This game was probably the most entertaining game the Flames have played this season. They had some beautiful chances, some incredible goals, and Big Save Dave came through with some highlight reel saves.
Just like the last game against the St. Louis Blues, this one was a back and forth game with the Flames unable to hold on to the one goal lead. The game went to a shootout, where David Rittich and his two posts stopped all three Oilers skaters en route to a 4-3 victory.
5v5 Player Stats
- Rasmus Andersson posted a team high 63.0% CF
- Only seven Flames skaters were above 50.0% CF in this one. Travis Hamonic posted a team-low 31.7% CF
- Matthew Tkachuk produced a game-high 7 individual corsi events
- Surrey B.C. native Jujhar Khaira led the way for the Oilers with a 76.5% CF
- Joakim Nygard posted a team low 27.3% CF in minimal ice time; he left the ice after the first period with an upper body injury and was unable to return
- Connor McDavid was dominant for the Oilers, producing five individual corsi events, 5 individual scoring chances and two individual high-danger chances
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
What. A. Game! This was a candidate for the game of the year. It had a little bit of everything in it. Two marquee fights: Tkachuk dropped the gloves with Zack Kassian after all the back and forth from last game, and Sean Monahan got into a tilt (the first one of his career) with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Two spirited fights in the first period set the tone for the rest of the game.
The fights energized both teams and they both went to work. The Flames had a number of odd-man rushes as well as a couple of breakaways, but were unable to beat Mike Smith on any of those.
The one player who was dynamite against Smith was Mangiapane, who potted two goals to reach a career-high with his ninth and tenth goals of the season. He was outstanding in this one. His second goal was especially pretty, where he got the puck in front of the net and just out-waited Smith and put the puck past the sprawling goalie.
On the other side, the Flames did get hemmed in their zone often, and Rittich was a major difference maker. While he posted a .912 save percentage, he stopped six of the seven high-danger chances he faced, and was dynamite against some of the Oilers best players.
Credit also has to be given to some of the Flames defenders, especially Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie and Andersson who were especially strong against McDavid and Leon Draisaitl. A number of times, one of the two Oilers superstars picked up the puck close in and looked to have a scoring chance, only for the puck to be knocked off their stick by one of the Flames defencemen.
While it is nearly impossible to stop both of the Oilers’ superstars, containing McDavid to a secondary assist and Draisaitl to one primary and one secondary assist is not a bad showing.
This game was played at top speed, especially in the third period, and it seemed to get more skilled and less physical towards the end. Compared to the first period where the tension was clear, as the game progressed, it became more about what both teams could do with the puck rather than what they could do to rough each other up.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the two teams face each other in the Flames’ next game. If it was anything like the first three, it won’t be one to miss.
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The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: Another two important points picked up in the very tight Pacific Division
Bad: The Flames got hemmed in their own zone for stretches of the game and relied heavily on Rittich to keep them in it
Beautiful: Big Save Dave with the poke check on Draisaitl to win it for the Flames, followed by a hockey hall of fame bat flip; a truly beautiful celebration by a truly beautiful player
Opponent: Edmonton Oilers
Standings: 3rd in the Pacific
Season Series: 3-0-0
Photo by: Cody McLachlan/ NHLI via Getty Images