The New York Rangers hosted the Calgary Flames at Madison Square Garden on December 15th for the first time in over three years. It was a strong first period for the Flames as they showed a lot of hustle and work ethic. Backlund opened the scoring in the first period and Glencross also capitalized in the first to put the Flames up by two early in the game. But the Rangers wouldn’t let a two-goal lead go unanswered. Stepan scored before the period ended with a score of 2-1.
The second wasn’t the Flames best period of hockey. But they held off the Rangers, for the most part. Near the end of the period, McGrattan had been dealing with rookie Ranger McIlrath’s prodding for long enough and they dropped the mitts. I have to give respect to McIlrath (former Moose Jaw Warrior in the WHL) for staying in the fight and trying to prove his position on the Rangers roster, but McGrattan is one of the toughest in the league and won the tilt in the end. After the fight, before the refs separated the players, it looked like McG asked the kid if it was all good, to which the kid gave him a nod and skated off with a smile.
The third period proved to me that the Flames have the potential to stay in the game and work hard to achieve a win. From a nice feed from Hudler, Monahan scored early in the third period to put the Flames ahead by one goal again. Yet, the Rangers Kreider would tie the game again later to force overtime.
Overtime solved nothing and the teams went to a shootout. In the seventh round, after goals by Colborne, Stempniak, and Byron, the New York Rangers went on to win when Pouliot scored the game winner.
Ramo made 29 saves of 32 shots on net and earned himself another penalty in the third period. I don’t know why the Flames goalies feel the need to take so many penalties this season. Whether it’s to prove a point or just a mistake in judgement, the goalies need to stop taking ridiculous penalties that are costing the Flames goals and, subsequently, wins.
My 1 Star
Lance Bouma. With four shots on net in the first period, more chances throughout the game, and numerous blocked shots under his belt, he made a good impression on the ice in New York. He’s stepped up his game in the past few months and has settled nicely into his position on the team. He’s one of the team’s best defensive offence players right now and he’s exactly what the Flames need in their own zone.
The next Flames game is on Tuesday, in Boston, as they take on the Bruins again for the second time in a week.