Calgary Flames win at MSG for first time in a decade

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: David Rittich #33 of the Calgary Flames makes a diving save against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 21: David Rittich #33 of the Calgary Flames makes a diving save against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on October 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Calgary Flames won at MSG for the first time since 2008 and it was mainly due to goaltender David Rittich.

Sweet, sweet victory. The Calgary Flames recovered after their loss to the Nashville Predators and pulled out a W against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden for the first time in a decade. A big reason was due to their backup goaltender David Rittich, who stopped 44 of 45 shots for his second win of the season.

Johnny Gaudreau had a two-goal game today and hit his 300th career point. Garnet Hathaway also had a two-goal game, meaning we can assume he’ll be in the lineup for the rest of the season (sorry, everyone).

Let’s check out how the Flames got to this 4-1 win.

First period

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Early on, the Rangers got a couple of shots on before the Calgary Flames had some great chances from the 3M line. With a pass from Michael Frolik to Matthew Tkachuk right in front of the net, Henrik Lundqvist had to make a good save. Right after, the Rangers went the other way with a partial two-on-one breakaway but they were challenged by David Rittich who also made a great save.

It was somewhat back and forth after that with some good chances from the Rangers’ fourth line and good chances from the 3M line for the Flames.

With a little over six minutes to go, TJ Brodie had a poor giveaway in their own zone, but Rittich came up big to back him up and made a great save on Jimmy Vesey.

A few minutes later, Johnny Gaudreau skates to the outside, lost the puck for a second, got it back, then got it to Sean Monahan who found Gaudreau back in front of the net, he had to do a little spinorama, shot it over Lundqvist’s pad, it hit the post, and in. The Rangers were also on a delayed penalty call, but no powerplay needed!

Johnny Gaudreau is now at 299 career points.

About a minute later, Garnet Hathaway took a penalty so the Flames will take a late penalty. The Rangers had good possession on the PP and were in the Flames’ zone for a good minute until the Rangers took a penalty. But then the Flames took another penalty, so it’ll still be a Rangers powerplay to end the period.

They couldn’t capitalize before the end of the period so this period ended 1-0 for the Flames.

The Rangers definitely had the edge at 5on5, not so much in shots and attempts, but they had 13 scoring chances compared to seven for the Flames and eight HDCF compared to four for the Flames.

Second period

The Rangers had some good chances early on as they started the period on the powerplay. Once they killed off the penalty, the 3M line (of course) had a good chance on Lundqvist. It also seemed like the Flames were running with different defence pairings since the first period: Mark Giordano with Rasmus Andersson on the first pairing and Noah Hanifin and TJ Brodie on the second.

About five minutes through the second period, Andersson had a turnover at the blue line and the Rangers almost had a breakaway until Gio rushed back to stop it. The Rangers then kept their pressure for a good 20 seconds and had a great chance in which Rittich had to come up big (again).

A few minutes later, with a turnover in the Rags’ zone, Sam Bennett gets the puck and so close to making it 2-0 and getting his third goal of the season, but it pinged off the post. Poor Bennett, he has the worst luck.

About 12 minutes into the period, the Rangers were again on a delayed penalty call on the Calgary Flames fourth line. Mark Jankowski shot the goal on and with some good stick-positioning from Garnet Hathaway, the Flames are 2-0. I’m glad the Flames are up but this now means that Hathaway will make it into the lineup for the next 40 games.

A couple minutes later, with a good chance for the Rangers to clear the zone, Gio managed to keep it on side, get it over to Gaudreau who took an extra second and got it past Lundqvist with Monahan acting as a screen. That’s Gaudreau’s 300th point! A few seconds later, with a lot of momentum, the Flames went on the powerplay.

On the PP, the Flames had some pressure, but only managed two scoring chances, and that would be the end of the period. The Rangers outshot the Flames 13-10, but the Flames definitely pushed back, especially after their first goal of the period.

Let’s head to the final frame.

Third period

The third period started with the Calgary Flames not letting the Rangers get any clean entries. Given, the Rangers were getting possession, but the Flames were doing well at defence. A couple minutes into the period, Dillon Dube was on a breakaway and is still looking for his first NHL goal. He had a bit too much time to think about it and couldn’t get it past Lundqvist. Damn it!

Dube was a little frustrated.

Soon after, the Rangers went the other way and had a shot on Rittich, which he had a sprawling save, the Rangers got the rebound and it hit the post, then somehow it stayed out of the net.

Shortly after, Sam Bennett took a penalty, so the Flames needed to kill off a penalty. Unfortunately, they couldn’t. Chris Kreider basically made the play happen by keeping the play alive at the blue-line and getting it down-low. A few passing plays later, Kreider with a bit of the screen, and Mika Zibanejad lasered it past Rittich. It’s now 3-1 Calgary.

Shortly after, Kreider had somewhat of a breakaway which Rittich stopped, then Zibanejad had a big rebound, but couldn’t quite get a good shot and Rittich stopped it as well. The Rangers then got another shot, but Rittich came up big to keep this a two-goal game for the Flames.

As the period went on, the Rags definitely had more push than the Flames and the Flames have Rittich to thank for keeping this a two-goal game.

With less than seven to go, there was a bit of a scramble and the Rags got some good chances on Rittich. He stopped the first shot and stopped the rebound, which was his 38th save of the night.

Later in the period, there was some weird stuff happening in the middle of the ice. It looked like two players were about to fight, but no whistle went for it, and Hathaway got a breakaway and made it 4-1. The Flames then went on the powerplay, but couldn’t capitalize (not like they needed to).

Next. Should Sam Bennett stay or should he go?. dark

This game finished 4-1 for the Calgary Flames, but the main reason they won was because of David Rittich. He stopped 44 of 45 shots, and 20 in the third period alone. To be quite honest, the Rangers deserved this win and they had lots of pushback in the third period.

Every player on the Flames owe David Rittich a beer.