The Calgary Flames got back to form (and stuck with it) in comeback win over Vegas

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
The Calgary Flames didn’t play particularly well for two periods of Saturday’s loss to the Florida Panthers. Or in any part of their losses to Carolina or Colorado. On Thursday night, they out-played the defending Stanley Cup champion Vegas Golden Knights for two periods… and had absolutely nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
That changed in the third period.
So what did the Flames change that resulted in a four goal outburst in the game’s final frame and a 4-1 victory?
“Nothing,” summarized Flames forward Blake Coleman. “I think everybody in the room was pretty happy honestly after both intermissions. I thought we were playing a great game. They get a goal, but I was impressed with the way things had been going. Nobody was shaken by it. We were down a goal, but nobody felt like we were out of the game. We felt we were playing the right way and if we stuck with it, got a little bit harder in the dirty areas, that we’d come back, and we did.”
The Flames out-shot Vegas 25-17 through two periods, but trailed 1-0 due to a Anthony Mantha goal off a Brayden Pachal turnover in the defensive zone.
But the Flames just stayed with their game plan and the tide turned in the third period.
Shortly after a Flames power play, Yegor Sharangovich scored off a shot from the slot to tie the game at 1-1.
Midway through the period, Ivan Barbashev found a seam between two Flames defenders and went in alone on rookie netminder Dustin Wolf. Wolf stayed with the shooter, made a big stop, and play went the other way and Coleman gave the Flames the lead when he jammed a puck past Adin Hill from around the blue paint.
With just over five minutes remaining in regulation, Matt Coronato converted a one-timer feed from Dryden Hunt on a sequence Vegas head coach Bruce Cassidy described as a two-on-four. Coronato’s first NHL goal since October made it 3-1.
Coleman added an empty-netter to cement the victory.
“There’s certain nights when you make some adjustments because things aren’t working,” observed Flames head coach Ryan Huska. “There’s other nights where you feel like eventually, if we continue to play this way, something’s going to go for us. Tonight was one of those nights, so we just wanted them to continue to do what they were doing.”
Wolf made 28 saves for his second NHL win of the season, and first since Dec. 7. It was his sixth NHL start of the season, and his first since a Feb. 15 loss against San Jose where he allowed six goals. This was closer to the form that Flames fans likely expected from the two-time reigning AHL goaltender of the year.
The Flames weren’t overly pleased with how they played in their previous three games after the trade deadline – one-sided losses against Florida, Carolina and Colorado. Thursday’s outing was a return to the form that the Flames have largely been displaying since early November.
“We’ve had some good ‘look in the mirror’ meetings here in the last 24 hours,” said Coleman. “And I thought everybody to a man responded really well, and all-around it was a good team game.”
Huska also praised his team, mentioning his team’s leaders stepping up.
“I was more than pleased with the six or seven of our players tonight, the older guys, who really stepped up and they led tonight, and that’s what we want to keep seeing,” said Huska.
The Flames are back in action on Saturday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens.
Let’s get rowdy! GAME DAY hosted by Flamesnation & Barn Burner at Greta Bar YYC is coming at you live on Saturday March 23rd! Join the crew at our favorite Game Day Watch Party spot, Greta, to watch Calgary take on Vancouver! Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $10! Good food, good prizes and a guaranteed good time. This event is brought to you by McLeod Law LLP and Village Honda. Get your tickets at nationgear.ca before they sell out!

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