Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: Special teams power outage leads to Flames loss in Ottawa
By Ryan Pike3 months ago
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After a bit of a track meet in Toronto on Friday night that ended with a shootout loss, the Calgary Flames headed to Kanata on Saturday night hoping for a better result against the Ottawa Senators. That didn’t quite materialize, as the Flames lost the special teams battle and couldn’t translate puck possession and zone time at even strength into goals.
The Flames lost to the Senators by a 4-1 score.
The opening period was fairly back and forth, with both teams getting some nice chances. Midway through the first period, the Senators cashed in. After Ottawa dumped the puck into the Flames’ zone, they managed to retrieve it and win some puck battles. They fed the puck to Jake Sanderson at the point, and Mathieu Joseph deflected it past Dustin Wolf to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead.
First period shots were 12-12 (10-9 Flames five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-8 Flames (high-dangers were 5-2 Flames).
In the second period MacKenzie Weegar took a bit of a sloppy penalty after Wolf froze the puck, inadvertently high-sticking Joseph. On the ensuing power play, the Flames couldn’t get a clear and Brady Tkachuk deflected a point shot that Wolf stopped, but the puck blooped into the air. Drake Batherson bunted the puck out of mid-air into the Flames net to give the Senators a 2-0 lead.
Late in the second period, though, the Flames answered back. Ottawa won an offensive zone face-off but Martin Pospisil pressured Travis Hamonic at the point, leading to a turnover and an odd-man rush. Pospisil fed Blake Coleman in the slot with a great saucer pass, giving Coleman a wide-open net for a fairly academic goal that cut the Senators lead to 2-1.
Second period shots were 15-10 Senators (9-8 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 5-4 Flames (high-dangers were 3-0 Flames).
The Flames had a golden chance to draw even with a late second period power play that spilled over into the third period. But the power play couldn’t muster much. A couple quick Ottawa goals in the minutes following their advantage sealed the game for the home side.
Nikita Zadorov had some trouble corralling a puck behind the Flames net. Batherson pressured him, stole the puck, and passed to Dominik Kubalik, who passed to Rourke Chartier, who had a wide-open net for a tap-in past Wolf to give the Senators a 3-1 lead.
A shift later, Ottawa entered the Flames zone with possession. Adam Ruzicka lost his stick and as he chased it down in the defensive zone, the Senators cycled the puck around and Hamonic crept in from the point to the high slot for a shot that beat Wolf through a bit of traffic to give Ottawa a 4-1 lead.
From there, the Senators managed the puck and clock well and locked things down for a 4-1 victory.
Third period shots were 12-2 Senators (7-2 Senators at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-5 Senators (high-dangers were 2-1 Senators).
Why the Flames lost
Quite simply, the Flames were not able to out-score their mistakes. They had puck possession, but weren’t able to do enough with it to make the Senators uneasy when they had the puck in the offensive zone. Meanwhile, the Flames’ power play didn’t really generate very much, while Ottawa scored once on their advantages. (The Flames generated three shots in 6:00 of PP time, while Ottawa had 11 in 7:32. That’s the game right there.)
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Pospisil made a superb pass on Coleman’s goal in the second period, and he was consistently noticeable, especially crashing and banging around the Ottawa net.
And give some stick-taps to Wolf; he made 34 saves and was sharp throughout this game.
The Flames were chasing for much of this game, but they had a chance of getting a bounce or a bloop and tying things up until Ottawa scored a pair of goals early in the third period over a span of 1:22 to extend their lead to 4-1. At that point they threw it into cruise control.
This and that
This was Wolf’s second NHL start of his career, and first of this season.
The Flames (4-8-2) are back in action on Tuesday night against the Montreal Canadiens to conclude their three game road trip.
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