The Calgary Flames faced off against the New York Rangers in their second of two meetings in the season, this time at home in the Saddledome. The Flames were looking to get back into the win column and extend their point streak to ten games while the Rangers were playing a second of a back-to-back versus the two Albertan teams—losing to the Edmonton Oilesr in overtime the night prior.
This game included a crowd that looked for every opportunity to boo Adam Fox. From puck drop to final whistle, Fox was public enemy number one in the Saddledome, making for arguably one of the loudest Flames crowds in recent memory. The energetic crowd fueled the Flames too, as they got off to a great start and the Rangers’ weariness was showing.
Calgary significantly controlled the first period, and it wasn’t until the there was exactly four minutes left in the opening frame that they got rewarded. The Flames were on the power play and displayed some nifty cross-ice puck movement—Elias Lindholm passed to Matthew Tkachuk, who found Sean Monahan right in the slot for a one timer past Igor Shesterkin.
With two minutes remaining, Fox—with all the crowd’s jeers directed towards him—scored a would-be highlight reel goal to tie the game up. However, the goal was challeged for an offside earlier in the play when the Rangers entered the zone, and the goal was overturned, much to the delight of the home crowd.
Early in the second, Oliver Kylington was involved in a scary play that saw him crashing into the glass at the end of the Flames’ bench. Thankfully, he returned to the game and barely missed a shift.
Just as they did in the first, the Flames continued to press the Rangers, and the visitors had several stretches without even a shot attempt. Midway through the period, Brad Richardson scored his first goal as a Flame to put Calgary up 2–0. Kylington extended his point streak to six games on the goal, earning the primary assist.
Just over two minutes later, the Flames continued with offensive zone pressure and Johnny Gaudreau was in the right place at the right time. As the puck was sent towards the net by Noah Hanifin, the puck bounced off Tkachuk in the crease, and Gaudreau was right there to cleanly tap the puck past the goal line to extend Calgary’s lead to three.
The Rangers did have some chances in the period, but Jacob Markstrom was well up to the task and looked sharp throughout the game. Near the end of the period, things got scrappy between the two teams. Ryan Reaves was called for an illegal check to the head to Andrew Mangiapane while Erik Gudbranson and Jarred Tinordi fought. Emotions were high and the Flames were getting the better of their opponents.
The Flames entered the third period holding a 3–0 lead over a tired team and they didn’t give the Rangers any opportunity to get back in the game. Instead, the Flames put the game away, starting with Gaudreau’s second goal of the game, this time sneaking a backhanded shot through Shesterkin’s five-hole.
The Flames weren’t done though, as Milan Lucic joined in the scoring frenzy for his fourth goal of the season. Lucic’s shot seemingly fluttered in slow motion over the glove of Shesterkin and the Flames were up 5–0 with less than seven minutes to go.
What happened next however, was an all-time best Canadian Heritage moment. With just over five minutes remaining, Tkachuk did what Tkachuk does best: scoring between the legs. The goal was absolutely filthy and capped off the game as the Flames’ sixth and final goal.
Markstrom was excellent and made huge saves throughout the game, and he’s now up to four shutouts over nine starts—the four shutouts being a league-leading mark. The Flames get back to the win column with an emphatic 6–0 win over the Rangers, sweeping the season series, and extended their point streak to ten games!
Check out the data visualisations from the game below!
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