Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames use their dad strength to beat the house in Vegas

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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Historically, the Calgary Flames haven’t fared well when they’ve visited the Las Vegas Strip. But on Saturday night, they completed their dads and mentors road trip with a visit to T-Mobile Arena to play an injury-ravaged Vegas Golden Knights.
The Flames were good early, spotted their goaltender a lead, and then did their best to stay out of his way en route to a 3-1 road victory in Vegas.

The rundown

The first period was a bit disjointed with some special teams play disrupting the flow, but the Flames cashed in on the power play midway through the frame.
Nazem Kadri drew a slashing minor and after a fruitless shift by the top unit, the second unit went to work. Mikael Backlund threw the puck on net, looking to create a rebound. Instead of bouncing off the goalie, it hit Blake Coleman, parked in front, and Coleman shuffled the loose puck past Logan Thompson to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Almost two minutes later, the Flames ended a back-and-forth exchange of rush chances with their second goal. Connor Zary went in on a scoring chance, but Thompson sprawled out to block the net. So Zary kept the puck and threw it into the net-front area, where it bounced around a bit and Nazem Kadri swooped into the area and jammed in the rebound to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.
First period shots were 12-8 Flames (8-7 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 9-8 Flames (high-dangers were 2-1 Flames).
Vegas was all over the Flames for a good chunk of the second period. They had a lot of zone time, but they just couldn’t translate time and space into strong chances. Jacob Markstrom made a bunch of good saves, and the players in front of him did a decent job keeping his sight-lines open.
Late in the period, the Flames added to their lead. Coleman challenged Paul Cotter at the offensive blueline, causing a turnover. He passed to Andrew Mangiapane, who headed into the offensive zone on a two-on-two rush with Backlund. He found Backlund with a nice pass between defenders, and Backlund made a nifty deke and tucked the puck behind Thompson to give the Flames a 3-0 lead.
Second period shots were 10-7 Golden Knights (all five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 15-5 Golden Knights (high-dangers were 4-1 Golden Knights).
Vegas continued to push in the third period and eventually spoiled Markstrom’s shutout attempt. Rasmus Andersson was pressured by the forecheckers and failed to clear the zone, twice. That led to a nice passing sequence that set up Chandler Stephenson for a one-timer, which beat Markstrom glove-side to cut the lead to 3-1.
The Golden Knights pulled Thompson with just under three minutes remaining for the extra attacker. But Vegas couldn’t translate their man advantage into more goals, despite a late frenzy in front of Calgary’s net, and the Flames held on for a 3-1 victory.
Third period shots were 15-7 Golden Knights (10-7 Golden Knights at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-5 Golden Knights (high-dangers were 2-2).

Why the Flames won

The Flames were really sharp and energetic in the first period, generating chances and being very opportunistic in terms of burying them. Vegas pushed back in the second and third periods, but the Flames got some big saves, big blocks and big clears to weather that storm.
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Red Warrior

A two-parter! One tip of the cap goes to Markstrom, who was fabulous in net once again. And let’s give some shine to the third line of Mangiapane, Backlund and Coleman, who were the Flames’ most consistently effective unit.

Turning point

Imagine if you’re Vegas: you’re trailing 2-0 after the first period at home, have a really good flurry of chances and shots in the second period and can’t beat Markstrom. And then Backlund dekes around your goalie, and despite playing a good second period you’re headed into the locker room down 3-0.

This and that

This was just the Flames’ second victory in Vegas since the Golden Knights joined the league. They’ve quiet earned points in each of their last four visits (2-0-2).
The Golden Knights wore their Winter Classic white and gold jerseys, so the Flames wore their home red jerseys for this road game.
Elias Lindhom missed a shift in the second period after knocking into Yegor Sharangovich at the offensive blueline and smacking his face into Sharangovich’s shoulder. He returned to the game and played a regular shift for the remainder of it.

Up next

The Flames (20-18-5) are headed home. They start a six game homestand on Tuesday evening when they host the Arizona Coyotes.

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