In the Calgary Flames’ second last preseason game, they faced off against the Winnipeg Jets in the newly named Canada Life Centre. Well, one team came into the game with plenty of life, and it wasn’t the Flames. The Jets were far and away the more dominant team and they came away with a 3–2 victory at the final buzzer. The Flames lose for the fifth time so far in the preseason.
In the first period, the Flames mustered a lowly three shots while their opponents peppered Daniel Vladar with 17 shots. Among those shots, two turned into goals coming from Josh Morrissey and Nikolaj Ehlers. Morrissey was left unattended from the point and skated in closer to get a shot off that beat Vladar. Interestingly, from the shot locations, it appears that this shot was not tracked properly as the play showed Morrissey getting the shot off while inside the right circle.
On Ehlers’ goal, it was an individual effort that started with Ehlers skating from his own goal line into the Flames’ zone before getting off a laser of a slapshot that made it past Vladar. Rasmus Andersson may have partially screened his goaltender on the goal as well. The Flames were down 2–0 and they didn’t make things particularly difficult for Connor Hellebuyck in the opening frame.
Nearly halfway into the second period, the Flames were still not really doing much in terms of getting chances. There was a brief stretch in the first couple of minutes where the Flames had momentum, but then it was immediately followed with the Flames’ longest stretch without so much as a shot attempt.
However, Calgary managed to get on the board with their first goal coming from excellent awareness by Matthew Tkachuk to draw the attention of three Jets onto himself only to feed a wide open Glenn Gawdin coming off the bench. Immediately after the goal, Nathan Beaulieu was sent to the penalty box for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the Flames capitalised again.
As their power play was expiring, the Flames had a flurry of shots that ultimately saw the puck finding its to Oliver Kylington, who set up Dillon Dube for a one-timer opportunity. Andrew Mangiapane was in the right spot at the right time and deflected it past Hellebuyck to tie the game.
From this point onwards, the teams were more or less even for the rest of the game, but an untimely penalty by Nikita Zadorov in the third led to Ehlers’ second goal of the game. With time running out, the Flames tried to tie up the game once again and with under a minute to go, it looked like they did. Mikael Backlund put the puck into the net but it was called off after review showed that Tkachuk played the puck with a high-stick.
The Jets take the first game of the preseason home-and-home series. The Flames were outplayed and came away with a closer final score than the game should have been thanks to Vladar’s goaltending. Game visualisations below.
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