Missing several regulars and in the midst of a stretch where they simply cannot buy a goal, the Calgary Flames went into the home of the defending Stanley Cup Champions looking to halt their losing skid. Unfortunately, this game went the way several have lately. They dropped a 5-0 game, their sixth loss in a row, to the St. Louis Blues.
The Flames started out alright, but the game got away from them fairly quickly. Midway through the first period, Johnny Gaudreau whiffed on a clearing attempt. The Blues grabbed the loose puck, cycled it around, and Robert Thomas teed a shot up for Zach Sanford beside the slot. His one-timer beat David Rittich to make it 1-0 Blues.
Shots were 16-13 Flames and scoring chances 11-11 in the first period.
The wheels fell off in the second period. The Flames had some nice chances but couldn’t bury them. Heck, they hemmed the Blues into their own end for a lengthy period of time but couldn’t get into the middle of the ice to bury chances. Mark Giordano and Rasmus Andersson hopped onto the ice during a line change, the Flames turned the puck over, and Oscar Sundqvist blew past them on a breakaway and his shot bounced off Rittich’s glove and went in to make it 2-0 Blues.
After Zac Rinaldo got a roughing penalty after Andrew Mangiapane was crushed with a hit, David Perron’s power play one-timer turned into a power play goal that extended the home lead to 3-0.
Shots were 17-11 Flames and chances 11-9 Flames in the second.
Early in the third period Rittich was caught behind his own net after the Blues fore-checked hard on a dump-in. A couple passes later and Sundqvist one-timed the puck into the open net to make it 4-0.
Later in the period Sean Monahan whiffed on an outlet pass from his own zone during a line change. The loose puck was grabbed by the Blues and, in the defensive confusion, Vince Dunn’s wrist shot beat Rittich to make it 5-0.
Shots were 7-7 and chances 6-3 Blues in the third period.
Why the Flames Lost
Tell me if this sounds familiar: the Flames played good early but weren’t rewarded. Some key players had key defensive lapses at key times and the game started getting away from them. So they broke from their system to press more offensively and the floodgates opened up.
Brandon Davidson led the Flames in shots, so let’s give it to him. Take a bow, Brandon.
And a stick-tap for Rittich. He tried.
The Turning Point
The Flames were down by one in the second and had oodles of zone time. But they couldn’t solve the Blues in their own end and their lack of execution – in part being too dang fancy – led to a turnover and a breakaway goal. They were on their heels for the rest of the game.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and That
This was the eighth consecutive game in which the Flames allowed the first goal.
The Flames have played 362:46 without having a lead, setting a new club record.
The Flames (10-12-3) are headed to the City of Brotherly Love. They face the Philadelphia Flyers in a matinee tilt on Saturday morning.
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