The Calgary Flames welcomed the Ottawa Senators for the second instalment of the Battle of the Tkachuks. On a night where little brother Brady Tkachuk was oft seen frustrated, big brother Matthew Tkachuk got the last laugh with a goal and an assist, and more importantly, the win.
The Senators opened up the scoring on a good carry-in by Anthony Duclair, who found Dylan DeMelo wide open for a goal the Mike Smith had virtually no chance on.
Later in the period, during a Senators power play, the Flames struck back, flaunting their well-known penalty killing prowess. Mark Giordano had a shorthanded breakaway, and despite being stopped on his initial shot, the puck still found its way past Craig Anderson.
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A little bit after the midpoint of the first period, the Flames got their first lead of the game. Derek Ryan and Andrew Mangiapane exited their zone off a turnover from Mikkel Boedker, and one quick transition play later, the puck was in the back of Ottawa’s net; Garnet Hathaway tapping in one of the easiest goals he’ll ever score.
The next bit of play would be fairly uneventful, as both the first period ended and second period started with little to get excited about. However, nine minutes into the second frame, the Flames’ fourth line took the spotlight once again.
The Senators failed to clear the puck from their zone with pressure from Hathaway and Ryan. Ryan spotted an open Mangiapane who ripped a blistering bullet top shelf past Anderson to pad the Flames’ lead.
Once again, the stretch of play after the third Flames goal would be largely dull. As the clock winded down in the third period, the excitement in the Saddledome resumed.
Michael Frolik passed the puck from behind the net to Mikael Backlund, who wired home a shot and scored his 20th goal of the season. The Senators were unable to muster up any signs of offence following that goal.
With less than three minutes remaining in the game, big brother Tkachuk capped off the game with a goal of his own. 5-1 final score for the Flames.
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5v5 Player Stats
- Travis Hamonic was one of seven Flames who posted a CF of 60.0% or more, his being the highest at 66.7%
- Rasmus Andersson and Oscar Fantenberg struggled, posting 46.7% and 46.4% CF, respectively
- Matthew Tkachuk had a game-high five individual high-danger CF
- Christian Wolanin posted a team-high 66.7% CF
- Brian Gibbons had a game-low 29.6% CF, six other Senators were 40.0% or lower
- Brady Tkachuk led the Senators with three individual high-danger CF
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson
Tkachuk – Lindberg – Veronneau
Paajarvi – Smith – Abramov
Balcers – Chlapik – Ryan
Duclair – Gibbons – Boedker
Wolanin – Brannstrom
Harpur – DeMelo
Borowiecki – Jaros
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
Many different Flames stated going into the game that they weren’t going to take the Senators for granted, but it was definitely a schedule win for the Flames. A stripped down Senators team got news that their first line centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau was suspended for one game for boarding Vancouver’s Ashton Sautner.
That first goal from Ottawa was a head-shaking moment as it seemed like Ottawa would upset the Flames, but it was their only goal and the Flames took control. Despite the Flames’ relatively easy schedule, they have to win games they’re slotted to win, and they did that yesterday.
The return of Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett was good news for the Flames, but unfortunately Bennett left with an undisclosed injury without much notice. Hopefully it isn’t long term for the winger and soon enough, James Neal‘s return will bring the lineup back to full health.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: Smith wasn’t busy in net, but he was good. The one goal he gave up was a tough one that he can’t be blamed for.
Bad: The first line was quiet. Really quiet.
Beautiful: Mangiapane’s goal changed the flow of the game for the better, easing up the tension, making it easier for the Flames to pad their lead in the conference.
Opponent: Vancouver Canucks
Standings: 5th in Pacific
Season Series: 1-1-2
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images
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