The Calgary Flames stomped the Vegas Golden Knights 7-2 with the help of Johnny Gaudreau who had four points in the first period.
The Calgary Flames stomped the Vegas Golden Knights 7-2 with five goals in the first period. They had their best first period in a long time. In fact, technically, they had their best first period since March 11th, 1993. Johnny Gaudreau had four points in that period alone. His four points in the first period tied a franchise record for most points in one period.
He went four games without a point before having an assist on Saturday night. Well, safe to say his sort-of-slump is now done.
Early in the game, Nosek took a bad offensive zone penalty with a trip on Rasmus Andersson so the Calgary Flames had an early powerplay. Once the Flames got going, from Mark Giordano over to Johnny Gaudreau to Matthew Tkachuk and it’s a powerplay goal and Tkachuk’s tenth of the season! With that point, Gaudreau passed assistant GM Craig Conroy for points in Flames history.
Shortly after, Juuso Valimaki took an interference penalty so the Flames were shorthanded. They had a great first half on the penalty kill, not letting Vegas set up or even get good entries. Then, with a giveaway at the blue-line, it was a 2-on-0 shorthanded breakaway with Derek Ryan and Garnet Hathaway. A few too many passes and they somewhat missed their chance, so this went scoreless.
Shortly after, Elias Lindholm had the puck in the offensive zone and made a smart play to keep the puck, was patient for a couple extra seconds until he waited for his linemates to get into the zone, got it over to Sean Monahan who passed it to Gaudreau and wristed it past Malcolm Subban.
This period continued to be practically all Flames. A few minutes later, Gaudreau did a good job to stay on side, made a little pass over to Monahan who was already ready to take a shot, yet nobody quite on him, and Monahan quickly shot it past Subban. 3-0 game just slightly past the midway mark. That’s now three points for Gaudreau in the first period.
But the team wasn’t done yet.
A few minutes later, at the blue-line, TJ Brodie rips one by Subban to make it 4-0 for his first of the season with still over six minutes to go. Shortly after, the Flames went on their second PP of the night. It started with Vegas winning the initial faceoff and getting into the Flames zone, but the Flames pushed right back. With a shot by Tkachuk that hit the post, Monahan got the rebound and it’s a 5-0 game!
The Flames had not scored five goals in the first period at home since March 11th, 1993 (I don’t know how they find this out). After the first, Gaudreau had four points and Monahan and Tkachuk each had three. They outshot the Golden Knights 13-6 and boy that was an incredible period.
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Subban stayed in the net for the second period which was somewhat odd, but oh well. The second period started the same way the first ended. Tkachuk went down into the offensive zone and shot the puck, and with an unlucky break for Vegas, because that’s how their night’s going, it deflected off of Brayden McNabb‘s skate and in. 6-0 just 24 seconds into the period.
A few minutes later, the Calgary Flames went on their third period of the night because it’s one of those nights. The second unit was out there and Sam Bennett tipped in a shot from Derek Ryan. It’s now 7-0 and we get a Bennett goal? What is going on?
A few minutes later, the Flames went on another powerplay and Jonathan Marchessault had a shorthanded breakaway, but David Rittich came up big and kept this a seven-goal game. The Flames couldn’t capitalize on this PP so they would ONLY be 3/4 on the PP up until this point.
The rest of the period had a few more chances for Vegas, but it was still mainly all Flames. With less than a minute left, Vegas had a good chance on Rittich that was deflected, but again, he did a good job to keep Vegas off the scoresheet.
This period finished 7-0 for the Flames as they ONLY scored two goals this period. They outshot the Golden Knights 10-7 that period.
Early in the third period, Vegas finally got on the board with a goal by Nick Holden before the one-minute mark. Comeback time?
Shortly after, Oscar Lindberg clipped Dillon Dube up high so the Calgary Flames went on their fifth powerplay of the evening. The second unit started it but they only managed one shot which wasn’t even really a great shot before a different unit came out to try and give some other players a chance. But this PP went scoreless and shortly after it ended, the Flames took a penalty.
Right off the faceoff, Vegas got going and Max Pacioretty got the puck over Rittich’s stick to make this a five-goal game.
Vegas continued to push the rest of the game and the Flames seemed to be working their bottom-six guys quite a bit as well to give them some extra ice-time. While they had a few chances, they couldn’t quite capitalize and neither could the Golden Knights. This game finished 7-2 for the Calgary Flames with them outshooting the Golden Knights 32-22.
While the Flames weren’t as successful in the third period as they normally are, it’s not like they totally needed to be, and this game was still a big success. Off to the next!