The Flames played host the Los Angeles Kings last night, looking to extend their point streak to 10 games and get back into the win column after dropping two straight contests. One point ahead of the Kings with a game in hand, this game was a great chance to get some breathing room in the tight Pacific Division and keep the Kings at bay. The Flames got off to a good start with Sean Monahan opening the scoring off a sensational passing play with linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Micheal Ferland. One of the prettiest team goals all year, the Flames were the better team through the first 20 minutes. They kept pressing in the second, again outplaying the Kings and generating far more scoring chances. However, the powerplay was again an area of concern. The Kings were tabbed with six minor penalties through the first 40 and the Flames failed to capitalize on any of them. With a lead entering the third though, the Flames were in a good position to come away with a win. Unfortunately for them, Jake Muzzin tied the game late in the third on the powerplay, and Tanner Pearson won the game in overtime. The Flames picked up a point but surrendered two to the team on their tail in the Pacific.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- Curtis Lazar and Marek Hrivik led the way for the Flames at 70% CF.
- Every Flames skater posted above 50% CF except for Matthew Tkachuk at 48.4% CF.
- The top line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Micheal Ferland posted a team high 64.7% SCF and 75% HDCF combined.
- TJ Brodie and Travis Hamonic posted a combined 57.1% HDCF; every other Flames skater was at or above 75% HDCF.
- Just six Kings skaters posted above 50% CF, Drew Doughty leading the way at 64.3% CF.
- At 29.3% CF, Alec Martinez posted the lowest Corsi for both teams.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Player of the Game
Once again, Smith gets the POTG nod. Over the last three games, Smith has let in a combined three regulation goals in losing efforts. He’s doing his job in the Flames’ crease but just isn’t getting enough run support from his skaters. There’s a reason he’s going to the All Star Game and it’s the same reason the Flames are still in the hunt for a playoff spot. Smith has been fantastic this year and last night was no exception.
What needs to be fixed? Powerplay.
Still terrible. This is the difference between a 10 game point streak and a 10 game winning streak. The Flames’ powerplay has become crippling, and has completely negated impressive defensive play. They need to figure this out immediately. There isn’t any more time to waste in fixing the man advantage anymore.
What needs to continue? Mike Smith, NHL All Star.
Smith has been phenomenal in the Flames crease. If he can continue his solid play, the Flames will be able to win more games than not and get into the playoffs. If their powerplay doesn’t turn around, Smith has the ability to singlehandedly win games. He’s the undisputed key to this team and hopefully he can continue to deliver.
The Flames make a trip up the QE2 to face the Edmonton Oilers tonight. The Oilers are coming off a 5-0 trouncing at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres two nights ago and will look to extend their six game winning streak against the Flames before the All Star break kicks off. The Oilers may not be too close to the Flames in the standings, but a division tilt is always important and could become a proverbial four point game down the road. Despite picking up points in 10 straight, the Flames have lost three consecutive games and need to get back into the win column to keep their playoff hunt alive.