Playing the fifth game of their seven-game road trip, the Calgary Flames looked to get back into the win column against the Buffalo Sabres after losing in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flames made a few tweaks in their lines, now trying a second line of Blake Coleman, Mikael Backlund, and Andrew Mangiapane, all while bumping Sean Monahan down to the third line with Dillon Dube and Tyler Pitlick.
The Flames opened the game with plenty of pressure and made the first period tough for the Sabres. Midway through the period, the Flames were rewarded as a stretch pass from Matthew Tkachuk to Johnny Gaudreau sprung him on a partial breakaway, and Gaudreau went top corner on a precision shot that beat Dustin Tokarski to put the Flames up 1–0.
After the goal, the Sabres had a bit of pushback as the Flames momentarily took their foot off the gas pedal. However, Calgary didn’t let the swing in momentum change the score, and instead closed out the period with more pressure of their own.
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 te
The second period started with another goal for Calgary. The Flames had a strong cycle and a shot attempt from Oliver Kylington ended up bouncing to Chris Tanev, who immediately passed to Mangiapane. Skating into the slot, Mangiapane got a backhand shot off in very similar fashion as the rest of his backhand goals this year.
Up 2–0, the Flames weren’t done yet. They added three more goals in the second period and did it over a span of a minute and a half in the second half of the frame.
Matthew Tkachuk scored at 13:58, Mangiapane added his second goal of the night at 14:59, and Gaudreau matched with his second goal at 15:35 on the power play. Just like that, the Flames were up 5–0.
The Flames didn’t keel back in the third period, and instead kept the pressure on. Aaron Dell took over for Tokarski, but the Flames were unfazed. They didn’t look like a team that was up 5–0 at all—they looked like a team that had two players on the cusp of hat tricks and were trying to get either Gaudreau or Mangiapane their third goals, all while preserving the shutout of Jacob Markstrom.
Unfortunately, no more goals would be scored so both players would finish their nights with two goals each—and Gaudreau an assist as well for a three-point night. But the Flames were successful at getting another shutout victory. This would be Markstrom’s fifth shutout of the season, which now gives him a two shutout lead over Ilya Sorokin and Jack Campbell for the league lead.
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