Calgary Flames lose in shootout despite dominating Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO,ON - DECEMBER 6: Matthew Tkachuk
TORONTO,ON - DECEMBER 6: Matthew Tkachuk /

The Calgary Flames were hoping to get one back after losing two in a row. And after a dominating game vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs, they still lost in a shootout.

The game started out with a cruel joke by the league. With a small presentation for the Toronto Argonauts on winning the Grey Cup, a loss that’s still stinging for Calgary Stampeders fans, this probably fueled the Calgary Flames a little. I mean, they just HAD to do that presentation today, didn’t they?

Anyways, let’s get on to the game. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Flames already met just a week ago where Leafs took the game 4-1 with some unlucky bounces and poor defensive coverage on the Flames part. The Flames were heading into this one coming off of two losses. And they’re just 2-4-1 in their last seven games. The Leafs head into this game having three days off and losing their last game vs. the Vancouver Canucks.

Sam Bennett would head into this game on a four-game point streak, a tie for the longest of his career. After not registering a point until his 18th game, he’s picked it up lately with six points in his last four games and nine points in his last 10 games. He’ll be looking to make it a career high five-game point streak tonight, but he’ll have to do it without Jaromir Jagr. A lower body injury that caused Jagr to miss the game last week vs. the Leafs as well would plague him again tonight. The Bennett and Mark Jankowski line will be joined by Garnet Hathaway instead and Matt Stajan will centre the fourth line with Curtis Lazar and Troy Brouwer on the wings.

Related Story: Flames lose all battles vs. Maple Leafs

First period

The first period started out with a good jump by the Calgary Flames and some solid scoring chances in the first half of the period. They had a couple of good shifts from their fourth line and some good jump by their third line. Around the eight-minute mark, the Leafs had a bit more pushback. The Flames got a powerplay and with a good screen from Troy Brouwer (I’m sorry for complimenting Brouwer), Flames captain and Toronto native, Mark Giordano, got the Flames on the board making it 1-0 with passes from Sean Monahan and Troy Brouwer. This means that Brouwer now has a point-streak.

Toronto had some push after that goal and they had a powerplay from a delay of game penalty from Gio. And while they had some good chances, it was no match for Mike Smith. With about 12 seconds left in the period, the Flames get a hooking call right after the refs failed to call a too many men penalty on the Leafs. There were only 12 seconds for the Leafs on that PP at the end of the period, and wow can a lot happen in 12 seconds.

The Leafs had some chances in those last 12 seconds, but again, to no avail. In their one powerplay and 12 seconds of another in the first period, they had four shots, five scoring chances, and three high-danger chances. The Flames really have to try and remain disciplined for the remainder of the game because the Leafs powerplay looks scary and they’ll have to do their best to win that initial faceoff in that second period and try to kill it off.

There was also a bit of a scrum at the Flames bench during the period. Matt Martin went over to specifically check Troy Brouwer, then later, Matthew Tkachuk somewhat speared Martin while Tkachuk was on the bench. Tkachuk will most likely get this looked at and a potential fine or suspension is in the near future for him.

Second period

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

The Calgary Flames started the second period on the penalty-kill like I mentioned. They managed to kill it off, but the Toronto Maple Leafs kept the pressure on for a good six minutes. They basically dominated the first quarter of the period. But the Flames came back and had a lot of pushback and at this point, it was basically back and forth.

The Flames first line had some great chances, in particular, a great scoring chance for Sean Monahan, but Freddy Andersen had to stop it like it was his job or something. Later, Johnny Gaudreau‘s stick broke and he looked like he just threw it down and got off the ice, but it was called an interference since the refs say he threw his stick. It may have been unintentional, but a penalty’s a penalty.

The Leafs had some good chances on the powerplay, but they’re no match for the dynamic duo of Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund on the PK. They managed to make it a two-on-one breakaway shorthanded, but no goal, unfortunately.

Late in the period, Mike Smith fell behind the net and the Flames had to scramble to stop the puck from going in.

But then Gio tried to clear the puck and put it to the boards for one of the forwards to get it, but no Flames forwards were at the board there, and Morgan Rielly got the puck and made it 1-1 with 1:13 left in the period.

Later in the period, Jake Gardiner would get a cross-check penalty on Matthew Tkachuk so the Flames would get a late powerplay. They had one scoring chance in those 35 seconds, but the score would remain 1-1 after 40 minutes of play.

Third period

This time, the Calgary Flames would start the period on the powerplay. After a broken Leafs stick, the Flames had a good chance of gaining the lead again. But of course, since it’s the Flames, and luck never goes their way, Micheal Ferland’s stick also breaks on a shot. The Flames had one scoring chance on that powerplay to start the third period, but no shots.

The Flames dominated for most of the first half of the period. While there was a little bit of end to end action, the Flames had 11 shots to the Leafs’ three in those first ten minutes. In fact, it stayed like that until about the 15-minute mark for the Leafs. The Flames were quite dominating most of the period and they were hungry for the win. But credit to Andersen because he made some great saves.

At one point, it looked like Monahan somewhat shoved the puck in Toronto’s net, but the net came off, so no goal. But the top line and the third line in the third period were generating lots of scoring chances.

By the end of the period, the Flames had absolutely dominated the third period. They outshot them 17-7 in the third and outshot them 43-28 after 60 minutes of play. But Andersen decided to be rude and stop everything, so this one would need overtime (*cue panic*).

There was a bit of back and forth, but for the most part, the Calgary Flames had the edge in OT and had possession more often. And Johnny Gaudreau took a penalty late in OT with just 32 seconds left (*cue more panic*).

This one would end up needing a shootout. It went to the fourth round with a lone scorer from Matthew Tkachuk for the Flames. He’s now 3 for 3 in the shootout this season. And he uses the same moves every time.

All in all, this was a disappointing one to lose. They outshot the Leafs 48-29, but couldn’t walk away with two points.

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But we can’t sit around and mope about it. On to the next one tomorrow night.