Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames weather the storm, beat Hurricanes with third period comeback

Photo credit:Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
6 months ago
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The Calgary Flames weren’t all that good for the first two periods of Thursday’s meeting with the Carolina Hurricanes. But they seemed to find their second wind in the third period, just as the Hurricanes seemed to feel the wrath of their travel schedule.
Despite trailing 2-0 after two periods, the Flames roared back in the final frame en route to a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes.

The rundown

The Flames had hoped to have a better start against Carolina than they did against Minnesota on Tuesday night. It did not turn out that way.
2:10 into the game, on the fifth shot Dustin Wolf faced, Carolina opened the scoring. The Hurricanes won an offensive zone draw and Jaccob Slavin’s point shot was tipped by Stefan Noesen and wobbled past Wolf into the net, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Just shy of the midway point of the period, Carolina padded their lead. The Flames had a power play but did’t muster much in the way of shots, chances or momentum. Shortly after their penalty expired, Carolina headed up ice, set up shop in the Flames’ zone, and scored. Dmitry Orlov cranked a shot from the point that was deflected on the way to the net by Michael Bunting. That made it 2-0 Hurricanes.
First period shots were 11-7 Hurricanes (10-5 Hurricanes at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-8 Flames (high-dangers were 5-3 Flames).
Neither team scored in a fairly sleepy second period. The Hurricanes seemed content to clog up the middle of the ice, keep the Flames to the outside, and make sure their goaltender had clear view of shots. It worked well. The Flames, for their part, played a lot of dump-and-chase.
Second period shots were 10-9 Hurricanes (9-9 at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-6 Flames (high-dangers were 8-4 Flames).
But the Flames bounced back in the third period. They scored 5:42 into the period off a set play that seemed to go a bit awry. Off a face-off win, MacKenzie Weegar got the puck at the point and threw it down to the net-front area. The puck bounced away from the slot a bit, but Blake Coleman swatted it towards the net-front area for a pinching Rasmus Andersson, who jammed it past Pyotr Kochetkov to make it 2-1 Hurricanes.
81 seconds later, the Flames tied the game. Adam Ruzicka battle through some attempted checks and chucked the puck on net. Kochetkov blocked most of it, but the puck trickled through his pads, dropped into the blue paint, and Connor Zary raced in to poke it over the line to make it a 2-2 game.
With Noah Hanifin in the penalty box midway through the period, the Flames got their first lead of the game. Yegor Sharangovich intercepted the puck in the neutral zone and fed it to Blake Coleman, racing through the zone. Coleman beat Kochetkov with a wrister to give the Flames a 3-2 lead.
But about five minutes later, the ‘Canes scored off a face-off win in the Calgary zone. The goal was challenged by the Flames for goaltender interference and the goal was washed out. (Martin Necas made contact with Wolf at the front of the net.)
Carolina pulled their goaltender late for the extra attacker, but they couldn’t score and the Flames held on for a 3-2 win.
Third period shots were 11-11.

Why the Flames won

The Flames were not overly good in the first period. They were better in the second period, but merely fine. They gradually looked more and more engaged and connected, and won more and more battles. The dam burst for them in the third period, and they took over the game.
Was the Flames’ first period, yet another blah opening 20, something to be concerned about? Yep. They weren’t overly good. They made adjustments and fixed a bunch of their issues, but their issues continue to persist early in games. They built their game against Carolina, but man, that’s a tough way to play.
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Red Warrior

Let’s give this one to the goaltender. Wolf battled in this game. He faced tips, traffic and a team that didn’t play particularly well in front of him early on. But he made enough saves to keep the game close when he had to.

Turning point

We keep hearing that a two-goal lead is the most dangerous in hockey. The Flames proved that truism with two goals in 1:21 to claw their way back into this hockey game.

This and that

Martin Pospisil went down awkwardly blocking a Dmitry Orlov shot early in the third period. He had to be helped down the tunnel, but he returned about midway through the period.
This was the fifth of 13 games this season with the Flames wearing their black alternate jerseys. They’re now 2-2-1.

Up next

The Flames (11-12-3) finish off their homestand on Saturday afternoon when they welcome Tyler Toffoli and the New Jersey Devils to town.

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