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The Calgary Flames closed out a five game homestand last night against the Detroit Red Wings. Coming off an overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres two nights before, the Flames looked to bounce back with a big win. This was the first of a back-to-back, and Mike Smith tended the Flames net.

It was a back and forth affair for most of the game. The Red Wings opened the scoring towards the end of the first period on a 5-on-3 powerplay. With both Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie in the box, Anthony Mantha deposited the puck behind Smith, and the Flames entered the first intermission down by one.

In the second period, the Flames responded with a powerplay goal of their own to tie it up courtesy of Sam Bennett, who swatted a juicy rebound into the Detroit cage. The Red Wings answered back midway through the period off a nice snipe by Dylan Larkin that beat Smith over the shoulder. Again though, the Flames tied the game up as Sean Monahan directed home a puck after a slick pass from Johnny Gaudreau. The two teams went to the second intermission tied at two apiece.

The third period is where things really opened up. The Red Wings would go ahead once again off a great deke and shot by Mike Green, but just over three minutes later, James Neal tipped home his fifth of the year to tie the game at three. Once again, the Red Wings took the lead with Larkin capitalizing on a move from Gustav Nyquist that caused Smith to stray six feed wide of his net. And again, the Flames would tie the game, this time with a shorthanded goal from Mark Giordano. With just over six minutes remaining in the game, the score was tied at four. Then the Flames turned it on. Bennett scored his second of the game, again on the powerplay, with a rocket of a wrister that found the top corner of the Detroit net. Brodie added an empty netter, and the Flames took the game by a 6-5 margin.

They finish their homestand with a 4-0-1 record and will take on the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow at Rogers Place.

Statistical Breakdown

Team Stats

All Situations 5v5 SVA 5v5
CF 47.8% 45.2% 42.5%
SCF 37.5% 35.0% 31.9%
HDCF 50.0% 45.5% 40.8%

5v5 Player Stats

Calgary Flames

Detroit Red Wings

Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Line Combinations

Calgary Flames

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm

Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik

Bennett – Jankowski –  Neal

Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie

Hanifin – Hamonic

Kylington – Andersson

Smith

Rittich

Detroit Red Wings

Bertuzzi – Larkin – Nyquist

Vanek – Nielsen – Mantha

Helm – Glendening – Athanasiou

Abdelkader – Ehn – Frk

Kronwall – Green

Ericsson – Hronek

DeKeyser – Cholowski

Howard

Bernier

Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff

Thoughts on the Game

Another wild night in the Dome for sure. The win wasn’t guaranteed by any means, as each time the Red Wings retook the lead it looked more and more like the Flames might let this one slip away. How silly it was to question the Flames. They just keep on finding ways to win, and boy is it entertaining.

This of course was not the Flames’ best game. Lots of sloppy plays and bad decisions made this game what it was. Although they keep winning, there are some defensive gaps that continue to arise that need to be squashed. Bad pinches and lost coverages are just a few things that come to mind when you think of the past few games. If the team keeps winning, phenomenal. If they continue to let these issues persist, it could cost them in the long run.

Smith played a good game, no doubt about it. He made a handful of timely saves, which is usually his Achilles heel. A few goals were questionable, as there always are, but Smith was a huge reason why the team won this game. Give credit where credit is due.

The second power play unit also had a whale of a game. Unable to produce at all this season, the second unit contributed three goals last night: two from Bennett and one from Neal. I think that having a 3F-2D configuration makes much more sense for the players utilized. Noah Hanifin wasn’t clicking well, but Brodie and Andersson appear to be a much better match. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this unit given more opportunities down the road.

Finally, a huge third period for Derek Ryan. Two assists on the tying and game winning goals, Ryan also pitched in immensely on the defensive end. Ryan never seems to do a whole lot wrong, but also seems to have outstanding performances every handful of games. He may not be the flashiest guy on the team, but thoroughly optimistic about his contributions as of late.

The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful

Good: Smith held his own and made a few good saves to give the Flames life.

Bad: The Flames were much too loose defensively, and were well behind the 8-ball in terms of possession metrics. They need to play better.

Beautiful: Bennett’s second goal. That’s the type of goal you expect from a fourth overall draft pick.

Next Game

Opponent: Edmonton Oilers

Record: 0-0-0

Standings: 5th in Pacific

Season Series: 1-1-0


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