The Calgary Flames were back in the Saddledome on Monday afternoon to face the Arizona Coyotes. After a rollercoaster of a trip through the east coast, the Flames were looking to extend their winning ways after just recently ending their slump against the Penguins. The Coyotes, on paper, presented that prime opportunity, as the past two meetings were lopsided in the Flames’ favour, but it was still a match-up they couldn’t look past. The team would once again turn to Mike Smith in net, while a late Coyotes swap would have Calvin Pickard taking the reigns opposite Smith.
It only took 1:34 for the Flames to open the scoring, as Derek Ryan deflected a Mark Giordano point shot to give the home team a 1-0 lead. Outside of that goal, the rest of the period would be a listless affair, with not much else happening on either end.
The second period provided much more excitement on the score-sheet. The Coyotes would strike next, with Conor Garland sneaking a fantastic backhand shot past Smith to tie the game at one. Just minutes later, Giordano added to his career-high point total with a forehand-backhand move through the crease to regain the Flames’ lead. That lead wouldn’t last long though, as the Coyotes tied the game back up off a goal from Jordan Weal. If that wasn’t enough for you already, Austin Czarnik scored by being in the right spot at the right time, marking back-to-back games that he would score in. Czarnik’s goal gave the lead back to the Flames.
Although the Coyotes would push back, the Flames did not relinquish that lead again. With goals from Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund in the third period, the Flames earned their third victory of the season over the Coyotes; winning 5-2 on home ice.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- Mark Jankowski led the team in CF% at a cool 66.7%
- The Flames only had four skaters post negative possession ratings
- In addition to his goal and assist, Giordano was on the ice for 9 HDCF
- His defensive partner, Rasmus Andersson, was on the ice for 8 HDCF
- Oliver Kylington tied for a game worst 33.3% CF%
- Garland led his team in CF% at 60.0%
- Opposing the Flames, only four Coyotes players posted positive possession ratings
- Niklas Hjalmarsson was on the ice for 7 HDCA
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Czarnik – Jankowski – Bennett
Hathaway – Ryan – Mangiapane
Giordano – Andersson
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Prout
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
While it may seem like a ho-hum victory against the Coyotes, it was essential for the Flames to take care of business. The Coyotes unfortunately have not had this season go their way, but they are still an improved team from previous years. After demolishing them in the previous two meetings, the Flames needed another decisive victory; which they got. With only three games remaining before the deadline, the next week will be extremely interesting for the club.
The most notable thing to discuss from yesterday was the swapping of Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm. We have seen this before over the past two contests, but the final forty minutes were almost exclusively played in this formation. Tkachuk on the top line didn’t produce much, as Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan look to have hit a real snag, but Lindholm on the second line really formed a great connection. That line was a real difference maker, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see it start that way come Wednesday.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: Andersson slotted in perfectly for the injured T.J. Brodie. From final cut in training camp to first pairing replacement, Andersson has become a fine NHL player.
Bad: This one I am tweaking. It’s bad that Czarnik has been kept out of the lineup the entire season. It was clear he had game during the pre-season, but the Flames have a bona fide depth player now that they can’t afford to have in the press box any more. He has more goals than James Neal now.
Beautiful: Mark Giordano is the Norris trophy winner this season. He has been nothing short of spectacular on a nightly basis. Perhaps he should be garnering some Hart votes as well?
Opponent: New York Islanders
Standings: 1st in the Metropolitan
Season Series: 0-0-0
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images