Calgary Flames win fifth straight against defending champions

CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 2: The Calgary Flames celebrate on ice after an OT win against the Pittsburg Penguins at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 2, 2017 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - NOVEMBER 2: The Calgary Flames celebrate on ice after an OT win against the Pittsburg Penguins at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 2, 2017 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Calgary Flames continued their home-stance tonight with a game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. They took this one 2-1 and have now won five straight against the Penguins.

While the game didn’t start out pretty for the Calgary Flames, the ending was exactly what they would have hoped for. The Flames were hoping to make it five straight wins against the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. And luck was on their side.

The Pens so far this season were 0-4-0 in their second game of back-to-backs. Three of them being complete blowout losses (10-1, 7-1, 7-1). And with the Pens winning last night up north against the Edmonton Oilers, the Flames were hoping to have this one in the bag.

First Period

The first period started off with a big jump by the Pittsburgh Penguins early on. You wouldn’t think they were the team who played the night before, but here they were. Mike Smith had to be sharp early on in the first because he was definitely not getting much support from his teammates.

The wonderful and lovely Mikael Backlund who never does anything wrong took a penalty about halfway through the first period.

While the Pens remained scoreless on that powerplay, they had five shots in those two minutes. In that first period, the Pens outshot the Flames 19-8. They absolutely dominated the first 20 minutes of play. And although it did seem that way, both teams had 18 shot attempts at 5v5. But the Pens did have more scoring chances at 5v5, with 11 against the Flames’ 9. The score was still 0-0 after the first period.

Second Period

In the second period, the first 45 seconds for the Calgary Flames were already better than the entire first period for the team. The Flames came out strong right after the initial face-off and seemed to redeem themselves after a dominating first period by the Pens. The Flames even had two power plays, which, unfortunately, they couldn’t capitalize on, but at least they looked good. This time, the Flames outshot the Pens 14-10 and they had the edge in shot attempts at 5v5.

The score still remained 0-0 after 40 minutes of play, but both goaltenders had to be sharp. Mike Smith has already made 29 saves and Tristan Jarry, who was playing in only his second NHL game, had to make 22 saves.

Matthew Tkachuk took a hit late in the second period which resulted in a Flames powerplay, and he left the bench. But he returned to start the third period which was a huge sigh of relief.

Third Period

This is where things get fun. The Calgary Flames started out the third period on the power play, but again, no goal. And after that power play ended, it seemed like every 20 seconds, both teams kept taking icing calls.

At around the midway mark, Mike Smith being the beast that he was all night, made a game-saving save.

It was still scoreless until 4:14 left in the game and Kris Letang took a high sticking call against Sam Bennett. An awfully bad time to take a penalty, but so be it. So the Flames would go on the man-advantage and finally, after 56 minutes of play, they capitalized with a backhand from Sean Monahan and an assist from Johnny Gaudreau and T.J Brodie. Gaudreau now has points in seven of his last eight games and in 10 of the Flames 13 games they’ve played this season. He’s also now tied for third in assists with 13.

Related Story: Johnny Gaudreau is already miles better than last season

A few minutes later, Jarry would head to the bench for the extra attacker and of course, they ended up scoring. There goes what would have been an incredible shutout performance for Mike Smith. But off to OT we go.


The Flames on the season are 1-0 in OT and 1-0 in the shootout. The Pens, on the other hand, were 3-1 heading into OT. So it could really go either way. But we all know just how good the Flames are at 3on3.

At one point, Matthew Tkachuk steals the puck from none other than Sidney Crosby and slides the puck over to captain Mark Giordano who net the game-winner. Hey, remember last season when Micheal Ferland stole the puck from Sidney Crosby to get a goal and the Flames won in a shootout? Well just in case you don’t remember:

Oh and in case you want to see the Gio goal:

Thanks to our friends over at Flames Nation for all of the gifs.

The Flames have now won two in a row against two of the toughest teams to beat. They improve to 3-4-0 at home and continue their seven-game home stance on Sunday against the New Jersey Devils.

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Oh and Mike Smith? He stopped 43 of 44 shots tonight and is now 3-1-0 in his last four starts with an SV% of 0.953. In 12 starts this season, he’s allowed two goals or less seven times. I’d say he’s having a good year so far.