Post-Game: Flames look green in St. Patrick’s Day loss
Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
By Ryan Pike2 years ago
The Calgary Flames came into Wednesday’s game with the Edmonton Oilers full of confidence and riding the high of three wins and three good performances. They took a big step back in their overall performance, and results, by way of a 7-3 blowout loss to the Oilers.
After a tough loss on Monday, the Oilers came out fast and tenacious in the opening period. They forechecked well and took advantage of the Flames’ miscues.
The Oilers got a couple chances early and Jacob Markstrom was solid. However, Milan Lucic attempted a clearing pass right up Main Street. Whoops. Connor McDavid intercepted it, passed to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and his wrister was a no-doubter to make it 1-0 Oilers.
A little bit later, Brett Ritchie took a slashing penalty on the forecheck. On the ensuing power play, the Flames couldn’t clear the zone. That led to a Tyson Barrie shot that was deflected by Jesse Puljujarvi past Markstrom to make it 2-0 Oilers.
Shots were 9-9 and scoring chances 6-6 in the first period.
The Flames pressed for several minutes in the second period and did everything but score. The Oilers jumped on a Mikael Backlund turnover just inside Calgary’s blueline and a couple passes later, Dominik Kahun buried a one-timer to make it 3-0 Edmonton.
Calgary got on the board 25 seconds later, though. Dillon Dube threw the puck below the goal line for Matthew Tkachuk, who won a battle and hucked the puck out front for a tap-in for Elias Lindholm to cut Edmonton’s lead to 3-1.
Shots were 15-13 Flames and scoring chances 12-5 Flames in the second period.
The wheels fell off for the Flames in the third period:
- Edmonton made it 4-1 on the power play with Mark Giordano in the box. McDavid beat Markstrom five-ole.
- Edmonton made it 5-1 on the power play with Andrew Mangiapane in the box. Alex Chiasson tipped Nugent-Hopkins’ shot past Markstrom.
- Edmonton made it 6-1 when all the Flames’ defenders chased after McDavid on a zone entry, which left Darnell Nurse all alone at the point. He beat Markstrom with a nifty shot.
- Edmoton made it 7-1 when Zach Kassian drove the net and chipped a backhander past Markstrom.
Mikael Backlund scored off a face-off late in the third period to cut the Edmonton lead to 7-2 and Johnny Gaudreau scored on a late power play to make it 7-3, but it was way too little, too late.
Shots were 9-8 Flames and scoring chances 9-6 Flames in the third period.
Why the Flames lost
For two periods, the Flames just couldn’t nail the details. Their tracking was a bit off. Their puck management was a bit off. They took silly penalties. They made bad reads. Things got markedly worse in the third period as the Oilers tasted the proverbial blood in the water and pounced. Repeatedly.
But it was the Flames’ shoddy performance with the finer details of the game that allowed it to get away from them.
Lindholm scored the Flames’ first goal and was generally pretty decent, so he gets the nod.
The turning point
Kahun’s goal to put the Oilers up 3-0 after the Flames looked extremely dangerous was a back-breaker. The Oilers never looked back and the Flames never seemed to get their swagger back.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and that
The Flames are now 1-11-1 when trailing after two periods and 4-11-1 when they allow the first goal.
The Flames (14-13-3) are back in action on Friday night when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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