On Friday night, the Calgary Flames never trailed in a win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. On Saturday night, the Flames were a bit worse than on Friday and the Leafs were a bit better, which resulted in a fairly tidy 2-0 victory for the Leafs over the Flames.
The Flames defended for a good chunk of the first period, with Chris Tanev standing out some smart rush disruptions against Toronto’s top guns. But the Leafs broke through.
The Flames couldn’t clear the zone and that gave Jason Spezza time and space to get a shot off from a sharp angle. He picked the far corner over David Rittich’s should to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead.
Shots were 11-5 Leafs and scoring chances 12-5 Leafs in the first period.
The second period was more even, but the Leafs were content just to ride their lead. Late in the period, though, the Leafs added to their lead. Zach Hyman went for a skate, carrying the puck around the Flames net and spinning around out front. Unchallenged, he fired a shot that beat Rittich off his glove to make it 2-0 Leafs.
Shots were 13-13 and scoring chances 7-6 Flames in the second period.
The Flames pressed as the third period went on. They got a late power play and pulled Rittich for the extra attacker. But it just wasn’t enough and the Flames skated to a 2-0 loss.
Shots were 11-8 Flames and scoring chances 5-2 Leafs in the third period.
Why the Flames lost
As has been the case when the Flames have lost this season, they just didn’t have the attention to detail they needed to succeed on this evening. Their power play couldn’t connect on passes, they didn’t generate a ton even strength, and they had way too many turnovers when you consider who they were playing against.
Tanev. He was excellent defensively and did his best to make life easier for his goaltender.
The turning point
The Flames gave up a goal in the last five minutes of both the first two periods. The first one prevented them from escaping a period they had been out-played tied, and the second prevented them from being a goalie blunder away from a tie. Both were the wrong goal to allow at the wrong time.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and that
Dillon Dube and Josh Leivo were parked for most of the second and third periods and Darryl Sutter basically ran with 10 forwards.
- Gaudreau – Monahan – Ritchie
- Tkachuk – Lindholm – Bennett
- Lucic – Backlund/Ryan – Mangiapane
This was the first time the Flames have been shut out this season, and the first time since 2-0 loss to Montreal back on Jan. 13, 2020.
The Flames (15-14-3) are back in game action on Monday night when they face the Ottawa Senators.