Ten goals, two shootout goals, eight lead changes, 20 players with at least one point, and both goalies with under .800 save percentages. That was the story of last night’s game, as the Calgary Flames edged the Florida Panthers in a wild affair ending in a shootout.
5v5 Player Stats
- Noah Hanifin led the Flames with 66.7% CF. He also played the third most minutes at 5v5 with 18:58.
- Mark Jankowski was a disastrous 12.5% CF in the game.
- Despite picking up zero points in the game, Johnny Gaudreau finished with 58.6% CF and 57.1% HDCF.
- MacKenzie Weegar led the Panthers with 63.6% CF.
- Riley Stillman was a team low 30.8% CF.
- Aleksander Barkov, who had four points in the game, finished with 54.2% CF, 60.0% SCF, and 50.0% HDCF.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
That was one of the most exciting, but also horrifying games the Flames have played this season. They started out strong, something they’ve struggled to do this year, and put together a really solid first period. They were really unfortunate to only have a 1-0 lead heading into the first intermission; the Flames peppered Sergei Bobrovsky with several excellent scoring chances but the Russian netminder stood tall for the Panthers.
The stat line won’t show it, but Bobrovsky is the reason the Panthers even got one point last night. If it wasn’t for him, the Flames could have easily been up by three or four goals after one, and at that point the game probably would have been over.
The good play dissipated in the second period, as has been the trend, and the Panthers were able to beat David Rittich twice. The Flames added another of their own to tie it after 40, but the Panthers really gained momentum after the second.
To be honest, I definitely thought the game was over when Matthew Tkachuk and Mark Giordano scored early in the third to give the Flames a 4-2 lead. Barkov and Co. didn’t feel the same way, however. That line for the Panthers is absolutely incredible. Jonathan Huberdeau is a star on his own, and Evgenii Dadanov doesn’t get nearly the credit he deserves. Those three formed a formidable line that the Flames really struggled to handle. They had tons of offensive zone time, played both the cycle game and the passing game, and caused havoc every time they were out there. The Panthers used that line a ton in the third to get it tied up as well.
There is definitely some concern due to the blown two goal lead in the third period, but this was a game the Flames desperately needed to win, and it showed. They battled hard to get things tied. Yes, it was a deflection off Aaron Ekblad, but that one has to feel good for Sam Bennett. He’s had a terrible start to the year but maybe this goal sparks one of his vintage five game hot streaks.
Last note: Tkachuk is going to be the next captain of this team. The Flames played a pretty good first, followed it up with a back-and-forth second, and despite being tied after two, he basically slammed the team saying they need to figure things out. He gets it.
Again, I’d like to see Rittich start against the Jets on Saturday, but wouldn’t be surprised if Cam Talbot got the call.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: The Flames’ offense reignited in the game with the team exploding for five goals. Tkachuk was the standout forward.
Bad: Rittich was generally okay in the game, but there were two goals that he really should have had. I’m really hoping he’s the starter for the Heritage Classic on the weekend, but he may have jeopardized his chances with his performance last night.
Beautiful: Two shootout wins in the same season. This can’t be real life.
Opponent: Winnipeg Jets
Standings: 4th in the Pacific
Season Series: 0-0-0
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images