Calgary Flames allow five unanswered goals, lose sixth consecutive game

CALGARY, AB - FEBRUARY 1: Anton Stralman
CALGARY, AB - FEBRUARY 1: Anton Stralman /

The Calgary Flames are desperately looking for a win tonight vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight. Let’s see how this game went down.

The Calgary Flames head into this game with lots to lose and lots to gain. They’re currently on a five-game losing streak and their last game vs. the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday was their first regulation loss in 12 games. But it was a heartbreaking one. It looked like they may actually win or, at least, get another point and make it a 12 game point streak.

But in the last two minutes of the game, specifically within 10 seconds, everything went wrong.

But that’s in the past and the Flames are hoping to put it past them. They’re going into this game tonight vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning with high hopes. These two teams have already met before just a few weeks ago where the Flames beat them 5-1.

Related Story: Flames improve to five-game win streak vs. Bolts

Both teams enter this game with bad powerplays lately. Since the start of January, the Flames are second last with the man advantage with 10.3%. The Lightning aren’t that far ahead, being at just 10.8%.

With all that being said, let’s see how this game went down.

First period

The first six minutes of this period already had lots of action. The Calgary Flames had to kill off a 5on3, then they went on the powerplay. Chris Kunitz pushed Johnny Gaudreau hard into the boards, which Troy Brouwer didn’t like very much and tried going after him.

On the second PP unit, the Flames actually scored on the powerplay! What!? I thought scoring on the powerplay was a myth. That was Micheal Ferland‘s 20th goal of the year and soon after, there was a bit of a scrum between the two teams again.

These two teams were getting into it a lot this period, basically, any time a whistle went, there were players hitting each other. Around the midway mark, Matthew Tkachuk and Jake Dotchin got into a fight, so they’ll both head off for five minutes. This game has already had everything and it’s only been ten minutes.

Later in the period, the Bolts were putting pressure in the offensive zone and with a shot from Andrej Sustr, which deflected a couple of times, the puck went into the net. It deflected off of Braydon Coburn‘s stick which was his first goal of the season. Nothing Mike Smith could do in that case, unfortunately.

At one point, Garnet Hathaway somewhat lightly/accidentally crosschecked a ref. Er.. sorry, he “Dennis Wideman’d” a ref. Cue the panic among Flames fans for this Wideman Gate to be active again.

Both teams got a few chances, but this period would end 1-1 with the Flames outshooting the Bolts 14-10 and each team having ten scoring chances.

Second period

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

The second period basically started out with as much action as the first. The Calgary Flames took an early penalty, less than two minutes in. Mikael Backlund, one of the Flames best penalty-killers, would be in the box. Uh oh.

Uh oh was right. With some traffic in front of Mike Smith, Alex Killorn and Yanni Gourde were both around the net and kept hammering the rebound. The Bolts take an early lead in the second period. Now both teams who have been struggling lately on the powerplay have scored a powerplay goal.

But that lead didn’t last long. Backlund clearly felt bad about taking that penalty so he goes the other way with Michael Frolik and Backlund scored, with some credit to TJ Brodie who was getting the puck out quickly, got it over to Matthew Tkachuk who passed it up to Backlund. That’s Backs’ second point of the night and it was a beauty of a goal.

About two minutes later, Gaudreau had a nice feed to Sean Monahan who waited for Andrei Vasilevskiy to go down then shot it to his high side. The Flames get the lead back! That was Monahan’s 23rd  goal of the season. It’s been 25 minutes, but this game is a lot of fun.

The Flames fourth line has actually been quite good tonight. They were doing well on the forecheck and getting pucks to the net. That’s all you can really ask for from your fourth line guys. PS they were also the ones who drew the penalty in the offensive zone that led to Ferland’s PP goal.

Around the midway mark, four Flames were going down the ice with a nice pass from Gaudreau to Dougie Hamilton who shot it, but hit the post! Because of that, the Bolts had an odd-man rush the other way, but Mike Smith was on his A-game and stopped that. This game is fun.

With a great shift from the fourth line (again) who put immense pressure, they finally scored with a goal from Matt Stajan who somewhat had Vasilevskiy fooled. That’s Stajan’s second goal of the season on a tired Bolts team. A great shift and a great game so far for the fourth line and they got rewarded for it.

22 seconds later, Killorn had a nice pass to Matthew Peca who got it past Smith’s short side. We’re back to a one-goal game. It would stay 4-3 after 40 minutes of play, with the Flames outshooting the Bolts 13-12 that period. Through two periods, that fourth line each had CF% above 75%. That’s quite good, even on limited minutes.

Third period

Can we just pretend this period didn’t happen and just end the game after two periods? Is that cool?

12 seconds into the period, the Bolts tied it up. Sounds about right. At least the Calgary Flames are predictable, right? Shortly after, Hathaway got into a fight with Gourde, so those two have been busy tonight. While Gourde instigated the fight and Hathaway indicated he didn’t want to fight, Gourde still didn’t get an instigator penalty which left Flames fans frustrated.

Shortly after, Backlund thought he may have scored when the puck snuck through Vasilevskiy’s legs, but it was after the whistle went, so this would still be no goal. Shortly after, Cory Conacher snuck the puck through Smith’s legs so Tampa would get the lead. Smith has generally been on his A-game, but tonight was not his night.

About a minute later, Steven Stamkos got Tampa’s sixth goal of the night, so we’ll be seeing a goaltender change. Smith was definitely angry about that goal and slammed his stick on the net. Two minutes later, Cory Conacher makes it a three-goal lead. That’s now five unanswered goals in 13:37 for the Bolts.

There were some chances the rest of the period, but nothing worth noting. The Bolts win this one 7-4 and the Flames have now lost six consecutive games. Even though the Flames put up 46 shots on net, they couldn’t find a way to maintain their lead, which seems to be the trend with this team lately.

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That’s all for tonight, let’s just all say a big prayer to whatever hockey gods are there in the universe for a win on Saturday night.