The comebacks get up to date in Part 3 of our Comeback Kids series. Missed the first two parts? Relive the magic here:
The Comeback Kids – Part 1: 2014-15 Season
The Comeback Kids – Part 2: 2015-16 – 2017-18 NHL Seasons
Finally, we look at the last two seasons. The Flames didn’t accomplish the best regular season record in the Western Conference in the 2018-19 season without some gutsy comebacks along the way. This year’s been a treat too, with some clutch plays happening courtesy of the Flames that just never quit.
One last time, a big shout out to Youtuber AC, who has tirelessly compiled the best Flames highlights and content. If you are not subscribed, you are missing out.
2018-19 NHL SEASon
Flames @ Avalanche – 10/13/2018
The situation: The Flames started their comebacks early in the 2018-19 season. After coming back against the Vancouver Canucks in the home opener, the Flames found themselves down 2-0 against the Colorado Avalanche in the second period.
The comeback: Sam Bennett scored midway through the second to make it a one goal game, but it took up until just two minutes left in the game for Elias Lindholm to even the score at 2-2.
The result: The game was pushed into OT, and in the extra frame it was Johnny Gaudreau who converted on the breakaway. Yes you read that correctly. The most memorable part about the comeback? David Rittich celebrating Johnny’s goal before it even went in the net.
Flames @ Sabres – 10/30/2018
The situation: The game was extremely lackluster for 59 minutes, with the Sabres holding a 1-0 lead until the final minute.
The comeback: In the final minute, with the goalie pulled, the Flames were able to sustain a ton of offensive zone pressure. Rasmus Andersson made back-to-back outstanding plays to keep the puck in the zone, which eventually led to Matthew Tkachuk tipping in a Lindholm shot on net.
The result: In the extra frame, it was the Mark Giordano show. Making an outstanding defensive effort to cancel a Sabres scoring chance, the captain instantly rushed up the ice with Gaudreau and eventually set up #13 for the game winning goal. This play alone was enough proof for Giordano’s Norris case throughout the season.
Avalanche @ Flames – 11/1/2018
The situation: The very next game (yes, just two days after the comeback against the Sabres) the Flames fell behind to the Avalanche 4-1 on home ice.
The comeback: The third period is where the party really got started. Less than a minute into the period, Lindholm scored on the powerplay to make it a 4-2 contest. Then five minutes later, Sean Monahan got the team within one goal. Another five minutes later, James Neal easily had his most memorable (and maybe only impactful) goal as a Calgary Flame when he tied the game back up at four. Who could forget on the tying goal Juuso Valimaki‘s massive hit in the offensive zone to turn the puck over the the Flames.
The result: Less than three minutes later, Giordano scored on the rush and seconds after that Michael Frolik netted the eventual game winner. The Avalanche tried to mount a comeback of their own, but five straight goals for the Flames in the third period turned the 4-1 disaster into a 6-5 home ice comeback victory.
Flames @ Blue Jackets 12/4/2018
The situation: The Flames started the scoring off in Columbus, but eventually fell behind 4-1 to the home team. What’s this? Another 4-1 deficit? Surely the Flames can’t do it again.
The comeback: In yet another five goal period, this time in the second, the Flames got goals from Monahan, Lindholm, Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin, and T.J. Brodie in a span of 13 minutes to go up 6-4 on the Jackets.
The result: The Flames would add three more goals in the final period, to combat an additional two from Columbus, to take an absolute barn burner 9-6 victory. One of the most hectic games of the season, it’s still easily a comeback to remember.
Flyers @ Flames 12/12/2018
The situation: This one is going to take a while because it was absolutely ridiculous. The first 58:30 of this game was plagued as a poor Mike Smith performance. With just 14 shots on goal, Smith allowed four goals against. The final one that got him pulled being the most egregious. The Flames, now with Rittich in net, were able to get the game to 4-2 before the end of the second period. Unfortunately, the team would trade goals in the third period, making it a 5-3 game with under two minutes left.
The comeback: Of course this is a comeback list, you know how this ends. Andersson was able to sneak a point shot past Anthony Stolarz, who was playing out of his mind that night, with 1:08 left on the clock. Things were now interesting. The Flames would head back into the offensive zone and sustain pressure, and eventually score the tying goal with less than eight seconds left on the clock. What was once out of reach was now headed to the extra frame.
The result: In OT, Rittich would make an outstanding save on a streaking Ivan Provorov, and the resulting save would lead to a play the other way. After a number of chances by all three Flames players, Gaudreau would net the OT winner leading to the most unlikely of victories for the Flames.
2019-20 NHL Season
Finally we make it to this current season, where the Flames have put together three very memorable and key wins to help them to get to their current ranking as of this moment.
Flames @ Predators – 10/31/2019
The situation: After a rocky start to the season, the Flames entered Nashville on Halloween looking for a key victory. Unfortunately they would fall behind 4-1 heading into the final frame.
The comeback: The Flames would come out flying in the third period (stop us if you’ve heard that one before). Goals from Andersson, Lindholm, and Alan Quine would tie the game up at four. Comeback complete right? Not so fast. The Predators would score with under a minute and a half to go to put them back up 5-4. After all the drama, the Flames were down again. Luckily the Flames have big brother Tkachuk on their team. With forty seconds left in the game, Tkachuk would score to send the game to OT.
The result: How could anyone ever forget this? Seconds left in OT, a shootout seemed inevitable, but Tkachuk had other plans. After a rebound fell right into his path, Tkachuk would find a way to put his stick between his legs and score a top corner goal with two second remaining to secure the ridiculous come back win.
Coyotes @ Flames – 11/5/2019
The situation: At the start of the season, the Coyotes were one of the better teams in the league. Stifling teams with sound defense and excellent goaltending. It was a tough game for the Flames. The team would fall behind 3-1 midway through the third period after being stifled all game.
The comeback: Of course, the Flames also have Giordano and Tkachuk on their roster, two players that have been frequently mentioned in this series. Tkachuk would score with three and a half minutes to go, and Giordano would score less than a minute later to tie the game back up at three.
The result: After hemming the Coyotes in their own zone for an extended period in OT, Tkachuk would play hero (yet again). His goal with 34 seconds left in OT would give the Flames a key Pacific Division victory.
Blue Jackets @ Flames – 3/4/2020
This is it. We have arrived at the comeback that inspired this list to begin with:
The situation: The Blue Jackets got on the board twice and proceeded to clog up every attempt of offence the Flames mustered. The Flames trailed the majority of the game.
The comeback: It wasn’t until midway through the third period when the Flames got their first goal. Coming off of Lindholm’s stick, the Flames who were unable to look remotely dangerous for the majority of the game suddenly had life. The Flames would have to pull their goalie with less than two minutes left, and of course would make no mistake as *checks list* Matthew Tkachuk (AGAIN) would tie this game up at two and send it to OT.
The result: With time ticking away on the clock in OT, the trio of Gaudreau, Monahan, and Brodie were able to generate a flurry of chances. Give the trio credit, they were tenaciouson the puck in the offensive zone, and finally with 11 seconds left on the clock, Brodie would play the hero in this one and net the winner.
With that, the comeback series comes to a close. The Flames have comeback so many times that not even our three part series did it justice. That being said, is it a good thing or a bad thing the Flames have had so many comebacks? Even though we as fans would prefer to have consistent multi-goal wins, the comebacks add a ton of drama and excitement that simply can’t be matched.
Here’s to hoping for a few more down the road.
What comeback was your favourite? Let us know in the comments.
Photo by: Todd Korol/Getty Images