Playing in their first home game since February 19, the Calgary Flames looked to turn the tides back in their favour as the Ottawa Senators came to town to finish up their four game series. Donning Blasty for the third time so far this season, the flaming horse delivered, as the Flames took some much needed steps in the right direction.
The game pretty much encapsulated what Calgary hoped to do to the Ottawa Senators in every game instead of just in two of four. Simply put, the Flames were able to exploit the Senators’ weaknesses. This game in particular, it was their defence and their goalie.
The Flames opened the game with a flurry. Brett Ritchie scored his first as a Flame, assisted by Derek Ryan, who was playing his first game in a month due to injury. Just 37 seconds later, Dillon Dube scored his first goal of the night to put the Flames up by two, not even three minutes into the game.
The Senators answered as Josh Norris scored in tight while David Rittich was arguably interfered with. However, the call on the ice stood, and the goal gave the Senators life as they pushed back hard against the Flames. However, midway through the first, Sean Monahan picked up an errant pass in the neutral zone and made it look too easy scoring his fifth goal of the season. The Senators’ defenders seemed to glitch out and forgot to play the man with the puck as Monahan slowly skated in and picked his corner.
In the final minute of the first, Josh Leivo scored to put the Flames up 4-1, finally getting his first as a Flame thanks to a nifty pass from Johnny Gaudreau. In the second period, the Flames padded their lead as Dube scored his second of the night. The Senators pushed back but Rittich had a solid period, stopping all 17 shots he faced in the middle frame.
The third period opened up with enough goals from both teams to make it feel like it was an All-Star game. Dube scored his third goal of the night for his first career hat trick, making for an all around good outing with Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm as his linemates.
Artem Anisimov and Ryan Dzingel scored back for the Senators to make it a 6-3 game, adding some flair to the final period. However, just over a minute after Ottawa drew back within three goals, Derek Ryan scored his first of the season to put the final nail in the coffin. A huge return to hockey for Ryan, as he picked up two points and was fairly effective on the penalty kill.
All seven of Calgary’s goals came at 5v5, and the game marked a huge night of first for the Flames, with props to Ritchie, Leivo, and Ryan for the first of goals of the season, and Dube for his first hat trick. As a team, they’re credited for their first sign of effective hockey in what feels like forever. Hope is back on the horizon for now.
Check out the game visualisations below:
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