Calgary Flames Post-Game: Turnovers cause Flames’ demise against Panthers

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
4 months ago
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The Calgary Flames began their stretch drive on Saturday afternoon when they visited the powerhouse Florida Panthers. The Flames were far from their best, unfortunately, with a tendency for ill-timed turnovers at key moments in this game that led to goals against.
The Flames lost to the Panthers by a 5-1 score.

The rundown

The opening period was pretty even, with both sides getting chances but both goaltenders making some really sharp stops.
First period shots were 10-8 Flames (8-6 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 9-6 Flames (high-dangers were 5-2 Flames).
The Panthers opened the scoring just 23 seconds into the second period off a turnover by the Flames. After winning a battle in his own end, Jonathan Huberdeau attempted an outlet pass to Rasmus Andersson… in the Flames’ slot area. Whoops. Vladimir Tarasenko got his stick in front of the pass, then fired the puck past Jacob Markstrom to make it 1-0 Panthers.
The Flames followed up with a couple strong shifts, including one where Andrei Kuzmenko drew a hooking penalty that led to a power play. Off the next face-off, Nazem Kadri got an initial shot on Anthony Stolarz. The Panthers’ netminder made the initial stop, but the puck rolled off his back and blooped to the edge of the crease, where Yegor Sharangovich jumped on the loose puck and put it into the net to tie the game at 1-1.
But once again, turnovers killed the Flames and led to the Panthers retaking the lead. A breakout pass intended for Andersson in the neutral zone didn’t make it to him, and Florida corralled the puck and headed into the Flames’ zone. Sam Reinhart fired a pass to Aleksander Barkov, who fired the puck past Markstrom to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead.
Midway through the period, Mikael Backlund nearly tied the game off a tremendous individual effort, splitting the defenders and nearly executing the “Forsberg” deke play.
But a little bit later, the Panthers spotted themselves some insurance off a face-off. Sam Bennett won an offensive zone draw to the point and then headed to the slot, where he redirected a Gustav Forsling point shot past Markstrom to make it 3-1 Panthers. (The goal was briefly reviewed to make sure it wasn’t tipped with a high stick, but the goal stood.)
The Panthers added another one before the end of the period. During a stretch of four-on-four play, the Flames were hemmed in their own end a bit. After an initial flurry of chances around the net were stopped by Markstrom, Tarasenko got the puck just under the face-off circles and fired a shot that wobbled off Oliver Kylington’s stick and past Markstrom to give Florida a 4-1 lead.
Second period shots were 19-17 Panthers (16-14 Panthers at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 16-11 Panthers (high-dangers were 8-6 Flames).
The Flames had a power play fairly early in the third period, but MacKenzie Weegar whiffed on a pass in the neutral zone and on the resulting Panthers shorthanded rush, Kevin Stenlund beat Markstrom to give the Panthers a 5-1 lead.
The Panthers thought they scored a sixth goal after a Barkov shot redirected off Joel Hanley’s glove in front of Markstrom, but the goal was challenged and overturned due to being off-side.
Nevertheless, the Panthers held on for the victory.
Third period shots were 8-4 Flames.

Why the Flames lost

Let’s be intellectually honest, pals: there’s a decent chance the Flames would have lost to these Panthers even if they played a really good game. The Panthers are stacked.
But the Flames played a flawed game, with two goals directly off their own turnovers. After an outing on Thursday night against Tampa where the Flames were poised, disciplined and tactical in equal measure, they were just too sloppy and imprecise with their play in this one. When your team gets out-scored by a 4-0 margin at even strength, you’re not going to win many hockey games.
(And if we’re maintaining our honesty: when you’re the Flames and move out established players in favour of less-established ones, you’ll have outings that look a bit like this one as players get used to their new roles.)
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Red Warrior

Let’s give it to the new guy; Daniil Miromanov didn’t hit the scoresheet, but he was consistently noticeable for positive reasons in his first outing wearing a Flaming C.

Turning point

The third and fourth Panthers goals, scored about a minute and a half apart in the second period, gave the Panthers a three-goal lead heading into the second intermission. It’s really tough to come back from that.

This and that

As noted prior: Miromanov, acquired from Vegas in the Noah Hanifin trade, made his Flames debut. He’s the 599th different skater to play a regular season game for the Flames franchise. He took a regular shift on the second pairing with Oliver Kylington and the second power play unit.
Martin Pospisil served the second game of his three game suspension.

Up next

The Flames (31-27-5) finish their road trip on Sunday afternoon against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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