The Hockey Hall of Fame weekend kicked off with none other than the Hall of Fame Game, played out of the Scotiabank Arena between the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was fitting to have the Flames play in the game with Jarome Iginla being a guest of honour.
The Flames were the tired team having just lost in Montreal the night prior, but they hoped to turn things around and pick up a win with their legendary winger in the building.
The Flames have started well in the first period for most of their games this year, but on the back end of a back-to-back, their weariness was quite present. It took Calgary a couple of minutes before they even registered their first shot attempt, and there was also a long stretch in the period where they were held to no offence at all. It wasn’t until the final couple minutes of the period that they had a flurry of attempts, but they were unable to get on the board.
The second period was an interesting one. Neither team would end up scoring after 40 minutes of play, and on paper it looked like the teams were fairly even. However, the Leafs had a great number of chances compared to a plethora of low quality shot attempts for Calgary. The Leafs simply were more dangerous in the middle period, but both Jack Campbell and Daniel Vladar were up to the task in their respective nets.
Finally, in the third there was scoring. The Flames got on the board first less than five minutes into the period. The Leafs were in control in the Flames’ zone and had a few chances, but in quick transition out of their zone, the duo of Johnny Gaudreau and Oliver Kylington took matters into their own hands.
Kylington carried the puck out of the zone and passed it off to Gaudreau. As both of them entered the Leaf’s zone, Gaudreau fed a perfect pass to Kylington who had time and space to convert on a backhand that beat a sprawling Campbell.
Being up 1–0 in the third period, the Flames tried to lock it down, but the Leafs managed to tie it up with just seven minutes remaining. William Nylander took a one-timer from the top of the near circle and it was tipped by Ondrej Kase who was parked in front of Vladar.
Neither team would score again and the game required extra time.
In overtime, the teams had a bit of back and forth action but the Leafs were clearly more dangerous with the puck. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner had a couple of Grade-A chances but Vladar was able to fight off the goals to start overtime.
However, at the midpoint of overtime, the Leafs ended the game with Matthews scoring on a snap shot that was too quick for the Flames’ goaltender to handle. The Leafs win and the Flames lose their third game in a row—picking up one point in tonight’s loss.
Data visualisations from the game are below.
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