With their playoff positioning clinched as the top Pacific Division seed, the Calgary Flames didn’t have much to play for. They are technically thick in the hunt for second in the Western Conference, with it being a three-horse race with the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues. Calgary hosted the Vancouver Canucks for their last home game of the season in a game that could have heavy implications for the Canucks’ slim playoff chances.
The first period was slow for both teams. Before the midpoint of the frame, barely anything had happened for neither Calgary nor Vancouver. If Vancouver was desperate for the two points, they weren’t showing it.
Midway through the frame, the home team kicked things up a notch, but they weren’t able to score on Thatcher Demko. On the other side of the ice, it was Daniel Vladar in net for the Flames with the latest call-up Dustin Wolf backing him up. It turns out the Flames are finally ready to give Jacob Markstrom rest in game number 79 of the season.
The game remained scoreless after one period of play.
Early in the second period, the Flames were on the power play. Elias Lindholm received a pass from Johnny Gaudreau, and a split second later the Flames were up by one. Lindholm reached the 40-goal mark, doing so exactly one game after Matthew Tkachuk did the same.
Lindholm became the 12th player in the NHL to reach the 40-goal mark, beating fellow 39-goal peers in Filip Forsberg, Aleksander Barkov, and David Pastrnak. He also represents the first Flames centreman to reach the milestone since Robert Reichel did so in 1993–94.
Just 16 seconds after the opening goal, the Flames were back in the offensive zone. Calle Jarnkrok cycled around the net and passed it off to Dillon Dube for the one-timer for his 15th goal of the season.
The Flames controlled most of the second period, but with under two minutes to go, Quinn Hughes got the Canucks back within one, beating Vladar after being left alone right in front of the net.
The Canucks were able to tie the game up in the third period on a goal from Conor Garland But the Flames responded in 14 seconds to restore the lead. This time, it was thanks to Brett Ritchie who tipped the puck in with his skate while battling for position in the slot.
That’d be two goals from Calgary that were scored immediately after another goal, and in both cases they were the beneficiaries. Seems like a bit of a theme was beginning to build as the game story.
Well past the midway point of the final period, the Canucks were expected to show a new level of desperation, but it didn’t really come to fruition. Instead, the Flames extended their lead.
Dube was sprung on a two-on-one with Matthew Tkachuk, but he opted to hang onto the puck and whip a perfectly placed backhand shot top shelf over Demko’s glove.
Right after that goal, the play was back in the Flames’ offensive zone for a faceoff. Mikael Backlund won the faceoff and the puck was picked up by Nikita Zadorov. A weak shot on net hit Tyler Myers in front of the crease and trickled under Demko. That’d be 12 seconds between goals for Calgary. The theme was scoring quickly was definitely established now.
Late in the period, the Canucks had extended play with their net empty, and Elias Pettersson was able to score once to draw Vancouver back within two goals. However, the Canucks net was later vacated again and Gaudreau scored to seal the game. 6–2 Flames, final score.
Data visualisations from the game are below!
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