The Calgary Flames traveled to Vancouver to take on the Canucks on an abbreviated road trip before a three game home stand. With the Flames looking to further pad their lead atop the Pacific Division and Western Conference, the Canucks wouldn’t go down easy as they fight for their playoff lives.
The scoring got started close to midway through the first with the Flames’ fourth line continuing to roll. Mark Giordano potted his 16th goal of the season off a beautiful feed for Derek Ryan. The goal would be Giordano’s 70th point of the season, which gives the Flames five players above that mark.
Giordano’s goal would count as the only scoring in a very fast moving first period.
The second period would continue on much the same as the first did, with Calgary carrying a good portion of the play. The Flames would be rewarded and once again it was the red hot fourth line doing the damage.
As the Canucks attempted to break out of their own zone, Giordano once again got his name on the scoresheet, as he stripped the puck off of a Canucks defenceman, broke into the Canucks’ zone and fed a pass across to Garnet Hathaway, who would bury a fluttering backhand past Jacob Markstrom.
The Flames carried the 2-0 lead into the second intermission in what turned out to be a fairly chippy third period affair.
Only 38 seconds into the third period Calgary found themselves in penalty trouble, and Brock Boeser made them pay. As the Canucks cycled the puck around to Boeser at the point, he fired a tipped shot past Mike Smith for the only Canucks goal on the night.
Just under seven minutes later Giordano would cap off a three point night by holding the puck in at the offensive blue line, and feeding a crisp pass across to Andrew Mangiapane, who fired a slapshot home past Markstrom.
That would be the last of the scoring, however the two teams did continue to muck it up in this physical last meeting of the season.
Calgary walks away with the win which marks the first time in twenty years that they have won 47 games, and the first time in thirteen years that they have hit the 100 point mark in a season. The Flames’s 101 points is good for a six point lead on the struggling second place San Jose Sharks.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- Rasmus Andersson led the way for the Flames with a 70.0 CF%
- Michael Frolik and Matthew Tkachuk were the team leaders with 100.0 SCF%, and were among five players with a 80.0 SCF% or better
- Eight Flames players had a 100.0 HDCF% on the night
- Tanner Pearson was the leader for the Canucks with a 66.7 CF%
- Guillaume Brisebois was last on the team with a 14.3 CF%
- Only four Canucks players had positive possession numbers
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Neal – Jankowski – Czarnik
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson
Pearson – Horvat – Eriksson
Leivo – Pettersson – Boeser
Grandlund – Gaudette – Virtanen
Schaller – Beagle – Motte
Edler – Biega
Brisebois – Stecher
Sautner – Schenn
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
In a game that had important consequences for both teams the Flames came out and played an extremely good road contest.
As they come down the stretch drive, and having already secured a playoff spot, Calgary is facing the danger of taking their foot off of the gas against teams out of the playoffs like Vancouver and Ottawa previously. Calgary has showed they’re a force to be reckoned with as they have done the opposite and continued to push the pace.
With a depleted Canucks squad, it was an important statement game to show that they have the killer instinct still, that should help to propel them forward into the playoffs.
The other major positive is the continued play of the Flames’ fourth line and their depth overall. With the obvious importance of depth in a long Stanley Cup playoff run, Calgary has shown of late that they have that in spades.
This game also showed that no matter who rotates into the lineup, Calgary possesses a strong sense of team toughness. In what was a playoff style match, Calgary more than held their own.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: Mike Smith continues to show an improved game, which gives them options with the playoffs looming.
Bad: Matthew Tkachuk took a decent slash from Markstrom near the end of the game, so hopefully their is nothing serious there.
Beautiful: The Flames’ fourth line is garnering talk of being one of the best fourth lines in the NHL. That’s very high praise.
Opponent: Los Angeles Kings
Standings: 8th in the Pacific
Season Series: 2-0-0
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images