Fan expectations for Tuesday afternoon’s match-up between the Calgary Flames and the Vancouver Canucks likely weren’t high. Neither team is playoff bound and the games are merely a formality at this point. The Flames played decently, but they lacked much spark in a 4-2 loss to the Canucks in their final road game of the season.
The Flames were okay in the first period. They had some decent looks, but weren’t able to bear down on their challenges. Vancouver scored twice in the period, both times taking advantage of a combination of bounces and a bit of Calgary defensive softness:
- Travis Hamonic jumped on a bouncing puck, in-between Nikita Nesterov and Rasmus Andersson near the Flames net, and fired the puck past Louis Domingue stick-side to make it 1-0. (It seemed like a miscommunication between the defenders and Derek Ryan regarding who needed to pick up Hamonic as he drove into the zone.)
- Late in the period, Domingue made the initial save off a Tyler Myers shot, but Nils Hoglander jammed in the loose rebound to make it 2-0.
Shots were 8-8 and scoring chances 6-6 in the first period.
Nobody scored in the second period. The Canucks scored a power play goal midway through the period but it was overturned after a successful coach’s challenge due to being off-side.
Shots were 10-7 Flames and scoring chances 8-5 Flames in the second period.
Midway through the third, Myers jumped into the rush and scored off a nice move that allowed him to get around Nesterov and beat Domingue to make it 3-0.
Andrew Mangiapane tucked a puck past Thatcher Demko late in the third period to cut Vancouver’s lead to 3-1. Adam Ruzicka earned the secondary assist for his first career NHL point.
Matthew Tkachuk jammed in a nice pass from Johnny Gaudreau with the extra attacker on the ice to cut the Vancouver lead to 3-2 with a minute left in regulation.
But that’s as close as the Flames managed to get. Brock Boeser added an empty net goal to make it 4-2 and cement the Canucks victory.
Shots were 22-9 Flames and scoring chances 11-6 Flames in the third period, primarily due to score effects.
Why the Flames lost
Generally, they were a little flat. They didn’t win enough battles, nor did they make the most of their chances.
Let’s give the tip of the cap to Domingue, playing his first NHL game since Mar. 1, 2020, he wasn’t given a ton of help but he hung in there.
Stick-taps to Mangiapane for breaking the shutout late, too.
The turning point
The Hoglander goal was a classic back-breaker: a late period goal that doubled the opposition lead.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and that
The Flames are 6-22-1 when the other team scores first. They’re 4-16-1 when trailing after one period and 1-22-1 when trailing after two periods.
Connor Mackey fought Bo Horvat in the second period.
The Flames (25-27-3) finish off the 2020-21 season with an afternoon game at the Saddledome against Vancouver. Puck drop is just after 1:30 p.m. MT.