After seeing their 10-game point streak coming to an end last game, the Calgary Flames hit the road and embarked on their season-long seven-game road trip. All seven games are against Eastern Conference teams and the Flames got started against the Montreal Canadiens. To start their road trip, the Flames iced a new second line consisting of Sean Monahan centring Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman.
The Flames started the game on the right foot as they got up ahead early in the game. Just two minutes in, Mikael Backlund tipped a point shot from Trevor Lewis, and the puck snuck past Jake Allen to put the Flames ahead 1–0. As the period approached its midpoint, the Canadiens tied it up. A shot attempt from the blueline was loose in Jacob Markstrom‘s crease and Ben Chiarot pounced on the loose puck to make it a 1–1 game.
With more back and forth between the teams, the period was capped off with the Flames getting back ahead courtesy of their new second line. The trio entered the zone with Coleman first passing to Monahan. Spotting an open Mangipane, Monahan passed the puck across the ice and Mangiapane received it by extending his right skate.
Doing so put him down to one knee but he was still able retrieve the puck and shoot it on his backhand. The shot went through an impossibly small gap that Allen left exposed and the Flames entered the first intermission holding a one-goal lead.
The middle frame saw the Flames running into some penalty issues and the Canadiens took advantage. Coleman was in the box on a holding call midway through the period, and on the ensuing power play the Canadiens were in control in the Flames’ zone. Chris Wideman took a shot from the blueline that rang off the post and fell into the crease, and Brendan Gallagher was there to clean it up.
Immediately after the goal was scored, tempers flared between the two teams. A late hit from Erik Gudbranson on Gallagher and retaliation from Tyler Toffoli led to the duo being sent to the penalty box on matching roughing calls.
After 40 minutes of play, the two teams were even in the scoreboard and also fairly similar in terms of on-ice performance. The two teams went into second intermission with matching all-situations Corsi, but the Flames had a slight edge at 5v5.
In a tight game on the road with one period, the Flames were looking to hold down the fort to at least secure a point, but a string of alternating penalties between the two teams so Gudbranson first going to the box for high sticking, then Gallagher nullified his team’s power play by hooking Coleman, and finally Mangiapane was called for an interference.
While the first two penalties expired, the Canadiens scored the game-winning goal on their fifth—albeit shortened—power play of the night. Nick Suzuki entered the Flames zone and spun Gudbranson around. With the space he created, Suzuki signaled that he was going to skate behind the net, but as he crossed the goal line, he banked the puck into Markstrom and it trickled into the net.
The Flames tried to come back into the game, but were unsuccessful. With their net empty and less than ten seconds remaining, the Canadiens scored again for a final score of 4–2. It looked like Noah Hanifin might have been tripped by Jake Evans which could have gave the Flames an offensive zone faceoff at 6v4, but instead Evans was able to get the shot off to seal the game.
Overall it wasn’t the Flames’ best game by any measure. For a team that has been quite dominant for most of their games, their effort was comparatively sluggish and ineffective, and the result was that they lost a close game. Interestingly, their new second line was their best in the game, as their first line of Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and Matthew Tkachuk did not have a good game as a unit—a rare one-off in an otherwise phenomenal start to their season.
Calgary’s road winning streak came to an end and they lose two straight games in regulation for the first time this season. Data visualisations from the game are below.
All situations corsi
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