Calgary Flames Post-Game: Locals hold Kings in check, grind out 2-1 home victory
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
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The Calgary Flames hosted the red-hot Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night. The Kings, entering the game on a 12 game points streak, played a structured game in all three zones. The Flames, desperate to stay alive in the playoff chase, were occasionally fairly scrambly but were bailed out by their goaltender.
In a tight-checking, low-scoring affair, the Flames managed to grind out a 2-1 victory over the Kings.
The Flames opened the scoring on an early power play. Andrew Mangiapane was upended inside the defensive blueline by Phillip Danault, leading to a man advantage for the home side. On that advantage, Mangiapane prevented a Kings clearing attempt after an initial chance didn’t materialize. The Flames cycled the puck around a bit, and Mikael Backlund’s shot was stopped by Joonas Korpisalo but the rebound jammed in by Mangiapane to give the locals a 1-0 lead.
Rasmus Andersson scored a shorthanded goal midway through the period, but the goal was disallowed after a coach’s challenge by the Kings due to Noah Hanifin being off-side.
A little later on, the Kings answered back. An offensive rush by the fourth line was broken up by the Kings at the offensive blueline, leading to a rush the other way. Sean Durzi entered the Flames’ zone as the trailing player and wasn’t picked up by the Flames – it looked like he was Trevor Lewis’ man – and Durzi got a pass from Arthur Kaliyev and rifled the shot past Jacob Markstrom to make it 1-1.
But before the end of the first period, the Flames retook the lead. A Milan Lucic body check at the defensive blueline squirted the puck out into the neutral zone. Lewis grabbed it and headed into the zone on a quasi two-on-two rush. His shot went wide, but it bounced off the end boards and went right to Walker Duehr, who chipped the puck over Korpisalo to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
The Flames thought they extended their lead in the second period after a scrambly play in front of Korpisalo seemingly resulted in a goal. But the play was immediately waved off by referee TJ Luxmore and a lengthy video review couldn’t find conclusive evidence that the Flames scored.
Both teams had their chances in the second and third periods, but neither could light the lamp again. The Kings pulled Korpisalo for the extra attacker late in the third period. MacKenzie Weegar thought he got an empty-netter with 11.7 seconds left, but the play had been whistled down for a delayed off-side already.
Why the Flames won
Were the Flames significantly better than the Kings? Nope. But elements of their game were. Their goaltender was a little bit better than the Kings’. Their special teams were a little bit better than the Kings’. And at five-on-five, the teams exchanged fourth line goals.
It was a game of inches, and despite three disallowed goals, the Flames had just enough to get two points. The Flames weren’t fantastic, but they were significantly better defensively from a group that gave up eight goals to the Kings eight days ago.
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Joint award time! First, Markstrom was excellent, especially when the blueliners ahead of him were not.
And Duehr remains a consistent bright spot in the line-up.
Honestly, the turning point might just be how the Flames didn’t have their habitual key lapse – a lack of a turning point, if you will. And one big reason? So, so many big stops by Markstrom. Take your pick, he made about four or five of ’em.
This and that
Yes, Flames fans still boo Drew Doughty whenever he touches the puck.
The Saddledome crowd sang “Happy Birthday” to Chris Sutter, who turns 30 on Thursday, during a first period TV timeout.
The Flames are 28-1-5 when leading a game after two periods.
The Flames (34-26-15) are headed back on the road. They visit the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
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