While they anxiously await confirmation over their first round opponent, the Calgary Flames have two more games in the regular season to polish off before the chase begins. Having just defeated the Anaheim Ducks last week in convincing fashion, the Flames were looking to make it back-to-back wins against their Pacific division rivals. The Flames yet again were icing a mixed lineup, giving the likes of Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, and Mark Giordano the night off. Dillon Dube would find his way into the lineup after his emergency recall from Stockton, and David Rittich would make his second straight start.
The game didn’t start out in the Flames’ favour, as goals from Sam Steel and Max Jones less than seven minutes into the game would give the Ducks the 2-0 lead. Both goals came off wicked shots from the rookie Ducks, but Oliver Kylington was simply out-muscled on the second marker.
Luckily the 2-0 lead wouldn’t last long, as 1:30 after the second goal, Derek Ryan would pot his 13th goal of the season. The most important part about the goal, was the assist from Johnny Gaudreau. The point gave Gaudreau 98 points on the season, inching him closer to the elusive 100 point mark. The score remained 2-1 going into the second period.
The Flames continued the sloppy play in to the second period, and were unable to mount any sort of sustained pressure against the Ducks.
With just under 5:00 gone in the second, and just coming off a unsuccessful power play, Calgary would allow Ryan Getzlaf to walk in and fire a shot past Rittich. The 3-1 goal seemed to zap any remaining energy out of a short handed Flames squad.
The second period would end at 3-1 and after an uneventful third period, the Flames would drop the last of their California dates.
|All Situations||5v5||5v5 SVA|
5v5 Player Stats
- Mikael Backlund had a team high 48.4 CF%
- James Neal managed a team worst 11.8 CF%
- Backlund also led the team with a 55.6 high-danger CF%
- Carter Rowney led the Duck with an 88.2 CF%
- Rowney, Jones and Korbinian Holzer all had a 100.0 high-danger CF%
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Ryan – Czarnik
Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Dube – Jankowski – Neal
Mangiapane – Quine – Hathaway
Fantenberg – Andersson
Valimaki – Stone
Kylington – Prout
Rakell – Steel – Silfverberg
Sprong – Getzlaf – Ritchie
Shore – Henrique – Perry
Jones – Grant – Rowney
Lindholm – Larsson
Fowler – Welinski
Megna – Holzer
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
This can be chalked up in the “game to forget” column, as Calgary really had nothing to play for and a lineup without more than a few key stars. The let down was almost to be expected after the emotional high of clinching first in the Pacific and Western Conference earlier in the week.
The Flames were able to use the game to get some of their depth players some valuable playing time as we head into the playoffs next week. Despite a poor showing overall, this experience against a bigger Ducks team could pay dividends down the road.
With this game sandwiched between the emotions of the San Jose game earlier in the week and the excitement of the playoffs beginning, we won’t put too much stock into a loss like this one.
On to the next one as they say, and let’s hope for a very solid effort against the rival Edmonton Oilers to close out the regular season.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly
Good: Gaudreau managed his 98th point of the season with a primary assist on Ryan’s first period tally.
Bad: The team seemed to lack any fire in this meaningless game.
Ugly: The Flames’ possession numbers were awful for the first time in a long time.
Opponent: Edmonton Oilers
Standings: 6th in Pacific Divsion
Season Series: 2-1-0
Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images