The Calgary Flames are the hottest team in the NHL, entering this game with a five game winning streak and surging up the Pacific Division standings. Standing in their was were the New York Islanders, fresh off a loss against the Edmonton Oilers the night before.
Looking for a sixth straight win, Jacob Markstrom tended the pipes for the Flames, his 12th consecutive start. For the Islanders, it was supposed to be Semyon Varlamov in net, but it was Ilya Sorokin in goal for the Islanders. It was later announced that Varlamov was placed into covid protocols despite him taking warmups. Not good.
The Flames opened the scoring midway through the first period. Off a gorgeous pass from behind the net from Rasmus Andersson, Adam Ruzicka put home his third goal of the season. Shortly after that though, Noah Dobson scored a power play goal that deflected off Noah Hanifin and past Markstrom to even things up.
With just under two minutes left in the first, Chris Tanev restored the Flames’ one-goal lead with a nice wrister over the shoulder of Sorokin for his fourth goal of the season.
The second period saw the Flames put on an absolute clinic on defense. The Islanders were held without a shot for the first 12 minutes of the middle frame. Andrew Mangiapane tipped home a nice setup from Ruzicka to give the Flames a 3-1 lead, but Jean-Gabriel Pageau capitalized on a rare miscue from Elias Lindholm to bring the lead back to one before the period was over.
In the third period, the Flames played almost perfectly. They owned 71% of the expected goals in the third and really clamped down on the Islanders. Erik Gubranson and Lindholm scored in the third to push the final score to an impressive 5-2.
The Flames earned their sixth straight win and moved to just one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for first in the Pacific, with three games in hand.
Check out the data visualizations from the game below!
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