The Calgary Flames are heading back to the Saddledome finding themselves third in the Pacific Division thanks to a successful road trip and some out of town help. They capped it off with a shutout win over the Florida Panthers.
The game had several big stories worth mentioning. Johnny Gaudreau scored an emotional goal after just finding out that his grandfather has passed away. Mark Giordano logged his first three point game of the season with three assists. Milan Lucic scored his seventh goal of the season, tying himself with James Neal for goals as a Flame. What a trade Neal for Lucic turned out to be.
5v5 Player Stats
- Dillon Dube had himself a game, finishing the night with a game-high 76.9 CF%; his linemates Derek Ryan and Lucic both had 76.0 CF% for an all-around great line performance
- Tobias Rieder had a team-low 34.8 CF%; his linemates Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski had 35.0 and 36.4 CF%, respectively for an all-around brutal line performance
- No one would guess Mark Giordano just came back with an injury, he’s already logging big minutes and looking like himself, posting a 61.1 CF%
- Jonathan Huberdeau was all over the ice, taking eight individual CF, four of which were high-danger
- Evgenii Dadonov had a team-high 64.0 CF%, but only had one individual CF to his name
- Colton Sceviour had the least amount of ice time and managed a game-low 27.8 CF%
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
What an exclamation point for the Flames to finish their road trip. Talbot deserves all the praise; he earned that shutout while being peppered. Thankfully, a lot of the Panthers’ shots weren’t particularly dangerous, but Talbot still had his work cut out for him. The shots that were dangerous; however, Talbot tracked beautifully and had several ten-bell saves to his name.
Two different forwards individually stood out for the Flames: Gaudreau and Dube. Gaudreau was on an absolute tear and was fully committed to the game. As mentioned, he had just lost his grandfather but he came to play hockey and surely made Grandpa Gaudreau smile from the heavens.
Dube played one of his best games of the season. He’s putting together a good season as a full time NHLer and would be a prime candidate to benefit from better linemates. Against Florida, Dube, Ryan, and Lucic were running wild and it’d be nice see Dube able to achieve this more consistently.
The MMA line was kept off the scoreboard, but they still looked great and dangerous. Andrew Mangiapane is relentless on the puck and Mikael Backlund is showing top-tier skill that was missing from his game earlier in the season.
Switching gears to the defence, the aforementioned Giordano looked young and fresh. His partner, T.J. Brodie looked great to boot. Scoring a goal was a huge plus for the defenceman, who handled himself quite well on both ends of the ice. Really, most the defence corps did their job and looked solid. Can’t ask for more on the second of back-to-back matinee games.
The Flames managed to jump the Vancouver Canucks to third in the Pacific on this road trip. It’s crunch time. They need to lock it down and finish strong. They’ll need to start by hoping to replicate their road success back home at the Saddledome.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: The Flames have something special going on right now with MMA and it’s a treat to watch them on the ice every single game.
Bad: The fourth line was a sore spot in an otherwise great performance by the lineup.
Beautiful: Wham, bam, thank you Cam! A shutout for the history books as Talbot was the first Flames goaltender to post a road shutout against Florida.
Opponent: Columbus Blue Jackets
Standings: 5th in the Metropolitan
Season Series: 1-0-0
Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images