Two weeks ago in Sunrise, the Calgary Flames were like a fire hose against the Florida Panthers: energetic but incredibly unfocused. On Tuesday night in a rematch at the Saddledome, the Flames were much more like we’re used to seeing them: structured, aggressive, and pretty poised.
The Flames got a measure of revenge against the Panthers, beating them 5-1 to snap Calgary’s four game losing skid.

The rundown

The Flames looked very good early and managed to draw a penalty and take advantage. Dillon Dube was tripped up in the neutral zone. On the ensuing power play, the Flames won the draw and moved the puck around quickly. Rasmus Andersson’s initial shot was stopped by Spencer Knight but Andersson buried his own rebound to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. It took them just 23 seconds into the power play to score.
Advertisement
Ad
A little later, the Flames used a strong forecheck and cycle in the offensive zone to double their lead. Mikael Backlund fed Andrew Mangiapane, who spun and passed to Blake Coleman at the side of the net. Knight went post-to-post, but Coleman’s shot rolled off his stick a bit. It caught Knight by surprise a bit, bobbling between his pads and glancing into the open net to give Calgary a 2-0 lead.
Shots were 11-10 Panthers (8-5 Panthers at five-on-five) and scoring chances 6-4 Panthers in the first period.
The Flames bottled up Florida well enough for much of the second period, but a bit of shaky defensive play led to the Panthers getting on the board. Off the rush, Carter Verhaeghe rang a shot off the post. Jacob Markström, and the entire defensive unit, got a bit scrambly right after. Mason Marchment rang the puck off the other post, then Sam Bennett jammed the loose puck into the open net to cut Calgary’s lead to 2-1.
Advertisement
Ad
But after Mangiapane drew a penalty, the Flames scored on another power play. This time it was pretty academic, taking just three seconds. Sean Monahan won the face-off and went to the front of the net. Johnny Gaudreau shot the puck towards the net and Monahan deflected it past Knight to make it 3-1 for the home side.
Shots were 14-8 Flames (13-6 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 15-10 Flames in the second period.
The Flames added some insurance early in the third period off a really nice passing sequence. Gaudreau entered the zone, stopped and passed to a moving Elias Lindholm. Lindholm hucked the puck into the air towards the slot, where it was redirected by a moving Matthew Tkachuk at about waist height into the net. By the time the Panthers registered what had just happened, it was 4-1 Flames.
Advertisement
Ad
They added more insurance a little later, as a Panthers turnover sent the Flames into the offensive zone on an odd-man rush. Gaudreau fed Monahan with all kinds of time and space in the slot and Monahan waiting out Knight with his shot to bump the lead up to 5-1 Flames. And that’s how it ended.
Shots were 10-7 Panthers (9-7 Panthers at five-on-five) and scoring chances 8-8 in the third period.

Why the Flames won

The Flames were better than Florida in all the ways they probably hoped to be better. They scored first. They out-scored them both at five-on-five and on special teams. They stayed out of the penalty box. They played a structured 200-foot game. They won battles. They forced turnovers.
Advertisement
Ad
Simply put, the Flames were better than the Panthers.

Red Warrior

Gaudreau had four assists, so let’s give it to him.
But a lot of gentlemen in red had strong games. (To throw out a few names: Markström, Tkachuk, Lindholm, Coleman, Mangiapane and Backlund among them.)

The turning point

Coleman’s goal in the second period made it 2-0, but also gave the Flames that extra cushion that seemed to calm them down a bit. When they played in Florida two weeks ago, they could never pull away. This goal allowed them to pull away.

The numbers

Percentage stats are 5v5 and via Natural Stat Trick. Game score via Hockey Stat Cards.
Expected
Goals For%
O-Zone
Face-Off%
Game
Score
Gaudreau
60.0
37.5
4.15
Zadorov
57.4
41.7
0.38
Tkachuk
56.5
37.5
2.99
Lindholm
54.2
30.0
1.21
Gudbranson
53.3
41.7
0.43
Monahan
48.6
63.6
2.14
Dube
42.3
58.3
0.00
Lewis
41.6
12.5
-0.21
Kylington
41.2
11.1
0.34
Hanifin
41.0
31.3
-0.21
Andersson
40.8
31.3
0.71
Lucic
40.2
58.3
-0.11
Mangiapane
38.7
0.0
0.68
Backlund
38.7
0.0
0.27
Coleman
35.4
0.0
0.36
Tanev
33.8
11.1
0.06
Richardson
32.1
14.3
-0.22
Ritchie
29.2
14.3
-0.07
Markström
2.20
Vladar

This and that

This was Sam Bennett’s (and Ryan Lomberg’s) first game back at the Saddledome since leaving the Flames. Bennett got a tribute video, but Lomberg did not.
Advertisement
Ad

Up next

The Flames (18-11-6) are back in action on Saturday up Highway 2 when they visit the hated Edmonton Oilers.

THIS ARTICLE BROUGHT TO YOU BY DAILYFACEOFF

Looking to up your fantasy hockey game? DailyFaceoff has the tools you need for both daily and season-long fantasy leagues, including a lineup optimizer, daily projections, and a whole lot more. Sign up for the DailyFaceoff tools here.