After the Ottawa Senators did the Calgary Flames a huge favour of shutting out the Montreal Canadiens, the Flames and Senators faced off to see whether Calgary could take advantage of the out-of-town scoreboard. On one hand, they could beat the Senators and grab a two point swing in the playoff race, on the other, they could break even with Montreal with both teams being stumped by Ottawa. As it turned out, they’d end up net even, which in the Flames case was actually a net loss.
Prior to the puck drop, the Flames honoured Milan Lucic for playing his 1000th NHL game.
As the game got underway, the first period was fairly even between the two teams. On any other night, that’s not a bad thing, but with desperation mode fully activated for the Flames, it was nerve-wracking hockey. At the period’s midpoint, Brady Tkachuk opened up the scoring after picking up an errant pass by Juuso Valimaki.
That first dagger had potential to be lethal against the Flames, but they immediately answered. Elias Lindholm was fed an excellent pass from Johnny Gaudreau, took a shot from in close, and had the rebound land right back on his stick for an easy tap in. Heading into the first intermission tied, the Flames were also watching the out-of-town scoreboard with Edmonton facing off against Montreal.
The second period was similarly quite even for both teams, and while Calgary had a couple of power play opportunities, they weren’t able to score. Unfortunately, on the Flames’ second power play of the period, Ottawa scored a shorthanded goal instead. Connor Brown intercepted a pass, skated it in, and cleaned up a rebound off of Nick Paul‘s initial shot to get the go ahead goal heading into the intermission.
The Flames had 20 minutes remaining to spark something in the team to mount a comeback. However, the trend of Flames misfortune continued, this time with Josh Norris scoring a power play goal with Josh Leivo in the penalty box to put the Senators up by two.
Riding on a rollercoaster of emotions, the Flames rode it back up to the peak though, as Michael Stone scored from a point shot that deflected past Murray to pull the Flames back within one. With some semblance of hope back in the mix, the Flames got to work and prevented the Senators from taking any more shot attempts at 5v5 beyond that. However, the Senators were fairly effective at keeping Calgary’s pushback at bay as well.
As with all rollercoasters, highs usually lead to lows, and just mere seconds after Jacob Markstrom vacated the net for the extra attacker, Matthew Tkachuk was stripped of the puck at his own blueline by Brown, and as Tkachuk stumbled after getting turned around, he couldn’t bear to watch Brown scoring the extra goal to seal the game for Ottawa.
The Flames ultimately lose a heartbreaker. Out of town, the Canadiens lost to the Oilers too, so as the number of games remaining rapidly drops, the Flames haven’t fully been extinguished from their unlikely push for the playoffs.
Game visualisations are all below.
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