The Calgary Flames were right back in action against the Ottawa Senators, one night after a setback to the Edmonton Oilers. The Flames needed to rebound to not lose pace in the standings, but maybe more importantly, to set the tone before Darryl Sutter arrives. So far this season, Calgary has been lifeless in the second game of their back-to-backs, but there was a little bit of grit on display that this team that’s been missing so far.
The game got off on the wrong foot for Calgary, as Connor Brown and Ryan Dzingel scored a pair for the Senators in the first period. Jacob Markstrom was playing in his second straight game after returning from injury. It’s been an odd situation for the Flames’ goaltending usage, as maybe David Rittich should have slotted into one of the two games. Perhaps there’s something going on we don’t know about.
Playing while trailing is a part of the Flames’ identity at this point, but with it being their second game in two nights, it felt like the Flames might have caved in too early and were destined for another setback. Heading into the second period, however, Calgary opened up with a Mark Giordano goal to pull the game back within one. Unfortunately, their comeback was quickly stifled, as Colin White answered for the Senators to restore their two goal lead.
The Flames headed into the third with twenty minutes to score two goals. Johnny Gaudreau went ahead and got things started on the power play just three and half minutes into the third. Plenty of time to score another. Speaking of the power play, however, the Flames could have blown this game wide open, as they finished the night a measly one for eight on the power play. Their power play percentage of 12.5% on the night was lower than the overall power plays of 29 teams so far over the whole season.
Alas, the power play desperately struggled and as such, Calgary had work to do to. Just a little less than eight minutes to go, the Flames were able to tie the game as Noah Hanifin scored his second goal in as many nights. Calgary had momentum all period long, but were not able to get another past Matt Murray. The game headed to overtime.
While the extra five minutes were mostly dominated by Calgary, the game required a shootout to finish it up. Matthew Tkachuk and Tim Stützle each scored in the first three rounds, and in the fourth round, Drake Batherson snuck one past Markstrom to win it for the Senators.
The Flames at least got a point that they badly needed, but they’ll be starting afresh with a new coach moving forward. It’ll be up to the Flames to determine how the rest of their season will pan out.
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