About Last Night #55: Flames lose in a shootout to Canucks

55

The Calgary Flames finally did not have a multiple day break in between games, jumping right back into action against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night. The Flames looked to avoid back-to-back regulation losses for the first time since mid-November. After being pulled against the San Jose Sharks, David Rittich would once again man the pipes for the vising team.

Rittich would not be eased into the game whatsoever, as the first shot he faced from Bo Horvat would find it’s way into the back of the net. The Flames would tie things up later in the period off a beautiful passing play from the top line, finished off by Elias Lindholm. That lead wouldn’t last, as Josh Leivo would sneak a wrist shot past Rittich to put the Canucks up by one. The goals wouldn’t stop there though, as a bouncing puck in the Canucks zone would eventually be tapped in by Sam Bennett. After all that action, the teams were tied 2-2 after one period.

The second period was a much different story. The Flames would completely dominate the Canucks, owning the majority of offensive zone time. They would be rewarded for their strong play later in the period with Andrew Mangiapane finishing off a beautiful pass for his first career NHL goal. Unfortunately, even after only giving up two shots in the period, the Flames would allow Brock Boeser to gain time and space and tie the game at three heading into the third period.

It was a tale of special teams in the final frame, as the majority of the period would be played on the man advantage. Neither team would take advantage of their opportunities though, with the Flames getting stymied by Jacob Markstrom the entire period. Highlight of the period goes to James Neal who sported a toothless smile for the remainder of the game. The teams would need extra time to decide this one.

In OT, there would be a handful of chances for both teams. In addition to another Canucks power play opportunity, each team would exchange posts. Alas, this game would head to a shootout.

In the dreaded shootout, also known as the Flames Achillies heel, Elias Pettersson would score the lone goal to give the Canucks the 4-3 victory.

Statistical Breakdown

Team Stats

All Situations 5v5 SVA 5v5
CF 57.9% 59.3% 60.3%
SCF 58.6% 61.4% 63.4%
HDCF 61.3% 59.1% 61.7%

5v5 Player Stats

Calgary Flames

  • Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie led the team, and game, in CF% with a dominant 78.8% and 74.3% respectively
  • Only two players posted sub 50.0% CF%’s: Travis Hamonic and Noah Hanifin
  • Mangiapane accounted for four iHDCF in addition to his first NHL goal

Vancouver Canucks

  • Only two Canucks skaters posted positive possession ratings: Horvat and Nikolay Goldobin
  • Loui Eriksson and Jay Beagle posted simply autrocious CF%’s with 8.3% and 6.7% respectively
  • Pettersson was on the ice for 6 HDCA, but luckily 4 HDCF at 5v5
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Line Combinations

Calgary Flames

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm

Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik

Bennett – Jankowski –  Neal

Hathaway – Ryan – Mangiapane

Giordano – Brodie

Hanifin – Hamonic

Kylington – Andersson

Rittich

Smith

Vancouver Canucks

Granlund – Horvat – Goldobin

Leivo – Pettersson – Boeser

Rousell – Sutter – Virtanen

Eriksson – Beagle – Motte

Tanev – Gudbranson

Hutton – Stecher

Pouliot – Biega

Markstrom

DiPietro

Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff

Thoughts on the Game

The Flames were simply robbed by Markstrom. They were the better team and deserved a better outcome, but sometimes these things happen. In back to back efforts, the Flames were simply robbed by a hot goaltender. There is no real need to overreact to this game.

What does need to happen moving forward is finding a way to win in a shootout. It’s almost an automatic loss at this point when the team goes past OT, which isn’t the end of the world. Luckily the playoffs aren’t decided in this way, but playoff seeded can be impacted by it.

The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly

Good: 47 shots on goal is a season high for the team.

Bad: With the loss, the Flames are now 0/4 in the shootout this season.

Ugly: The Flames went 0/5 on the power play, in addition to only generating four shots on the double minor.

Next Game

Opponent: Tampa Bay Lightning

Record: 40-11-4

Standings: 1st in the Atlantic

Season Series: 0-0-1


Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images

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