Flames Game Recaps

Flames Visual Recap 22: Backlund scores in seventh round of shootout, Calgary sweeps season series against Pittsburgh

Trying to get back into the win column after an upsetting loss against the Winnipeg Jets, the Calgary Flames turned to their game against the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins. Already beating the Penguins earlier in the season, the team that came to Calgary looked quite different—Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Jeff Carter were all back on the roster. It’d be a different game based on that alone, but the gameplan didn’t change for Calgary, they’d just have to stick to their game.

First period

The first period was controlled mostly by the Flames, especially early on. Most of the pressure came from Calgary throughout the period, but the score remained tied after one. Not much happened in the first frame overall. However, there were offsetting penalties against Blake Coleman and Chad Ruhwedel. This is noteworthy purely because it took until there were less than 10 minutes left in the game before there was a power play. More on that later.

Second period

The Flames continued to press on in the second period, and they were able to get one past Tristan Jarry midway through the game. Milan Lucic skated into the zone along the far boards and fired off a wrist shot that beat Jarry five-hole. That makes it two Penguins goalies that Lucic scored on via five-hole this season alone—the first time was against Casey DeSmith.

Oh, and there’s also this:

Third period

Entering the third period with a 1–0 lead, the Flames looked to shut things down. However, as mentioned earlier, the first power play of the game was given to Pittsburgh as Mikael Backlund was called for an interference.

On the ensuing Penguins power play, Jake Guentzel scored just seven seconds into the man-advantage. It was assisted by Crosby and Letang, who were sorely missed the first time these two teams met.

The Flames controlled, if not dominated the third period apart from the penalty blunder, but they weren’t able to get another goal past Jarry. Over the course of the game, the Flames hit a few posts but weren’t able to convert anything else beyond Lucic’s lone goal. The game would go onto overtime.


Overtime started with the trio of Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm, and Oliver Kylington. Over the next five minutes, the Flames again controlled the pace of play but were unsuccessful in ending the game. Heading into the shootout, it was a battle of the goaltenders as both Jacob Markstrom and Jarry were dialed in throughout the game.

This remained true, as both goaltenders made saves until Johnny Gaudreau and Letang traded goals in the third round. After that, it took until the seventh round before Backlund finally won the game for Calgary. Flames get back in the win column in a game they definitely deserved to win.

Game visualisations are below!

Game events

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Check out our tutorial on how to plot an NHL rink using R with the full code and customisation options included!

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