The Calgary Flames returned to the Saddledome to start a three-game series against the Winnipeg Jets. It’s been said in their last stretch of games: every game was crucial, and the Flames were feverishly fumbling at every given opportunity. They had a chance to change their fate as they now have a majority of their remaining games on home ice, but once again, the Flames were unable to pick up any points.
The first period went as well as one might have expected for this reeling Flames hockey club. Midway through the first period, the Jets got off to an early lead thanks to a fortuitous bounce off of Blake Wheeler‘s skate. Early in the second, the Jets doubled their lead as the Flames were caught changing. Kyle Connor had the time and space to take full advantage and was able to tuck in his own rebound.
As the second period concluded, the Flames found themselves scoring just two goals (both against the Ottawa Senators) in twelve periods of hockey. Calgary’s own inability to generate any effective offence has completely hamstrung their playoff chances, and tonight was no exception.
The Flames had slight edge over the Jets in shot attempts, but were completely overwhelmed by the visitors in terms of turning shot attempts into scoring chances through the first two periods. On one hand, Connor Hellebuyck was hardly challenged. On the other, Jacob Markstrom was pulling his weight for his team and keeping the game at least close.
Down by two heading into the third, the Flames played some of their better hockey of the night in the final frame. Finally breaking free of their goalless drought, Milan Lucic tipped a puck past Hellebuyck on the power play to pull the Flames back within one.
However, penalty troubles got the best of Calgary, as Lucic later found himself serving a double minor for boarding and roughing, and then Markstrom sent the puck straight over the glass for a delay of game penalty. On the ensuing 5v3 power play, Paul Stastny regained the Jets’ two goal lead with just over five minutes remaining.
The Flames pushed back with their net empty, and they made it interesting. Matthew Tkachuk scored his ninth of the season with two minutes still remaining, and right after that, Stastny was called for a tripping penalty. At 6v4, the Flames showed a sense of urgency that hasn’t been seen by this team in a while. Unfortunately, tried as they might, they weren’t able to score the equaliser.
Calgary drops the first of three to Winnipeg by a final score of 3-2. Their fourth straight loss, but at least they managed to score more than one goal (and they did so in this economy too).
Game visualisations below:
All situations corsi
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