Flames Post-Game: Rangers rocked in rollicking rematch
Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
A couple weeks back, the Calgary Flames beat the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden. On Saturday night, the Rangers travelled to Calgary looking to return the favour. They were unsuccessful in this aim, playing their second game in back-to-back nights and fading as the game went on.
The Flames recovered from an uneven start to register a 6-0 victory over the Rangers, extending their points streak to 10 games (7-0-3).
The opening period was fairly even, though the Flames managed to get slightly better scoring chances. On a power play, they cashed in. Johnny Gaudreau won a corner puck battle, allowing a nice passing sequence where Elias Lindholm flung it cross-zone to Matthew Tkachuk who fed Sean Monahan in the slot for a no-doubter one-timer to make it 1-0 Flames.
Adam Fox scored a nice goal just after the Flames scored, driving the net, battling through traffic and beating Markstrom back-handed. But the goal was washed out by a coach’s challenge due to an off-side zone entry.
Shots were 9-6 Flames (7-4 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 7-6 Flames in the first period.
The Flames added to their lead in the second period. After a power play expired, Oliver Kylington’s point shot went wide and bounced off the end boards right to Brad Richardson. Richardson made no mistakes, putting it into the wide-open net to extend the lead to 2-0.
Two minutes later, the Flames scored again. Noah Hanifin’s shot was stopped by Igor Shesterkin, but he couldn’t hold onto the puck. Matthew Tkachuk took a couple whacks at it and the loose rebound trickled to Gaudreau far the far post for the tap-in and a 3-0 lead.
Shots were 16-8 Flames (12-7 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 16-12 Flames in the second period.
The Flames added to their lead in the third period. Tkachuk took advantage of a neutral zone turnover and left a drop pass for Gaudreau. Gaudreau drove the net and put a low shot five-hole on Shesterkin to make it a 4-0 Flames lead.
At one end of the ice, Jacob Markström absolutely robbed Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad with his glove. Play went the other way, and Milan Lucic’s shot attempt knuckle-balled off a defender’s stick and beat Shesterkin over his shoulder to make it 5-0 Flames.
Tkachuk added to the deluge late with a goal in front that he scored between his legs to make it 6-0, adding insult to injury for the Rangers.
Shots were 12-8 Flames (10-6 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 9-3 Flames in the third period.
Why the Flames won
The Flames got off to a good start but the Rangers had a nice push back in the back half of the first period. But the Flames rode out that storm and then the Rangers seemed to be pretty tuckered out and the Flames took advantage. This was probably a “schedule win” – a game against a team that played the night before and travelled – but the Flames did what they could to make the night a long one for the Blueshirts.
This was the type of game where the Flames’ best players – Lindholm, Tkachuk, Gaudreau and Andrew Mangiapane in particular – were their best players. Let’s give Tkachuk the nod here, as he was engaged, physical, agitating, and posted a goal and three primary assists.
The turning point
Honestly, it was probably Fox’s goal getting washed out. The Flames were a bit flat on the shifts after their opening goal and the Rangers took advantage, but the off-side call allowed the club to reset, refocus, and get to the intermission with their lead intact.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and that
2016 Flames draft choice Adam Fox, who plays for the Rangers, was booed every time he touched the puck by the partisan Saddledome crowd. The north remembers.
Oliver Kylington crashed into the curved glass stanchion at the end of the Flames bench while being pinched out along the boards by Patrik Nemeth in the second period. He briefly left the game, but returned.
Erik Gudbranson fought Jarred Tinordi late in the second period after a scrum in the corner.
Gaudreau’s second period goal was his 506th point as a Flame, moving him past Gary Roberts into sole possession of ninth on the all-time franchise points leaderboard.
Last season it took the Flames 15 games (and an 8-6-1 record) to accumulate 17 points. They have achieved that this season in 11 games.
The Flames (7-1-3) are back in action on Tuesday when they host the San Jose Sharks.
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