Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames school Coyotes with big comeback win
Photo credit:Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike26 days ago
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The Calgary Flames were the better team for much of their Wednesday night visit to Mullett Arena to play the Arizona Coyotes. They out-shot the Coyotes handily throughout this game, finishing with a 52-14 edge. Some bad reads and bad bounces saw them trailing at one point by a 3-1 score.
But the Flames roared back and continued to dominate the game, winning by a 6-3 score to kick off their three game road trip with a big victory.
The Flames opened the scoring in the opening period off a hard-working fourth line goal. Trevor Lewis won a corner battle in the offensive zone and kicked the puck to Walker Duehr. Duehr cut to the net, then passed to Milan Lucic in the slot. Lucic’s shot beat Karel Vejmelka to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
The Flames were all over the Coyotes for awhile early in the game, and in the second, but they couldn’t extend their lead. With Mikael Backlund in the penalty box, though, the Coyotes answered back early in the second period. Clayton Keller fired a laser of a pass across the zone to Nick Schmaltz, who beat Dan Vladar with a quick one-timer to tie the game at 1-1.
The Coyotes pulled ahead in the second period with two goals in the span of 1:35. First, the Flames had a power play that got some looks but couldn’t bury any of them. Play went the other way and Chris Tanev couldn’t clear his zone. The Coyotes fired the puck on net and Tanev, trying to sweep the rebound away from the net, inadvertently swept it into the net. Whoops. That made it 2-1. (Keller got credit for the goal.)
The Coyotes scored again off a Very Flames Sequence. Tyler Toffoli rang a shot off the crossbar. The puck blooped off the bar and exited the zone, with Matias Maccelli grabbing the puck and beating Vladar stick-side off the rush to give the Coyotes a 3-1 lead. (The sequence was fast enough that by the time the Flames forwards realized the puck was out of the zone, the Coyotes were already attacking the offensive blueline.)
But rather than roll over, the Flames battled back with two goals scored 62 seconds apart. First, seven seconds after a Coyotes too-many-men bench minor, Elias Lindholm buried a feed from Nazem Kadri from his usual perch in the slot area past Vejmelka to cut the lead down to 3-2.
The Flames tied things back up slightly later, as Tyler Toffoli made a great read, firing the puck between a defender’s legs. It seemed to baffle Vejmelka’s read of the shot, and the puck handcuffed him and blooped into the net to tie the game at 3-3.
The Flames continued to press, and retook the lead with two goals scored 24 seconds apart. First, on a Flames power play, Jakob Pelletier deflected a Noah Hanifin point shot past Vejmelka to give the Flames a 4-3 lead.
On the very next shift, Duehr entered the Coyotes zone on an odd-man rush and realizing he had a lane, he decided to drive the net. His back-hand shot eluded Vejmelka’s glove and gave the Flames a 5-3 lead.
The Flames made it 6-3 late in the third period on the power play. Pelletier chased down an errant pass. He tried to feed Andrew Mangiapane, but Mangiapane was covered. But Pelletier grabbed the loose puck from that blocked pass and fed Mikael Backlund back-door. Backlund chipped a bouncing shot that beat Vejmelka to ice this one.
The Flames held on for the 6-3 victory.
Why the Flames won
The Flames were the better team throughout much of this game.
When the Flames went down 3-1 despite wildly out-shooting the Coyotes, you could hear the collective groans throughout social media: “Here we go again.” The Flames have played plenty of games where they were the better team, but could not score enough goals to capture two points. Sometimes they got rattled. Sometimes they got frustrated. Sometimes they lost their cool.
But in this game, the Flames didn’t seem to get away from their program. They kept doing their thing, waiting for their openings, and then they struck. Eventually, the deficit was erased. The Flames had an opportunity to fold up shop and accept the L, but they never seemed to resign themselves to that fate and kept at it and got the desired result.
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Let’s give it to Duehr. He was a great spark for the fourth line, and his energy seemed to spread to the entire time.
But a lot of players had good nights. Five different players had multi-point evenings.
There were two, really:
- The Flames scored twice over 61 seconds to tie the game up at 3-3 in the second period.
- The Flames scored twice over 24 seconds to take a 5-3 lead in the third period.
This and that
This was Tanev’s 700th NHL game.
Lindholm picked up an assist on Toffoli’s goal, which stood as his 500th NHL point.
Rookies Duehr and Pelletier both had their first career multi-point games.
The Flames (27-20-11) are headed to Nevada. They visit the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night at T-Mobile Arena.
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