Flames Post-Game: Vladar steals Flames a point
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
The Calgary Flames weren’t great on Friday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Playing their second game in as many nights, the Flames had decent structure but lacked a lot in terms of their execution with the puck in all three zones. Luckily for them, they got good goaltending from backup Dan Vladar.
The Flames got a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the Leafs.
There’s not a ton to say about the first two periods. The Leafs carried play. The Flames tried to get something going, but they generally didn’t play in a connected manner – lots of errant passes and off-the-target shots – and so Toronto was able to generate momentum and the Flames weren’t.
Shots were 13-10 Maple Leafs (12-10 Maple Leafs at five-on-five) and scoring chances 13-11 Flames in the first period. Shots were 13-10 Maple Leafs (9-9 at five-on-five) and scoring chances 13-3 Maple Leafs in the second period.
Toronto nearly scored early in the third period, as Nikita Zadorov got caught pinching, the Leafs got a gorgeous rush chance and it ended up with Vladar sprawling outside the blue paint and the puck underneath Trevor Lewis.
The scoreless deadlock was finally broken five minutes into the third period. Oliver Kylington led a breakout that turned into a two-on-two rush with Johnny Gaudreau. He performed a bit of a give-and-go play, passing to Gaudreau, driving through the middle and chipping Gaudreau’s pass over Jack Campbell to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
The Leafs tied things up midway through the period, though. Kylington whiffed on an outlet pass attempt. It was grabbed by Alexander Kerfoot, who fed William Nylander for a one-timer that beat Dan Vladar (on the 33rd Toronto shot) to tie the game up at 1-1.
Shots were 9-7 Flames (8-7 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 10-8 Flames in the third period.
Auston Matthews scored in overtime to give Toronto a 2-1 victory.
Why the Flames got a point
Well, it was a combination of strong goaltending and momentary offensive brilliance from Gaudreau and Kylington. They were the second-best team otherwise.
It’s gotta be Vladar. He was superb in this game and, to be really mean about it, he was the main reason they had a chance of getting any points in this game. He was superb, especially keeping the Flames alive in overtime.
The turning point
This felt like a game where the Leafs would eventually get a goal, so it was probably a very good thing for the visitors that Kylington and Gaudreau made something happen offensively before the inevitable Leafs goal.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and that
Before the game, the 2020-21 Hockey Hall of Fame induction class dropped the ceremonial first puck. Longtime Flames captain Jarome Iginla was introduced last to a big ovation. (Sean Monahan took the ceremonial draw for the Flames.)
Gaudreau’s assist in the third period tied him with Mark Giordano with 509 career points with the Flames, eighth all-time in franchise history.
The Flames (7-3-4) continue their road trip on Sunday in Ottawa when the visit the Senators. It’s an afternoon game with a 3 p.m. MT start time.
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