Two teams vying for second overall in the Western Conference met for their penultimate game of the regular season, as the Calgary Flames were visitors against the Minnesota Wild.
The game carried little weight for either team other than the aforementioned seeding, so both teams were just playing for the sake of closing out the season on a high note prior to the postseason.
The Flames were a bit flat to start the game as the Wild were the better team in the opening 20 minutes. There was a huge chance for Ryan Hartman just under eight minutes into the game, but Jacob Markstrom made an outstanding save to keep the score at zero.
Neither team was able to score in the first as former Flame Cam Talbot was also sharp in net for Minnesota.
Just shy of three minutes into the second period, the Flames got the game’s first goal. Much more notably, Johnny Gaudreau was the scorer—picking up his 40th goal of the season to become the third Flame to do so in 2021–22.
Nikita Zadorov had a fairly slick zone entry and passed the puck around the boards to Matthew Tkachuk. A quick no-look backhand pass into the slot found Gaudreau who was there to backhand it himself over a sprawling Talbot.
The entire first line reached the 40-goal mark this season, solidifying their case for being the best trio in the league.
Jonas Brodin scored on the power play three minutes after Gaudreau’s goal to tie the game up at one apiece.
Overall it was a better period for the Flames as they had much more control of the puck throughout the middle frame. However, no more goals were scored, and the game went into the third period tied at one.
Frederick Gaudreau scored for the Wild 12 minutes into the third period for Minnesota’s first lead of the game. Howeer, with time winding down, the Flames answered back with an Elias Lindholm snipe going top corner over Talbot’s blocker, off the post and in.
For the second straight game in this end-of-season road trip, the Flames were heading to overtime.
An early penalty was called against Rasmus Andersson for closing his hand on the puck, and the incensed defender pleaded his case en route to the penalty box to no avail. On the ensuing Wild power play, they sent four forwards onto the ice and Kirill Kaprizov ultimately made quick work ending the game, sniping the puck past Markstrom.
The Flames and Wild are now tied with 111 points, but Calgary holds the tie break with 44 regulation wins to Minnesota’s 36. The each have a game remaining in the schedule—the Flames set to face the Winnipeg Jets, the Wild set to face against the Colorado Avalanche.
Data visualisations from the match are below!
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