Coming off a gutting defeat against the Winnipeg Jets, the Calgary Flames sought to comeback with a strong showing before they watch their playoff hopes completely evaporate. As it so happened, the Flames sure showed up, and it paid off.
Despite both teams playing tired hockey, the Flames got off to a better start than the Jets right off the get go, and in culminated in a two-goal first period, which has been a rare occurrence for Calgary. As the puck was dumped in, Laurent Brossoit played it to what was at the time an empty corner, but Josh Leivo intercepted the puck and sent it back out front to Sean Monahan. A scramble in front led to Leivo picking up the loose puck and tucking it past Brossoit.
With less than a minute remaining in the first, the Flames were on the power play and a Mark Giordano shot from the blue line made a few changes in direction before going into the net to put the Flames up 2-0. On Giordano’s goal, Johnny Gaudreau picked up an assist, making 471 career points in 500 career games played with the Flames.
In the second, the Jets pushed back, and tied the game up early on in the period. The first goal came from Mason Appleton just 34 seconds into the frame, and then Logan Stanley scored his first career NHL goal just a little under six minutes later.
While the Flames had more shot attempts than the Jets in the second, it was one of those periods where Calgary barely looked dangerous while their opponent seemingly got chance after chance. Most of the Flames shots just weren’t effective, and it ended up leading to a 2-2 tie after two.
In many previous games, the type of outcome the Flames saw in the second might have hurt their momentum heading into the third period, but not this time. Calgary was able to turn the tides and regained their lead. Just 49 seconds in, Andrew Mangiapane took a shot that was partially knuckling after it tipped off of Tucker Poolman’s stick, and just like that the Flames were up by one.
The Flames then restored their two goal lead as Sam Bennett shot the puck just as he entered the offensive zone. His shot was clearly going wide, but Brossoit decided to put his stick down to try to play the puck and neatly tipped it right into his own net.
What was impressive (as impressive as the Flames can be right now, anyway) was that after they went up 4-2, the Flames didn’t stop there. They continued to pressure the Jets, and while they weren’t worried about creating high-danger offence, the Flames completely stifled the Jets’ ability to do the same simply by continuing to press.
It was one of the Flames’ most completely games in a while. Whatever was said in the locker room in the second intermission must have worked, as the Flames earned a big two points as they hang onto their playoff hopes.
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