The Calgary Flames hosted the Vegas Golden Knights in a high stakes game. The Flames could clinch a playoff spot with a win, while the Golden Knights desperately need every point they can get to keep in the playoff race at all.
With the Gaudreaus in the stands, the Flames started the game much better than they did against the Seattle Kraken a couple of nights ago. The first period started off well for the Flames and they got on the board with a power play goal. Tyler Toffoli had the time and space to the side of the net to make a decision to either shoot a sharp angle shot or to pass for a high-danger scoring chance.
He opted for the latter and Dillon Dube was the beneficiary, getting the Flames on the board midway through the first. The assist from Toffoli would be his 27th of the season, tying a personal best in that regard.
A few minutes later, Jack Eichel sent a one-timer into the back of the net to tie the game up at one goal apiece.
Late in the period, Chris Tanev was hit in the head by Keegan Kolesar. The hit sent Tanev to the locker room but he returned in the second period. Kolesar was assessed an illegal check to the head penalty on the misplay.
The Flames were not happy with Kolesar and made it a point to chase down the skater to get retribution or to throw his game off. Lucic took a holding penalty that led to the Evgenii Dadonov scoring for the Golden Knights just as the penalty expired to get their first lead.
The Flames were thrown off their game and were too focused on Kolesar, and Andrew Mangiapane was even assessed a penalty for clipping Kolesar late in the period as well.
It was one of those periods where the Flames actually did fall victim to playing the victim. Instead of playing hockey, they were dialled in to making Kolesar’s game miserable, but the Golden Knights took advantage with every opportunity instead, catching the unfocused Flames on turnovers, bad reads, and also a shaky Jacob Markstrom.
The Flames ended up pulling Markstrom midway through the period, and Daniel Vladar would make his second relief appearance in as many games. Markstrom ended up giving up four goals on 17 shots, while Vladar gave up one goal on three shots coming into the game.
The Golden Knights went into the game desperate, but the Flames definitely made it way too easy for the visitors.
The Flames pushed for much of the third period in search of a goal to spark the team. To be fair, they came out in the third with their much more usual tenacity, seemingly shelving the Kolesar ordeal. However, Logan Thompson was solid in net for Vegas throughout the whole game.
The Flames put up a total of 36 shots and only one made it past Thompson. As the period wound down, the Golden Knights added one more goal from William Karlsson to cap it all off. The Flames’ five-game win streak was cutoff as they failed to surpass the century mark in the standings and will have to wait another day before their playoff spot is officially clinched, whereas Vegas picked up two critical points to remain very much in the playoff race.
Charts from the game are below.
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