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The Calgary Flames visited the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday evening, playing their third game of their six game road trip. The Flames were good, but not great, and played a structured, hard-working game and made the Flyers work for three periods.
A bad play or two by Calgary made the game closer than it needed to be, but the Flames beat the Flyers by a 5-2 score.

The rundown

The Flames opened the scoring just shy of five minutes into the first period. Blake Coleman caused a turnover just inside the Flames blueline, leading to a two-on-one rush with him and Jonathan Huberdeau. Huberdeau opted to shoot, beating Carter Hart stick-side to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
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The Flames doubled their lead later in the first period off a nearly identical play. Coleman caused another Flyers turnover, leading to a two-on-one the other way with Dillon Dube accompanied by Nikita Zadorov. Dube opted to shoot, beating Hart glove-side to make it 2-0 Flames.
But just 42 seconds later, the Flyers got on the board. The Flyers got into the Flames zone and cycled the puck to the point. Kevin Hayes flung it towards the net from the point, where there were two Flames and two Flyers out front. Tanner Laczynski got a stick on it and redirected the puck past Jacob Markstrom to cut Calgary’s lead to 2-1.
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First period shots were 9-9 (8-8 at five-on-five) while five-on-five scoring chances were 8-6 Flames (high-dangers were 3-2 Flyers).
The Flames extended their lead early in the second period. Nazem Kadri’s line had a good puck management shift in the offensive zone, cycling the puck and battling to maintain possession. Eventually, Rasmus Andersson fired a shot from the left point that glanced off Joel Farabee’s stick and redirected past Hart to make it 3-1 Flames.
Second period shots were 6-6 (6-5 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 6-3 Flames (high-dangers were 3-2 Flyers).
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The third period was fairly buttoned-down, but a giveaway by Andrew Mangiapane in the defensive zone landed right on the stick of Farabee, and he walked into the slot and beat Markstrom to cut the Flames lead to 3-2 at the midway point of the period.
The Flyers kept pressing and pulled Hart for the extra attacker late in the game, but the Flames managed to avoid the game-tying goal and Coleman fired a loose puck the length of the ice, hitting the open Flyers net to give the Flames a 4-2 lead.
Trevor Lewis added a second empty-netter to make it a 5-2 Flames victory.
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Third period shots were 14-10 Flames (9-4 Flames at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances 5-3 Flames (high-dangers were 3-1 Flames).

Why the Flames won

Bless their hearts: the Flyers work hard, but they’re missing a ton of their high-end players and so it makes their games a bit of an uphill battle from a talent perspective. The Flames were the better team in terms of execution and puck management for the bulk of this one.
Was it a picturesque win? Nope! The Flames’ power play was not good at all, and once again their third period was a bit too frantic, making what should have been a rather smooth final 20 minutes much more dramatic than it needed to be.

Red Warrior

Let’s give it jointly to the Huberdeau-Backlund-Coleman line. Huberdeau had a goal and generated a bunch of scoring chances. Backlund was really good on the penalty kill. Coleman created a ton of turnovers and had a goal and two assists.
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Turning point

In retrospect, Andersson’s goal in the second period was quite a big market, as it gave the Flames enough breathing room so that one gaffe wouldn’t sink them.
Their penalty kills, in general, also did a great job evaporating Flyers momentum on each advantage.

This and that

This was Coleman’s 400th NHL game.
Kevin Rooney returned to the lineup in place of an injured Brett Ritchie. Rooney had been a healthy scratch for the previous three games.
Dennis Gilbert fought Zack MacEwen in first period, his third fight in five games. (He has three of Calgary’s five fights this season.)

Up next

The Flames (9-7-2) head to Pittsburgh. They face the Penguins on Wednesday night.