The Calgary Flames played host the NHL’s first place team in the Florida Panthers. Having just lost to the Panthers exactly two weeks ago—which spurred a losing streak—the Flames came into the game in desperate need of turning things around. The game featured a tribute to former Flame Sam Bennett in his first game back in the Saddledome since being traded last year.
The visitors opened the game with a quicker pace in the first few minutes, but an early penalty by Carter Verhaeghe stunted the Panthers’ momentum. Instead, it quickly turned in the Flames’ favour. As the Flames were cycling the puck, Rasmus Andersson got an initial shot off, and had a huge rebound that he dialed in on for a big slapslot goal to mark his first goal of the season.
Midway through the period, Blake Coleman extended the Flames’ lead. Andrew Mangiapane sauced a pass across to Coleman who was able to get a tight angle shot off on a mostly vacated net—Panthers’ goaltender Spencer Knight was completely out of position on the play.
Getting a 2–0 lead in the first period against the Panthers at home was huge for the Flames. Given the Panthers’ recent scoring pace, a multi-goal lead wasn’t yet considered safe.
The second period was one of Calgary’s better second periods outright this season. They opened it with immense pressure against Florida and at times made 5v5 play feel like a man-advantage. However, midway through the period, Bennett scored against his former team to cut the lead in half.
Florida’s goal came off of two consecutive posts from Verhaeghe and Mason Marchment. The loose puck found its way to Bennett who collected his 16th goal of the season on a shot Jacob Markstrom had no chance on.
However, just under four minutes later, the Flames responded on the power play. Sean Monahan won the faceoff, sending the puck back to Johnny Gaudreau. Monahan was in position to tip the puck into the net just three seconds into the man-advantage.
Early in the third period, the Flames scored twice in quick succession to go ahead 5–1. Their first marker of the period came from a perfect defelction from Matthew Tkachuk in a transition play into the offensive zone by the Flames’ first line. Lindholm’s pass up to Tkachuk was slightly behind him, but Tkachuk had the quick reaction to pull his own stick back to tip the puck.
About three minutes later, Monahan picked up his second goal of the night (his first multi-goal game since March 13, 2021 against the Montreal Canadiens). In another transitional play into the offensive zone, Tkachuk found Gaudreau, who then saw Monahan skating in as the third forward. Monahan had time to outwait Knight to pretty much earn an empty net to shoot at. The Flames’ fifth goal of the game secured Gaudreau’s fourth point of the night—three primary assists and one secondary.
That’d be all the scoring in the game and aside from some late-game roughness, the Flames put the exclamation point in snapping their losing streak, doing so by stifling the league’s most potent offence. Game visualisations are below!
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