A lot of the Flames loses lately don’t seem to express just how hard the team works during the course of each game. The game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Consol Energy Center was no exception.
Less than two minutes into the opening period, Glencross went into the boards funny and ended up out of the game with a left knee injury. Not a good start but the Flames persevered. They did a good job of holding off the Penguins in the first period, but it soon came to an end when Dupuis opened the scoring. Not long after, another Penguins goal ended the first period 2-0 for Pittsburgh.
The beginning of the second period was a mess for the Flames. They were incohesive and needed to work together on the ice but couldn’t find a system that worked. After Giordano took a holding penalty, he hit Sutter hard as he came out of the box and that was when momentum changed for the Flames. Byron scored to put Calgary on the board and stay in the game.
When Pittsburgh accumulated the next two goals, putting the Penguins up 4-1, I thought Calgary was all but done with this game. I was prepared to throw in the towel – just as I assumed the Flames would. Cammalleri changed that when his wrister found the back of the Penguins net near the end of the period. The second period ended with a score of 4-2 for the Penguins.
Just over a minute into the third period, Hudler scored to bring the Flames within one goal of a tie game. Russell was hurt in the third period with an apparent leg injury and did not return to the game. Stajan was hit hard into the boards and took a minute to get back up. Smid went staggering to the bench after being crushed into the end boards. The Calgary Flames fought for a win, but it was not to be. Even though they fought hard in the opposition’s zone, took shots on net, covered their own end defensively, and put pressure on the Penguins throughout most of the third period, the Flames fell 4-3 in Pittsburgh to end their road trip.
If there were points awarded purely on effort, the Flames would be at the top of the league. But there aren’t and the Flames are still sitting just above the Oilers in the standings.
The Flames are 1-4 on this road trip and will host the St. Louis Blues at the Saddledome on Monday before taking a few days off for the holidays.
Tags: Calgary Flames