Calgary Flames Post-Game: The Flames find courage in the Emerald City, beat the Kraken
Photo credit:Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike2 months ago
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Well, that’s more like it.
A day after looking like a bad team against Chicago, the Calgary Flames went to visit the Seattle Kraken and looked like a really good team. Facing one of the top teams in the Western Conference this season, the Flames were consistently good and occasionally great in a 5-2 road victory over the Kraken.
The Flames got off to a good start and played with pace, but the Kraken too advantage of a defensive lapse by the fourth line to get on the board first. Seattle cycled and then blueliner Will Borgen put the puck on net. John Hayden was not tied up and Adam Ruzicka was unintentionally screening his goaltender, adding up to a not great situation. Hayden deflected Borgen’s shot past Dan Vladar to give the Kraken a 1-0 lead.
The Flames tied things up a little later, though, off a really nice breakout passing play. Tyler Toffoli and Elias Lindholm headed in on a two-on-two rush. They executed a quasi give-and-go play, with Lindholm just beating out his defender and tipping Toffoli’s pass to the front of the net past Martin Jones to tie things up at 1-1.
The Flames took the lead shortly after an unsuccessful power play. They had zone time but not a ton of great scoring chances, but it seemed to generate momentum. The Flames kept attacking after the penalty expired and Toffoli got a big rebound off an initial chance by Blake Coleman and put it past Jones to make it 2-1 Flames.
With the first period running down, the Flames added some insurance. Lindholm saw Nikita Zadorov sneaking into the slot from the point, fed him with a crisp pass, and Zadorov fired low and beat Jones to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
The Flames were all over the Kraken in the first part of the second period, but the Kraken drew a series of penalties and generated a ton of momentum. That carried over into the third period, and eventually Seattle scored.
With Zadorov in the penalty box for a pretty blatant interference penalty, Seattle scored after Alexander Wennberg jumped on a rebound off an initial shot from Jared McCann. But the Flames challenged for goaltender interference, and McCann’s presence in the crease and contact with Vladar’s pad was judged to be interference and the goal was wiped out.
Coleman had a breakaway chance on the Kraken power play and couldn’t score. Play went back the other way and just after the penalty expired, a shot from Oliver Bjorkstrand was booted right out to Eeli Tolvanen, who beat Vladar to cut the Flames’ lead to 3-2, again. And this time it counted.
But the Flames responded back. Andrew Mangiapane fell on a breakout in the neutral zone, but kept possession and the Flames kept moving up ice. A nice passing sequence ended with Noah Hanifin, the trailing man who jumped in to join the four-on-two rush, firing and beating Jones to make the lead 4-2 Flames.
Coleman added an empty net goal late to give the Flames a 5-2 victory.
Why the Flames won
If we’re going to nitpick, the Flames took too many penalties and their power play wasn’t particularly good.
But that’s the extent of the criticisms. A day after a pretty poor outing, the Flames went to a good team’s building and out-played them. This was a scheduled loss for Calgary, and the Flames were much better than Seattle for the first 30-35 minutes of this game and then good enough in the remaining 20-25 minutes to get a road win. They made the Kraken play a Flames style of game, and that was no fun for Seattle.
Lindholm had a three point first period, and was really good for the entire game.
Vladar was also quite good, and the entire Huberdeau-Kadri-Pelletier line was also extremely noticeable.
The Flames scoring the fourth goal so quickly after Seattle cut the lead to one goal was pretty big, as it sapped a lot of Seattle’s potential momentum for a comeback.
This and that
Vladar has now earned standings points for his club in 13 consecutive decisions. He’s now 10-0-3 dating back to his last regulation loss on Nov. 26.
The Flames (24-17-9) are headed home. They’re off until next Sunday, when they reconvene and prepare for a trip to New York City to face the Rangers next Monday.
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