Calgary Flames give up two late goals, lose to Golden Knights

CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 30: Alex Tuch /

The Calgary Flames played the newest expansion team, the Vegas Golden Knights tonight for the first time. Let’s see how this game went down.

The Vegas Golden Knights made their appearance at the Saddledome for the first time in their franchise history tonight. As the Calgary Flames welcomed the newest NHL team, they’re looking to increase their point streak to 12 games.

Deryk Engelland will also face his former team for the first time since the expansion draft where he went back to Vegas. Michael Frolik also makes his way back into the lineup tonight since the end of December when he suffered a jaw injury. I guess he didn’t get the memo to not stand in the way of a Brent Burns slap shot.

The Flames will hope to slow down Vegas tonight, who are second in the league in the standings. Whoever thought we’d be saying that in January, I will personally give you $1 million. While the Vegas are one of the hottest teams in the league, they’ve also lost four of their last seven games.

Related Story: Flames Daily - Frolik returns from injury vs. Golden Knights

The Flames, like I mentioned, are on an 11-game point streak. However, their last four have all been losses. Flames fans, including me, have all been quite dramatic and we act like it’s the end of the world. But in hindsight, 18 points of a possible 22 since December 31st is actually, like, really good.

Enough babbling, let’s see how this game went down.

First period

The first period started with Frolik getting the first shot of the game about 30 seconds in. Safe to say the 3M line is complete again. In the first five minutes of the game, the Calgary Flames looked quite good. Despite one good 20 second shift from the Golden Knights, the Flames were taking away pucks in the neutral zone, not letting the Knights get clean zone entries, and they were having good zone entries themselves.

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

But because I said that, the Flames are about to crumble.

The Flames went on the powerplay, and despite not scoring, their powerplay looked good. They had five shots, eight shot attempts, eight scoring chances, and three high-danger chances. And except for one chance back by William Karlsson, which TJ Brodie came back and took the puck away anyways, the Flames spent most of the time in the Knights’ zone.

Late in the period, the Knights went on the powerplay. While the Flames looked decent on the PK, Jonathan Marchessault had the puck at the line with no Flame pressuring him, he shot it, and with a nice tip in from Reilly Smith, this game is 1-0. Uh oh.

Vegas is 21-1-0 when scoring first… so luck isn’t exactly in the Flames’ favour.

The first period ended 1-0 for the Knights with the Flames outshooting them 12-10 with 18 5v5 shot attempts vs. the Knights 17. It was quite an even period played.

Second period

The second period didn’t start as smoothly for the Calgary Flames as the first period did. The Golden Knights had a good amount of jumps and Mike Smith had to be sharp a few times early on.

About six minutes in, Troy Brouwer (what?) caused a turnover in the neutral zone as the Knights were trying to break out. He got the puck to Sam Bennett where he just snuck it past Marc-Andre Fleury. After that goal, Bennett went hard into the boards and went down the tunnel momentarily. Maybe just needed to walk it off, but he returned soon back to the bench. It’s a 1-1 game.

The Knights went on the powerplay and looked strong. They put lots of pressure and the Flames were barely able to clear the zone. Luckily, they managed to kill off that penalty. Mike Smith, again, had to be sharp on that penalty-kill. The Knights had four shots and six scoring chances.

Sam Bennett got a few more chances in the period and the third line, in general, were making some good plays. Bennett drew a penalty with under five to go, so the Flames will head on a late powerplay. The Flames had just a couple of chances and one shot on that powerplay.

Late in the period, with a good shift and some pressure from the 3M line. They got the puck in the neutral zone and Matthew Tkachuk was about to go around the net, Fleury went one way, Tkachuk went a different way, and Tkachuk made quite a nifty play to make it 2-1 with a little over a minute left in the game. Nothing like a good fake-wraparound to give the Flames a lead.

Dougie Hamilton also assisted on that goal giving him his 200th career point.

This period ended with the Knights outshooting the Flames 14-10, but the Flames had 22 5v5 shot attempts compared to the Knights’ 15. It’s a 2-1 lead for the Flames after two periods.

Third period

I feel like we have to keep saying this, but Mike Smith had to be sharp. The Golden Knights had a lot of jump in the first half of the period and the Calgary Flames got caught in their own zone quite a bit.

How about we just finish this recap here… that sound good?

With just 1:46 left in the game, Michael Frolik passed the puck back to Mike Smith, somewhat hard of a shot that Smith wasn’t expecting, caused a rebound that fell right on Erik Haula‘s stick and tied up the game. Alright, so it’s a tie game, that’s not the end of the world, right?


Ten seconds later, Marchessault came back and scored. The Flames were just not ready whatsoever and that Frolik goal definitely threw them in for a loop. Add an empty-net goal, and the Knights win this one 4-2.

So, what just happened, you ask? I wish I knew. They were two minutes away from a win and just completely crumbled. At least they did this to us in regulation and didn’t give us a false sense of hope in OT and for that, I’m proud of them.

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This was a tough loss in a game that the Flames thought they had. This is also the Flames first regulation loss after leading for two periods since the start of last season.

Oh well, on to the next.