Looking to close out their four game Ontario road trip on a sweet note, the Calgary Flames faced off against Ottawa in an afternoon tilt. With their playoff hopes rapidly dwindling, the Flames desperately needed a win before returning back to Calgary to face the Winnipeg Jets in three straight home games.
Unfortunately, that did not happen as the Flames were outplayed in the final frame, losing their first game of the season when leading after two periods (as rare as those have been). To their credit, they were the better team in the first forty minutes of play, as Calgary had significantly more shot attempts as well as scoring chances.
The game remained tied up until the midway mark of the second period, when Mark Giordano (or Dillon Dube?) scored to break the deadlock. The league and announcers went back and forth on who scored the goal for the Flames umpteen times, but the fact of the matter was the Flames were finally up by one in a game where they could have easily been up by more if not for the play of Filip Gustavsson in Ottawa’s net.
Usually, the Flames are quite good at shutting the game down in the third period if they’re holding onto a lead, but this was very much not the case today. Josh Norris tied the game up early in the frame much to the Flames’ dismay.
After being hemmed in their own zone, an exhausted group of Flames weren’t able to clear the puck and Ottawa once again capitalised. Chris Tierney scored his second straight game-winning goal as the Flames were unable to score again. Nikita Zaitsev added an empty netter from behind his own goal line to wrap up the game, 3-1 final score. Flames defeated and depleted.
For yet another game, the Flames have spent too much time trying to shoot from ineffective locations and completely unable to string together high-danger chances. Looking at the shot locations, the Senators converted for two goals between the hashmarks, whereas the Flames felt pretty much lucky to register more than two shot attempts from the same location.
Looking at the shift where the Senators got their lead, Noah Hanifin had been on the ice for a lengthy stretch of play. Chris Tanev was able to switch with Rasmus Andersson, but the Flames weren’t afforded a line change opportunity. Sam Bennett, Milan Lucic, and Elias Lindholm were caught in their own zone and Ottawa took advantage.
One last note about the lines, it was weird to see such a big decrease in minutes for Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk, despite their line with Mikael Backlund playing some pretty solid hockey in their reunion.
Anyway, the Flames should be honest with themselves pretty shortly here and start seeing which pieces are moving by the trade deadline and which ones are moving in the offseason. Nevertheless, the game visualisations are below:
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