The Calgary Flames were back in action yesterday, looking to secure their 30th win of the season on Mark Giordano‘s 800th career NHL game. They faced the Arizona Coyotes, who had just played against the Edmonton Oilers the night prior.
The game started slowly for both teams much of the first, but it was the home team that opened up the scoring in the last few minutes of the first period. Andrew Mangiapane recorded his first ever NHL point by the means of a secondary assist. A drop pass to an open Derek Ryan led to a drop pass to an open Giordano; the Flames’ captain wouldn’t miss his chance on scoring during his milestone game.
Shortly after, Giordano collected his second point of the game. A well-executed pinch from Giordano allowed him to pass the puck off to Johnny Gaudreau, who was behind the net. In one of his favourite spots to be, he found Sean Monahan right out front, who made it 2-0 for the Flames.
The Flames started the second period by padding their lead with a goal on behalf of the 3M line. Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund worked to transition the puck from their own zone into Arizona’s, and Matthew Tkachuk corralled the puck right in front of Adin Hill to score.
Being down 3-0 might have been the wake-up call the Coyotes needed, as they flipped the momentum and started firing more shots towards Mike Smith from that point on. Fortunately, Smith played well and kept the visitors scoreless for much of the second period.
In fact, it would be the Flames that scored the next goal. Frolik’s initial shot rebounded to Monahan, and he quickly dished it off to Gaudreau for wide open net. In the last minute of the second period; however, the Coyotes scored on a power play on a Jordan Oesterle goal to cut into the Flames’ lead.
Despite being up by three goals heading into the third period, the Flames took nothing for granted and continued to show off their third period prowess. Tkachuk and Giordano would each score their second goals of the game, and Sam Bennett would add another goal to the Flames lead, bringing it to 7-1. Their three third period goals all happened in a span of 2:55.
Bennett’s goal would be the last goal in the game, though the Flames continued to pressure in the third and gave their opponent virtually no breathing room. In their two meetings so far this season, the Flames have outscored the Coyotes by a total of 13-2.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- Frolik posted a game-high 68.0 CF%
- Filling in last minute for Travis Hamonic, Dalton Prout posted a strong 60.0 CF% in 17:46 of 5v5 ice-time
- Although he collected an assist on Bennett’s goal, James Neal posted a game-worst 33.3 CF%
- The Hanifin–Andersson pairing were on the ice for five HDCF, but also four HDCA.
- Oliver Ekman-Larsson led his team in possession with a 66.7 CF%
- The lone goal scorer for the Coyotes, Oesterle had a team-worst 37.9 CF%
- Vinnie Hinostroza was on the ice for six HCDA and only one HDCF
- The Coyotes were only able to generate a total of 4 HDCF the entire game as a team
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Neal
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson
Keller – Stepan – Fischer
Panik – Galchenyuk – Hinostroza
Weal – Cousins – Garland
Crouse – Kempe – Archibald
Ekman-Larsson – Hjalmarsson
Chychrun – Lyubushkin
Oesterle – Goligoski
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
What a night of celebration for the Flames and Giordano. Not many players get to say they scored two goals and an assist on their 800th career game, that’s for sure. The team tied a franchise record set by the eventual Stanley Cup winners of 1988-89 as well. Not too bad at all.
The Flames faced a tired visiting team and the results showed it. While I felt both teams were off to an underwhelming start, one team got their legs under them and the other did not. The Flames had a much better first period than they have had in recent games, and they were rewarded for it.
Give Arizona credit, despite being seventh in the Pacific, they’re right outside of a wild card spot. Pick up a few wins before the All-Star break and they’ll be in a good spot to push for the playoffs. However, they looked tired and unable to match the Flames for much of the game.
On top of that, Smith played excellent in net. While the starting goaltending job is definitely David Rittich‘s now, it’s good to see Smith do well when he plays. The Flames are going to need both of their goaltenders to play their best as they push for optimal playoff seeding, and these are the types of games that will allow Smith to at least regain some semblance of his prior form.
The Flames have shown many, many times this season that they have offensive power. They’re second in the league in terms of goals for, only behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. Games like these are fun to watch, and good teams will have them more often than not.
The Flames looked loose and comfortable on the ice, with no one gripping their sticks too tightly. I actually think this game will do wonders for them. They know they’re a good team, and blowing out a game with a score of 7-1 exemplifies exactly that.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: All but one forward recorded at least one point.
Bad: Garnet Hathaway did not record a point.
Beautiful: It bears repeating that Giordano scored two goals and an assist during his 800th career game.
Opponent: Buffalo Sabres
Standings: 5th in Atlantic
Season Series: 1-0-0
Photo by Brett Holmes/NHLI via Getty Images