After a season-opening loss over the weekend at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, the Calgary Flames hosted their home opener against the Anaheim Ducks. Looking to get into the win column for the first time in 2021–22 in front of a fired up home crowd, the Flames came out strong.
Blake Coleman, making his Flames debut after serving a suspension in Game 1, opened the scoring just over seven minutes into the first period. Johnny Gaudreau found Coleman streaking towards the goal and Coleman buried the puck behind Ducks netminder John Gibson for an early one goal lead.
Later in the period, the Ducks capitalized on the power play with a goal from Cam Fowler to even things up at one. Matthew Tkachuk was in the box for interference from the bench after he prevented a high clearing attempt from going over the glass behind the bench by jumping up and knocking the puck out of mid air. It would have been a delay of game penalty regardless, and Tkachuk was doing his best to keep his team out of the box. It was a bizarre play and just made the lore around Tkachuk grow that much bigger.
The Flames regained the lead in the second period on a goal from Elias Lindholm. His second in as many games, he finished off a brilliant Gaudreau pass and the Flames. The second period also featured a fight between Milan Lucic and Nicolas Deslauriers. It goes without saying that Lucic won the tilt. The Flames entered the second intermission up by one.
It wasn’t over, though. The Ducks pushed back hard in the third period, and finally broke through with a goal midway through the frame. Rickard Rakell snapped a high shot past the shoulder of Jacob Markstrom, and the game headed into overtime. It was the Flames’ first standings point of the season and they unfortunately couldn’t secure the second point in bonus time.
Jamie Drysdale ended the game for the Ducks. Noah Hanifin and Sean Monahan got caught deep in the Ducks zone forcing Gaudreau to defend three attacking Ducks players. Markstrom didn’t stand a chance on the goal and the Flames dropped to 0–1–1 on the season.
It was another game that saw the Flames completely dominate possession and scoring chances throughout, but several costly giveaways and lapses in judgement ultimately sunk them. It’s not enough to play well—you need to score, too. The Flames will try and turn things around Thursday night versus the Detroit Red Wings.
Calgary falls to Anaheim, 3–2 final score in overtime. Game visualizations are below.
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