Calgary Flames head into bye-week on seven-game win streak

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 14 2018: (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 14 2018: (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Calgary Flames will look to make it a seven-game win streak vs. the Carolina Hurricanes tonight before they go on their bye-week.

The Calgary Flames will try to make it a seven-game win streak tonight in a different looking lineup today. They’ll hope to enter their bye-week on a high. Today, Sean Monahan will be out of the lineup due to an illness, so Marek Hrivik will finally draw into the lineup. He’ll be making his Flames debut.

The Flames also placed Jaromir Jagr on injured reserve today and called up Ryan Lomberg.

Since Monahan’s out, Sam Bennett will join that top line, Andrew Mangiapane will move up to that third line alongside Mark Jankowski and Garnet Hathaway for an all AHL line that had a good amount of success with the Stockton Heat. Marek Hrivik will go on that fourth line alongside Matt Stajan and Curtis Lazar.

It’s unfortunate that Monahan is out tonight. He along with Johnny Gaudreau are on six-game point streaks right now. While Micheal Ferland didn’t get any points last game, he was also on a roll with a five-game point streak and a four-game goal streak.

The Flames and Carolina Hurricanes have already met once this year back in October. It ended in a one-goal game with the win going to the Hurricanes. The Flames will hope to get one back today.

Related Story: Flames fall 2-1 in setback to Hurricanes

Let’s check out how this game played out.

First period

There was some good action early on from both team and the Calgary Flames getting some good chances early on Scott Darling. The Flames were pressing and were doing well at taking away the Hurricanes’ entries and at keeping possession. They were also doing well on the forecheck. The message of them not getting outshot was heard loud and clear.

Then Curtis Lazar was carrying the puck into the offensive zone with Canes players all over him. He was pulling a Johnny Gaudreau and doing a good job at dangling the puck around them, he got taken down, got the puck over to Matt Stajan in the process who net it in! That was Stajan’s first goal of the season. 45 games in. Yes, you heard that right.

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

And Hrivik was on the ice for that goal too and almost went off side but did a great job at keeping his skate at the line until Lazar crossed. Great first Flames game for him so far. The Flames are 15-4-2 when scoring the first goal this season, let’s hope they can keep that up.

We got some four on four hockey for two minutes and Johnny Gaudreau with Sam Bennett were making moves and trying to set it up. Mark Giordano jumped up on the play there and they got a shot on Darling and looked like they could maybe make it a two-goal lead, but no goal.

Around seven minutes left to go in the period and the Canes started to press some more. Mike Smith had to make a couple of sharp saves.

Late in the period with less than two minutes left, as Micheal Ferland was about to go off, he made a good play in the neutral zone to get it right to Johnny Gaudreau who found Dougie Hamilton coming in the zone and with a rocker shot, makes it a two-goal game for the Flames. Gaudreau always knows where everybody is on the ice.

Gaudreau’s now on a seven-game point streak.

The first period ended with the Flames outshooting the Canes 12-10 and had 22 shot attempts (5v5) compared to the Canes’ 21. Well, the Flames are finally outshooting their opponents.

Curtis Lazar looked great in that period. He hasn’t quite been performing well lately, or at all, but that first period was a good period for him. The Flames lead 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.

Second period

The Hurricanes came out in the first period with some push, but couldn’t find the back of the net. The Calgary Flames finally started to push back a few minutes in and at the midway mark of the second period, they were even in shots with seven a piece. However, the Flames had 11 shot attempts to the Canes eight with four scoring chances to the Canes three.

A little past the midway mark and the Canes came pushing again. They got a few good shots on Mike Smith who had to make a couple of sharp saves. With around seven minutes to go in the period, the Canes went on the powerplay and had a great chance to make it just a one-goal game.

The Canes couldn’t quite set up effectively on the PP at first and the Flames were aggressive on the PK. They finally had a chance to set up and got a good shot on Smith, who again, had to be sharp. Mikael Backlund and Troy Brouwer had a two on one shorthanded, but no goal on that powerplay.

However, in the dying minutes of the PP, the Flames get another penalty and will have to be shorthanded for another two minutes (or less). Again, a great chance for the Canes to make it a one-goal game in the last five minutes.

On this PP, the Flames were all over Sebastian Aho. As a result, the Canes weren’t quite able to set up effectively and they had no good chances. But credit to the Flames for knowing where to go on that PK.

The Canes pushed in the last couple minutes of the period, but Mike Smith (again) was on his a-game. He saw everything coming his way through traffic. This period ended with no goals and the Canes outshooting the Flames 16-12. They’re also outshooting the Flames now 26-24 in the game. The Canes had nine scoring chances (5v5) compared to the Flames’ five.

Third period

Early into the period, the Canes were going into the Calgary Flames zone with a chance. Mark Giordano saw Aho, one of the Canes best forward, and Giordano went and checked him which was a clean hit. But Aho went down awkwardly and seemed hurt so Justin Williams went after Gio and they got into a bit of a fight. Aho needed help off the ice when it seemed like Gio and Aho’s knees made contact after the shoulder to chest check.

Big loss for the Canes if Aho’s injured. All that resulted for Giordano getting a five minute major and ejected from the game for a check to the head. But looking at the play, it was clear Gio hit Aho’s chest, so Glen Gulutzan wasn’t happy about that. This ended up as a four on four for both teams.

*After looking at the play again, many people have concluded that Gio somewhat stands still and Aho makes contact. Definitely a hit to the head, but a ~clean hit to the head, if you will. Clearly wasn’t intentional on Gio’s part and people aren’t anticipating any hearing.

Gio was given a five-minute that was served by Mangiapane while Williams was given a two-minute penalty. But when that ended, Jordan Staal took a penalty, so we’ll continue with some 4on4. On that 4on4, the Canes had a two-on-one that hit the post and slid across the net and out which is as close as you can get. From that, the Flames went the other way. And with some glorious passing sequence from Dougie to Johnny Gaudreau who passed it to Matthew Tkachuk and back to Dougie, Dougie gets his second goal of the game. The Flames would now be up 3-0 3:17 into the period.

The Flames had a few penalty kills which they killed off successfully. They finally got their chance on the powerplay and with a good effort by Tkachuk, got on in the net.

The Canes went on the powerplay later (lots of penalties in the third period). With less than five minutes left, the Canes capitalized on the powerplay. With the goal coming from former Flame, Lee Stempniak. Unfortunately, Mike Smith was only 4:31 away from a shutout.

And just like that, the Calgary Flames have moved into the second Pacific Division spot. They win this game 4-1 and Mike Smith was spectacular and stopped 38 of 39 shots. He continues to be the best road goaltender in the league this season.

Dougie also ends up getting the game-winner which is his third game-winning goal in 2018 so far.

Next: Three former Flames make Team Canada Olympic roster

Each team head on their bye-week. The Canes on a two-game losing streak and the Flames on a seven-game win streak. This isn’t the most ideal time for the Flames to on bye-week when they’re on such a hot streak right now, but we’ll take what we can get.