The Calgary Flames hosted the Seattle Kraken on Monday night in the sixth of eight exhibition outings for the locals. They got off to a really strong start and then held things together pretty well the rest of the way en route to a 4-1 home victory over Seattle.
Who was playing?
The Flames iced a pretty NHL-ready line-up, sitting their projected first line and a couple regular blueliners.
Andrew Mangiapane – Nazem Kadri [A] – Dillon Dube
Kevin Rooney – Mikael Backlund [A] – Blake Coleman
Milan Lucic – Cody Eakin – Trevor Lewis
Sonny Milano – Adam Ruzicka – Brett Ritchie
Noah Hanifin – Chris Tanev [A]
Nikita Zadorov – MacKenzie Weegar
Connor Mackey – Michael Stone
Jacob Markstrom started for the Flames, backed up by Dan Vladar, and went the distance.
Not dressed for the Flames, but still in camp: Dustin Wolf, Rasmus Andersson, Jeremie Poirier, Juuso Valimaki, Nicolas Meloche, Radim Zohorna, Jonathan Huberdeau, Tyler Toffoli and Elias Lindholm.
How did they do?
The Flames had themselves a pretty strong first period and then threw it into cruise control the remainder of the way.
Chris Tanev opened the scoring midway through the first period. He blasted a shot from the point that rattled off Matty Beniers’ boot. While Beniers doubled over in pain, Tanev recovered the puck and fired a shot past Martin Jones (inside the far post blocker side) to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
The Flames added to their lead in the second period on the power play. Nazem Kadri and Andrew Mangiapane battled to recover the puck in the Kraken zone. They cycled it back to the point and Michael Stone crept to the top of the circles, blasting a shot that beat Jones high glove-side to give the Flames a 2-0 lead.
Later in the period, the Flames added another one. Kevin Rooney collected an errant puck and went for a skate in the Seattle zone, essentially circumnavigating the entire zone. His movement opened up a shooting lane for Noah Hanifin, and Hanifin’s shot went through some traffic (and Blake Coleman’s legs according to the replay) and beat Jones to make it 3-0 Flames.
Beniers got a measure of revenge early in the third period on the power play. He blasted a one-time feed from Alex Wennberg through Jacob Markstrom on his glove side – the shot essentially handcuffed Markstrom and squirted through – to break the shutout attempt and cut the Flames’ lead to 3-1.
Coleman restored the three-goal lead midway through the third with a nice individual effort and a bad angle shot that found a way through Jones, making it 4-1 Flames.
The Flames took a couple late penalties, but held on – including during a stretch where they were down two skaters – for the victory.
Who looked good?
Playing on a line with Backlund and Coleman, Rooney was quietly really effective and used his speed and positioning well. Stone and Mackey also worked well together on the third pairing. Playing with Lucic and Lewis, Eakins was generally pretty effective and played his role pretty well, notwithstanding a penalty he took.
Milano didn’t impress, looking a bit out of sorts and out of place in each zone at various moments in the game. There was a stretch in the second period that was particularly ungood, with him out of position for a couple clears and breakout attempts.
The players you would hope would look regular season ready – Markstrom, Tanev, Mangiapane, Kadri and the others – all looked pretty good given the situation and opposition.
This and that
Speaking to the media following the game, Darryl Sutter noted that “we had two lines that played really strong inside the circles,” in reference to the Nazem Kadri, Dillon Dube and Andrew Mangiapane trio. He declined to name the other line, but had subsequently had positive things to say about Blake Coleman’s performance.
On Sonny Milano and Cody Eakin’s performances: “I think it was challenging for both of them.”
The Flames are travelling on Tuesday. They visit Winnipeg and face the Jets on Wednesday evening in their second-last pre-season game.