Photo credit:Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames school the Coyotes at Mullett Arena
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
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The Calgary Flames headed to the desert on Thursday evening, hoping to make their trip to Arizona State University’s Mullett Arena to face the Arizona Coyotes a fruitful one. The Flames dominated the Coyotes in the first period and then were good enough to hold on, skating to a 6-2 victory over their Western Conference foes.
The Flames wasted no time jumping all over a Coyotes lapse. Off the opening draw, the Coyotes got the puck into the Calgary zone, then gave away the puck. Blake Coleman sent Mikael Backlund into the offensive zone all alone, and he beat Karel Vejmelka with a breakaway wrister to give the Flames a 1-0 lead just 20 seconds into the game.
A little while later, the Flames added to their lead shorthanded (with Nazem Kadri in the box). Jason Zucker turned over the puck in the offensive zone and the Flames headed up ice. Coleman entered the Coyotes zone, protected the puck with his body inside the blueline before throwing a pass cross-zone to Yegor Sharangovich. Sharangovich made a nice inside-outside move, then beat Vejmelka high with a wrist shot to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.
Shortly after Kadri left the penalty box, the Flames added to their lead. The Flames gained the Coyotes zone and had a few chances on net. Kadri’s shot missed the net, bounced off the end-boards, and went right to a pinching Rasmus Andersson, who chipped the puck past Vejmelka to give the Flames a 3-0 advantage.
The Coyotes got on the board later in the period. An initial rush chance was stopped by Jacob Markstrom, but Lawson Crouse got the rebound and attempted to pass it to Mason Maccelli in the slot. The puck missed its intended recipient, but instead glanced off Martin Pospisil’s skate and into the Flames’ net to cut their lead to 3-1.
But the Flames responded back just 14 seconds later. They won the face-off, gained the zone, and Coleman wriggled free of Matt Dumba’s coverage and deflected a Chris Tanev point shot past Vejmelka to give the Flames a 4-1 lead.
4-1; Coleman wiggles away from Dumba, deflects Tanev point shot past Vejmelka.
Connor Ingram relieved Vejmelka in net following the fourth Calgary goal.
First period shots were 14-12 Flames (13-10 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 9-8 Flames (high-dangers were 4-3 Flames).
The Coyotes came out in the second period looking much better, and scored a nice counter-punch goal after the Flames couldn’t score on a power play that carried over from the first. The Coyotes got an odd-man rush and Clayton Keller beat Markstrom glove-side to cut the lead to 4-2.
Early Coyotes goal in second; Keller on odd-man rush after Flames PP ends. 4-2.
The Coyotes had a lot of good looks in the remainder of the second period, but Markstrom was very sharp.
Second period shots were 13-10 Coyotes (11-4 Coyotes at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 13-5 Coyotes (high-dangers were 5-3 Coyotes).
The Flames scored early in the third period to essentially put the game out of reach. Elias Lindholm caused a neutral zone turnover, leading to Jonathan Huberdeau and Sharangovich going in on a two-on-one. Sharangovich leaned into a nice cross-ice pass from Huberdeau, beating Ingram to give the Flames a 5-2 lead.
Sharangovich completed the hat trick on a power play a little bit later. The Coyotes seemed completely deflated and combined with some good movement and passing, Sharangovich had a wide-open net on a cross-crease feed from Lindholm. That gave the Flames a 6-2 lead.
The Flames held on to win 6-2.
Third period shots were 10-8 Coyotes (10-4 Coyotes at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 12-4 Coyotes (high-dangers were 5-1 Coyotes).
Why the Flames won
The Coyotes were quite bad in the first period, both in terms of execution and puck luck. Nothing they did went their way, and the Flames jumped all over every mistake they made. And while the Coyotes were quite strong in the second period, Markstrom made a ton of saves and basically let the Coyotes tire themselves out in that frame.
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Let’s give it to Sharangovich. But honourable mentions to Coleman and Markstrom.
Let’s give it to the fourth goal, Coleman’s dandy deflection, in the first period. It reinstated the Flames’ three-goal lead and gave them ample breathing room from then on out.
This and that
As noted elsewhere, Backlund played in his 950th game for the Flames, moving into sole possession of second place on the all-time leaderboard.
This was Sharangovich’s second career hat trick.
It’s just the 11th hat trick in Flames franchise history involving a player scoring goals at even strength, the power play and shorthanded. (The other 10: Kent Nilsson in December 1984, Joe Nieuwendyk in January 1989, Gary Roberts in December 1992, German Titov in February 1995, Theo Fleury in November 1998, Jarome Iginla in February 2003, Matthew Lombardi in November 2003, Rene Bourque in December 2009, Mikael Backlund in April 2016, and Mark Jankowski in April 2018.)
The Flames (19-18-5) are headed to Sin City. They finish off this brief two game road trip on Saturday night against the Vegas Golden Knights.
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