The Calgary Flames and the Pittsburgh Penguins played a weirdly entertaining hockey game. Sure, there weren’t a ton of goals. Sure, the game’s flow was a bit marred by icings, off-sides and some disjointedness. But both teams played a pretty fun back-and-forth game with strong goaltending from both starters (and a lot of Flames scoring chances).
In a shootout, the Flames beat the Penguins by a 2-1 score.

The rundown

The opening period was full of good scoring chances, strong saves by Pittsburgh netminder Tristan Jarry, and icings. Seriously, nine icings! But despite a lack of flow, the period was highly entertaining, as the Flames made an early push but couldn’t solve Jarry, and then the Penguins pushed back. Neither team scored, but not for a lack of trying.
Shots were 10-8 Flames (9-7 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 10-6 Flames in the first period.
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After getting stymied by Jarry repeatedly, the Flames finally broke through. After a shift where the fourth line were hemmed in for awhile, Chris Tanev and Oliver Kylington sprung Milan Lucic (at the end of a shift) on a breakout. Lucic fended off a checker with body position and beat Jarry with a low shot five-hole – his specialty – to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Shots were 11-7 Flames (all at five-on-five) and scoring chances 13-5 Flames in the second period.
The Penguins tied things up midway through the period, as Mikael Backlund took a penalty and the Penguins cashed in. Sidney Crosby found Jake Guentzel in the slot and Guentzel made a nice redirect (that also glanced off Tanev’s skate) that beat Jacob Markström just seven seconds into the Penguins PP to make this a 1-1 hockey game.
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Shots were 9-6 Flames (9-5 Flames at five-on-five) and scoring chances 9-1 Flames in the third period.
This game went to extra time! Both teams got odd-man rushes and gorgeous chances, but both Markström and Jarry played quite well. Overtime solved nothing so this game went to a shootout. Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund scored for the Flames and Kris Letang scored for the Penguins, and the Flames won the seven round shootout.

Why the Flames won

Once again, the Flames played a really solid game. They were a little bit better in their own zone than they were on Saturday against Winnipeg. They executed well with the puck and didn’t seem to get too discouraged when Jarry kept making strong saves. Overtime and the shootout were basically a coin toss.

Red Warrior

There were quite a few good individual performances – Markström and Lucic in particular – but Elias Lindholm was superb and generated a lot of strong scoring chances, so we’ll give him the nod.
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The turning point

The Flames were on the cusp of getting another shutout and another regulation win, but the penalty in the middle of the third period derailed those hopes and dreams.

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
Dube
90.9
87.5
1.06
Monahan
90.9
87.5
0.90
Pitlick
90.9
87.5
0.88
Tkachuk
79.0
50.0
0.90
Hanifin
76.7
68.8
1.92
Gaudreau
76.4
50.0
0.84
Lindholm
76.4
50.0
1.09
Andersson
76.3
64.7
1.88
Gudbranson
74.4
80.0
1.18
Kylington
74.4
60.0
2.41
Tanev
74.4
60.0
2.20
Zadorov
73.9
75.0
1.12
Mangiapane
69.2
66.7
0.58
Coleman
62.5
66.7
0.56
Backlund
62.2
71.4
0.20
Richardson
61.4
70.0
0.88
Lewis
49.3
77.8
0.77
Lucic
47.5
77.8
1.49
Markström
0.12
Vladar

This and that

This was the 18th time this season that the Flames scored first in a game.
This battle between the two best penalty-killing teams in the NHL featured seven seconds of power plays.
Among all Flames players, only Andrew Mangiapane has scored more five-on-five goals than Milan Lucic this season.

Up next

The Flames (13-4-5) are back on the road! They head west, where they begin a four game road trip on Thursday night in Los Angeles.

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