The Calgary Flames started off very strong against a Detroit Red Wings team that was missing several key pieces, held out of the lineup prior to the trade deadline. Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan put the Flames up by two in the first period before Dylan Larkin pulled the Wings back to within one.
In the second, Andrew Mangiapane added an insurance marker to put the Flames back up by two. The lead lasted most of the game, but with the Wings’ net empty, Larkin potted his second of the game to make the game interesting. However, with seconds left, Mangiapane said “anything you can do, I can do better” and put his second of the night into the empty net to seal it for the Flames.
5v5 Player Stats
- Mikael Backlund posted a game-high 87.5% CF; a dominant performance from the refreshed centre
- Only five players were below 50% CF for the Flames. Gaudreau posted a team-low 45.0% CF
- Matthew Tkachuk led the game with five individual high danger chances
- Christoffer Ehn posted a team high 60.0% CF in about six and a half minutes of ice time. He was one of just five Wings at or above the 50.0% CF mark
- Trevor Daley and Valtteri Filppula posted game-low 18.2% and 18.5% CFs respectively
- Larkin created three individual high-danger chances
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
In the final game before the trade deadline, the Flames looked good against a Red Wings team that held out Andreas Athanasiou and Mike Green for asset management reasons. With the worst team in the league icing an even worse roster than they usually do, even the smallest of expectations would say the Flames needed to walk out of Detroit with the win.
The Flames did what they were expected, even as the Red Wings gave the Flames a bit of trouble as time ticked down. At the end of the day, the better team on paper was the one that came away with the win.
Don’t the scoreline fool you; this was not a perfect game for the Flames. Just as in Boston, the Flames started out incredibly strong, and looked to absolutely dominate the Wings. However, the team fell asleep in the second, and were lucky to come out of that period with a two goal lead.
The Wings took the game to the Flames, hemming them in their own zone for much of the period, but give credit to the Flames defensive zone play for limiting their chances on net. The Wings only managed 10 high- and medium-danger shots combined, while posting 18 low-danger chances.
When the puck did make it to the net, David Rittich stood tall for his team. In only his second start in the last five games, he looked to get his mojo back, and did he ever. He stopped a number of odd man rushes and close-in chances, especially late in the game. He was not perfect, but he did stop seven of the eight high-danger chances he faced.
The Flames’ second line was sensational again in this one. Not only were they on the ice for a goal for, they played incredible defence as well. They did not allow Detroit a single shot on net when they were on the ice, and neither of the two scoring chances that Detroit did have against them were scoring chances.
Outside of the goal, they fired 18 shot attempts, including nine scoring chances and six high-danger chances. This line was absolutely flying for the Flames, and has been for a few games now.
The Flames head into the trade deadline with some questions remaining. It’s hard to tell what Brad Treliving will or will not do, but at the very least, one shouldn’t expect the Flames to ice the same lineup come Tuesday night in Boston.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: Picking up two points against a weak opponent is always a good thing. With the win, the Flames are back in a playoff spot.
Bad: The Flames still struggle to play a complete 60 minutes of hockey, even against the worst team in the NHL.
Beautiful: Mangiapane, Tkachuk, and Backlund. This new-look MMA line is everything the Flames need right now.
Opponent: Boston Bruins
Standings: 1st in the Atlantic
Season Series: 0-1-0
Photo by: Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images