The Calgary Flames came into the game playing their third game in four nights. With the three opponents the faced, this could very well be the hardest stretch of their season. After losing 6–2 to Florida and 4–1 to Tampa Bay, they jumped straight into a game versus the Carolina Hurricanes. Unfortunately, the best teams in the league all came out victorious over Calgary and the Flames now finds themselves with a three-game losing streak.
Expectations were that Jacob Markstrom would have started against Carolina after Daniel Vladar got the nod the night prior. However, Markstrom was “not 100%” tonight as per Darryl Sutter, and Vladar ended up taking on the heavy workload, starting his second game in as many nights.
Further, the Flames changed up their lines. Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm found a new linemate in Blake Coleman, while Johnny Gaudreau reunited with Sean Monahan alongside Andrew Mangiapane. Further, Adam Ruzicka slotted back into the lineup.
Early in the first, the Flames got the opening goal. Jordan Staal meant for a defensive zone pass to go to a teammate, but the pass was too soft and landed right on Coleman’s stick as he entered the zone. He got a quick shot off that beat Frederik Andersen to give the Flames a lead.
Midway through the first period, the Flames were on the power play where they also tested out new units here, with Mangiapane notably being on the first unit over Monahan. However, the Flames unsuccessful on the power play throughout the whole game despite getting chances. Midgame changes to the units were made, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes out of this once they get back to Calgary.
Toward the end of the first, the Hurricanes tied it up with a tip-in goal from Jesper Fast (in his 500th NHL game). The Canes managed to tie it despite Calgary playing a better first period, which could be deflating for a tired team as the Flames were.
The momentum the Flames had in the first quickly switched to the Hurricanes, and they stormed back with a three goal outpour over five minutes in the middle frame. Derek Stepan, Andrei Svechnikov, and Tony DeAngelo all scored to give Carolina a 4–1 lead.
However, the Flames immediately cut into the lead just one minute after the Canes’ fourth goal. Lindholm and Tkachuk entered the zone on a two-on-one, and Tkachuk got a shot through Andersen’s five-hole.
The second was controlled by the Canes and the Flames struggled to turn the tides. Despite getting two power plays to close out the period, Calgary wasn’t able to generate anything.
Still in search of a third period comeback, the Flames had a two-goal deficit to surmount. Against a team like Carolina, it’d be no easy task. Around the midway mark of the third period, Gaudreau was sprung on a breakaway with Erik Gudbranson passing him the puck from the Flames’ own goal line. Gaudreau scored—as he has with most of his breakaways this season—to make it a 4–3 game.
However, as the game was nearing its end, Carolina put up two goals in quick succession. The first was from Brady Skjei, whose goal essentially prevented the Flames from even attempting pulling their goalie. The goal was challenged for goaltender interference but was unsuccessful. It didn’t look like the Flames had a case to begin with, but it was more for the chance of getting the goal called back as scoring two against Carolina late in the game would be near impossible.
The call on the ice stood, and on the ensuing power play for the Canes, Svechnikov scored his second of the night to cap off the game with a final score of 6–3. Visualisations are below.
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