Embarking to Ontario for a four game trip, the Calgary Flames kicked things off facing the division-leading Toronto Maple Leafs in the first game of a back-to-back set.
The Flames opened up the game with a goal from Matthew Tkachuk to put them up by one early. It was Tkachuk’s first goal since February 27. Getting the Flames’ offence going and scoring was a welcomed sight for both himself and the team. The goal actually deflected off Travis Dermott before going past Frederik Andersen. No matter how the puck got into the net, Tkachuk was due for a goal and he finally got one.
Just a little over six minutes later, the Flames extended their lead as Derek Ryan was wide open between the hashmarks for a great one-timer shot. The Flames were looking good early in the game in getting their two goals, but the Leafs immediately turned the momentum in the first. The Flames were held to just one shot attempt over the next few minutes while Toronto started the pouring on the offence.
The Leafs pulled the game within one when a blocked shot by Noah Hanifin redirected right to Jason Spezza for a clean one timer that beat Jacob Markstrom. With just over a minute left in the period, Chris Tanev regained the Flames’ two goal lead with his second goal of the season. However, forty seconds later, the Leafs answered back thanks to Alexander Kerfoot. The first period was a bit of an offensive track meet, but the Flames came out with the one goal lead.
Before the Flames really sustained any offensive pressure in the second period, Mitch Marner tied the game up at three goals apiece. With the game tied, Tkachuk and Justin Holl dropped the gloves midway through the frame, mostly as retaliation on Holl’s hit on Johnny Gaudreau. Shortly after, the Flames were on the power play and Mark Giordano immediately converted off the faceoff the put the Flames up 4-3.
For the rest of the game, the Flames were not able to get much offence going at all, but Markstrom was up to the task of maintaining the Flames’ lead and getting the victory. The biggest save of the night perhaps came on the penalty kill, with Markstrom showing off quick lateral movement to cover up what was otherwise a wide open net for Auston Matthews.
Despite the onslaught from Toronto, the Flames hung on for the win. It wasn’t pretty, but it got the job done.
Check out how the game went down in visuals, all below:
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