry of the Flames’ penalty, the Coyotes made it 2-0. Logan Cooley snuck to the net-front area and redirected a feed from Durzi back-door on Vladar.
But the Flames roared back with a pair of goals just 63 seconds apart.
Mikael Backlund’s line got a cycle play going in the Coyotes zone. Rasmus Andersson snuck down below the goal line to play the puck, then found Blake Coleman around the blue paint with a crisp pass that Coleman redirected past Ingram to cut the Arizona lead to 2-1.
On the very next shift, Pospisil got the puck and went for a skate, fending off a Coyotes defender. He threw the puck to the net-front area with a one-handed pass, where Nazem Kadri chipped it past Ingram to tie the game at 2-2.
Third period shots were 12-9 Coyotes (11-9 Coyotes at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-6 Coyotes (high-dangers were 6-3 Coyotes).
This game went to extra time. It went back and forth, with the Coyotes ending up taking a too many men bench minor penalty with 1:57 left in extra time. Yegor Sharangovich fired a wrist shot under the crossbar, and just over Ingram’s shoulder, to give the Flames a 3-2 win.
Why the Flames won
Neither team were especially good in the first two periods. This was a game where both teams were fighting it. But the Flames figured things out in the third period and managed to salvage this one. Whatever gremlin was causing them to miss passes and generally lack much pep… they seemed to chase away that gremlin 47 minutes into this game.
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We’re giving it to Kadri. He was consistently noticeable in this game.
The Flames looked to be destined to lose a sleepy slog of a game until the midway point of the third period, when they scored those two quick goals.
This and that
Jonathan Huberdeau was a late scratch for this game due to illness.
It was Canadian Armed Forces Appreciation Night at the ‘Dome! A member of the armed forces sang both national anthems, including a bilingual rendition of O Canada.
The Flames ran a tribute video to Mikael Backlund during a first period TV timeout; Backlund recently passed Mark Giordano for second place on the franchise’s all-time games played leaderboard.
The Flames (21-18-5) continue their homestand on Thursday night when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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