Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Calgary Flames Post-Game: The Flames are bedevilled by New Jersey
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
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The Calgary Flames played a pretty solid 60 minutes of ice hockey on Saturday afternoon as they hosted the New Jersey Devils. But the hallmarks of the Flames’ game – turnovers and gaffes at tough moments – were prominent throughout.
After scoring first, the Flames had bad bounces and bad decisions come back to haunt them in a 4-2 loss to New Jersey.
The opening period was fast-paced and featured an equal mix of nice defensive play by both sides and some issues (for both teams) pulling the trigger on strong scoring chances. There was a stretch of 5:10 of game-time that went by without any stoppages, and the entire period whistle to whistle lasted just 33 minutes.
Late in the period, the Flames opened the scoring. Rasmus Andersson was called for a penalty and the Flames managed to kill most of it off. Late in the Devils’ PP, the puck was cleared out of the Flames’ zone. Yegor Sharangovich collected it in the neutral zone and out-paced a pair of Devils giving chase. Sharangovich skated in alone on Devils netminder Vitek Vanecek and went top shelf back-hand on him, scoring shorthanded to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
First period shots were 13-6 Flames (12-5 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-3 Flames (high-dangers were 2-1 Flames).
Bad luck and bad execution at key moments hurt the Flames in the second period.
Early in the period, Jonathan Huberdeau somehow missed a wide-open net – barely.
A little later, the Flames gave away the puck on an attempted zone exit as an errant pass was intercepted. A couple passes later, and Nico Hischier’s shot beat Dustin Wolf just over the shoulder short-side to tie the geme up at 1-1.
A little later, Dennis Gilbert rang a shot right off the crossbar, but it stayed out.
A little after that, the Devils took the lead on a weird play. Hischier crashed into Wolf on a rush play, as he battled with Andersson and Blake Coleman. The puck stayed out, and Coleman tried to chuck the puck out of the danger zone but it bonked off Jesper Bratt and into the net as Wolf was recovering from being bumped. It was ruled a goal on the ice and after the Flames challenged it for goalie interference, it was upheld as it was ruled that the Flames caused the contact. That made it 2-1 Devils.
Just after that, Matt Coronato rang a shot off the crossbar.
Second period shots were 11-5 Devils (9-5 Devils at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 10-7 Flames (high-dangers were 5-4 Flames).
The Devils added to their lead midway through the third period. Wolf played the puck behind the net and went to pass to Noah Hanifin. But the pass didn’t quite make it – we’re not sure if Hanifin moved too much or Wolf just missed him – and Alexander Holtz intercepted the puck and chucked it towards the front of the net. The puck bounced a bunch, looking to hit Chris Tanev and Dillon Dube being bonking its way into the net to give the Devils a 3-1 lead.
The Flames cut into the Devils’ lead with just over five minutes left in the third, though. Rasmus Andersson led the Flames on a rush, then fed Nazem Kadri with a nice drop-pass to Vanecek’s left. Kadri beat the netminder short-side to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Hischier added an empty-netter to make it a 4-2 Devils win.
Third period shots were 12-7 Devils (11-6 Devils at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 8-4 Devils (high-dangers were 3-1 Devils).
Why the Flames lost
The Flames weren’t bad. Heck, they were really good in the first period and pretty solid throughout this entire game. But the details of their game, especially their puck management, was pretty rough. When they made mistakes with the puck, they were Big Mistakes.
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Let’s give it to Sharangovich, who scored a heck of a goal shorthanded to open the scoring in this game.
Let’s go with the Devils’ third goal. It was all kinds of wacky, and saw the Flames make a bunch of weird decisions in their own end that led to a goal against.
This and that
Martin Pospisil and Walker Duehr missed this game due to the flu. Matt Coronato was called up on Saturday morning from the Wranglers and played, skating on a line with Connor Zary and Nazem Kadri.
This was Rasmus Andersson’s 400th career NHL game.
This was the sixth of 13 games this season with the Flames wearing their black alternate jerseys. They’re now 2-3-1.
The Flames (11-13-3) are headed back on the road. They start a three game road trip on Monday evening in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche.
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