Calgary Flames get badly outplayed, lose to Montreal Canadiens

MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 23: Montreal Canadiens' players get into a scrum with Calgary Flames' players in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 23, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images)
MONTREAL, QC - OCTOBER 23: Montreal Canadiens' players get into a scrum with Calgary Flames' players in the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 23, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Calgary Flames finished their two-game road trip with a loss to the Montreal Canadiens. Let’s see how they got here.

The Calgary Flames were hoping to finish off their two-game eastern conference road-trip successfully. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case, After a win against the New York Rangers, thanks to David Rittich, he couldn’t completely bail them out against the Montreal Canadiens tonight.

Although they went 1/2 on this road-trip, the Flames were still quite bad on this road-trip. Let’s check out how they got to their loss tonight.

First period

The Calgary Flames went on the powerplay early with a tripping call on Johnny Gaudreau. They had just one good chance and one shot, and as their powerplay expired, Artturi Lehkonen had a steal in the Flames zone which David Rittich had to be sharp for.

Shortly after, Jonathan Drouin had a great chance as well, but Rittich was sharp again. It seemed like a common theme in the first ten minutes of the period was “Rittich picked up right where he left off in New York.”

The Flames went on another powerplay around the midway mark and it started with a great shorthanded chance for the Habs. The Flames finally set it up in the second half of their powerplay but they couldn’t get any quality shots or opportunity and basically stayed passing around the perimeter. As the powerplay expired, Carey Price was forced to make a great save on Mark Jankowski.

Later in the period, Mikael Backlund passed the puck over to Matthew Tkachuk which got past about three players and Tkachuk snuck it past Price who was not ready for it. 1-0 Flames as they’re getting outshot 10-4 which is basically the reverse 2017-18 Flames.

The goal was later credited to Michael Frolik in the second period, however, it’s hard to see how Frolik exactly got the goal, but oh well.

With 6.5 seconds left in the period, the Flames took a penalty, so the Habs started the second period on the PP.

This period ended 1-0 for the Flames with the Habs outshooting them 12-7.

Second period

The Habs started the second period with some jump to their powerplay but a couple of shots wide and a few blocks and this game remained 1-0 for the Flames. Shortly after, Lehkonen again stole a puck in the Flames zone forcing Rittich to make a great save again.

There was a small scramble around Rittich a minute later with a pile of about eight guys. Less than five minutes into the period and the Habs were already outshooting the Calgary Flames 8-0. They needed to put some work in.

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Slightly before the six-minute mark, the Flames went on the powerplay, but 13 seconds later, they also took a penalty, so we saw some 4on4 action.

The Flames were clearly the better team at 4on4 and right before the Habs went on their powerplay for 13 seconds, TJ Brodie shot the puck from the blueline with a tip from James Neal, but it hit the post.

The Flames then took a penalty so they would be shorthanded for the second time tonight. The first half was quite successful for them, they were aggressive on the PK and weren’t letting the Habs set up. The second half was much better for the Habs, but they had no shots, just one post for Tomas Tatar.

A few minutes later, the Flames took another penalty and it was much more successful for the Habs. With constant pressure and Frolik breaking his stick, Jeff Petry tied the game up. That’s now five straight games that the Habs have scored a powerplay goal.

A few seconds later, the Flames took yet another penalty. Rittich made a great save early on with his blocker, but later in the powerplay, some tape to tape passing and Brendan Gallagher made it 2-1 with his specialty spot – right in front of the net.

After that goal, the Flames had a couple of chances in the offensive zone, a great one from Neal who shot the puck wide. The Habs went the other way and with less than a minute left in the period, Jonathan Drouin made it 3-1. That’s now three goals for the Habs in a little under four minutes.

With less than 30 seconds left in the period, the Habs took a penalty, which the Flames couldn’t capitalize before the end of the period, so they started the third period on the PP.

This period was horrible for the Flames. They were completely outplayed, outchanced, and outscored.

Third period

The Calgary Flames started this period on the powerplay but they couldn’t get much going on it. They had just one shot and no scoring chances. After they killed off the penalty, Noah Hanifin and Neal had a great chance on a two-on-one, but Neal was stopped by Price.

A few minutes later, the Habs had a great chance on Rittich who kept this a two-goal game.

A little past the midway mark, Elias Lindholm, the Flames now leading goal-scorer cut the lead to just one with his sixth goal of the year. Backlund and Tkachuk each had two assists tonight.

A few minutes later, the Habs took a penalty. A crucial powerplay while the Flames are down by a goal in the third period? Yeah, you can probably assume how this powerplay went. They had a couple scoring chances, but couldn’t capitalize.

With a couple minutes left in the game, the Flames were desperately trying to get Rittich to the bench for the extra attacker but they couldn’t cleanly exit their zone and Rittich didn’t end up leaving the ice until about a minute left. Unfortunately, while they pushed, they couldn’t tie the game and this game ended 3-2 for the Habs.

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The Calgary Flames were badly outplayed in the first two periods and Rittich kept them in the game, especially in the first period. Let’s hope Thursday is better.