The Calgary Flames made their third stop of a four game road-trip in Philadelphia to visit the Flyers. Coming off a loss to the Bruins, the Flames were looking for a much better effort against a lowly Flyers team. A good sign for the Flames was that David Rittich returned to the crease Saturday afternoon, after missing the previous two games with a lower body injury.
As it is with moth afternoon matinee games, both teams got off to extremely sluggish starts. Incomplete passes, failed zone entries, and little shot generation were just a few things to note from the opening twenty minutes. The sloppiness continued to the goal scoring, as a Travis Sanheim cross-seam pass would deflect off of T.J. Brodie’s skate and past Rittich to open the scoring.
The score would remain 1-0 until midway through the second period, where Johnny Gaudreau would continue his torrid scoring pace. A perfectly excecuted one-timer would make it’s way over Flyers goalie Carter Hart, tying the game at one.
Up until that point, it was primarily the play of Rittich that was keeping the Flames close in this one. Save after save, it looked like Rittich hadn’t missed a beat.
Unfortunately for Rittich, a mental mistake early in the third period would give the Flyers the 2-1 lead. A failed clearing attempt by Rittich, that went right onto the stick of Travis Konecny, had him far outside his crease and unable to get back in time to stop the shot. Now down one, the Flames needed some more third period magic. Which is of course exactly what the got.
With just under five minutes remaining in the game, Matthew Tkachuk would fire a lazer past Hart to knot things back up, and send this game to extra time. Smart plays by both Noah Hanifin and Sam Bennett gave Tkachuk the time and space to generate the goal.
In the extra frame, it was Tkachuk once again that would help finish off the Flyers. A perfectly executed two-on-one, would leave a simple tap in for Brodie to end the game. The Flames would walk away with yet another comeback victory against the Flyers, taking this one 3-2.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- Tkachuk led the team to victory, and also in possession, posting a CF% of 60.7%
- Bennett, who was elevated to the second line, came second on the team with 56.3%
- Only four Flames skaters posted a CF% below 50.0%, with six skaters actually posting an even 50.0%
- Austin Czarnik was worst on his team for CF%, but with a 42.09%
- Oskar Lindblom posted a game high 65.2%
- The Flyers only had five skaters post positive possession ratings
- Christian Folin posted a measley 34.6% CF%, which was a game low
- Shayne Gostisbehere and Radko Gudas were on the ice for 4 HDCF and 3 HDCF, respectively, and 0 HDCA
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Neal
Czarnik – Ryan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson
Giroux – Couturier – Konecny
Lindblom – Patrick – Voracek
Van Riemsdyk – Weal – Simmonds
Raffl – Laughton – Weise
Provorov – Samheim
Gostisbehere – Gudas
Hagg – Folin
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
It was said multiple times in the broadcast, but good teams find ways to win. The Flames played quite dreadful for the majority of the game, and were able to sneak by the Flyers. I wouldn’t say this was a game the Flames deserved to win, as they weren’t able to generate much offensively and looked sloppy all game. Plus the number of inexcusible minors the took, which included two too many men, made the team look discombobulated. Luckily for them, a strong final 10 minutes from Tkachuk was all the difference they needed.
A huge tale of redemption for both Brodie and Rittich. Brodie being the one to score the winning goal, after deflecting a shot into his own net earlier, must have been sweet. Rittich on the other hand was easily the team’s best player all game, and to have his one mistake capitalized on was simply sickening. His play didn’t change though, and his key saves afterwards kept his team close.
A player that may not get as much attention as he should from yesterday was Hanifin. That may have been his most solid effort as a Calgary Flame from a defensive perspective. He looked beyond comfortable out on the ice, and made a wealth of stops when needed. He also pitched in offensively, creating a short handed chance and assisting on the 2-2 goal. Very well played by #55.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Gaud: Playing in his “hometown”, Gaudreau’s second period goal at the time gave him 11 points in his last 11 period. The Hart Trophy conversation better be including #13 this season.
Bad: Derek Ryan, Garnet Hathaway, and Czarnik were all on the ice for less than eight minutes at 5v5. For a trio that started strong, they weren’t able to maintain that pressure for the entire game.
Beautiful: In his first game back from injury, Rittich stopped 32 of 34 shots that he faced. He is now 14-4-3, with a 0.921SV%.
Opponent: Chicago Blackhawks
Standings: 6th in Central
Season Series: 2-0-0