The Calgary Flames looked a little different heading into their game versus the Edmonton Oilers. Geoff Ward was no longer behind the bench, as Ryan Huska took the lead while the Flames await new head coach Darryl Sutter to join the team. Playing in transition, the Flames hoped to get the wheels rolling in the right direction before Sutter makes his arrival.
The first period was a great one for the Flames, all things considered. They opened with a fury, with offence and with hard-hitting hockey. Calgary had 21 shots in the first, which was coupled with an onslaught of hits. The Flames were the first to strike, with Johnny Gaudreau scoring on the power play, beating Mike Smith cleanly.
After the Flames’ goal, two fights broke out to bring the period to a close. The first was between Milan Lucic and Darnell Nurse, the second between Matthew Tkachuk and unlikely fighting candidate James Neal. The Flames and Oilers ignited the Battle of Alberta once again, and it was as fiery as it could have been in for an empty arena.
In the second period, the Flames were not able to carry over much momentum. The Oilers responded, playing much better hockey than their counterparts, and were able to tie the game up at one apiece with a late goal from Jesse Puljujarvi.
The teams were fairly even at this point, both taking a period for themselves. The final 20 minutes were going to decide the game. Noah Hanifin put the Flames up in the third, scoring his first of the season less than two minutes into the frame. However, the Oilers once again responded, this time from Kailer Yamamoto.
While the Flames won the first period and the Oilers the second, the third was not good for Calgary. The Flames had two long stretches without so much a shot attempt in the third. Unfortunately, as the game tended towards full-time, the Flames were caught amidst their second said stretch. During the lull from Calgary, Connor McDavid took full advantage and capitalised with the go ahead goal with under four minutes to go.
The Flames pulled Jacob Markstrom with 90 seconds remaining, but weren’t able to set anything up and ultimately fell to the Oilers. Markstrom would lose in his return from injury, Huska would lose in his first game as the unofficial interim coach, and the Flames would lose the fourth round of this year’s Battle of Alberta.
Game visualisations below:
All situations corsi
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