The Calgary Flames had a dominating win over the Arizona Coyotes as they managed to score three shorthanded goals and James Neal reached 500 points.
Well, last game wasn’t great for the Calgary Flames, but they had yet another dominating win. It’s their third in four games. While the Flames won 6-1, the Arizona Coyotes still came back strong in the third period and tried to bounce back, but this one was the Flames.
They had three shorthanded goals this game, the first time they’ve done that since 1997, and James Neal finally recorded his 500th NHL points. Noah Hanifin also recorded his first goal with the Flames (and recorded a second goal tonight).
Mike Smith got the nod today against his former team and he was definitely on one of his sharpest games of the season. Let’s check out how the Flames got here today.
The Calgary Flames took an early penalty in the game, but due to some good penalty killing, the Coyotes couldn’t quite get any great chances on there.
A few minutes later, the first line was putting in a good amount of pressure in the offensive zone which paid off. Johnny Gaudreau passed it over to Sean Monahan from behind the bench who easily wristed it past Antti Raanta. 1-0 Flames.
Shortly after that goal, the Flames went on the powerplay. While they had decent possession and weren’t chasing, they also didn’t quite set up or get great chances, so this powerplay went scoreless.
Late in the period, the Flames took a penalty but this ended up going in their favour. They got the puck deep due to Garnet Hathaway, then as the puck was about to leave the Coyotes zone, Noah Hanifin kept it in, went behind the net, tried to pass it out to Hathaway in front of the net, but the puck bounced off of Raanta and into the net. That’s Hanifin’s first goal of the season and it was shorthanded!
With less than two to go, the Flames went on the powerplay, but it went scoreless, so they would start the second period on the powerplay. The Flames had the slight-edge at 5on5 with 13 shot attempts compared to 10 for the Yotes and outshot the Coyotes 9-7.
The Calgary Flames had a great chance on the powerplay in the dying seconds of it before the Coyotes turned it around and came back the other way. But to many people’s surprise, Mike Smith came up big and made a great save to keep this a two-goal game for the Flames. The Coyotes then went on the powerplay and they were able to decently set up. At one point, they almost scored but it hit the post and this went scoreless since the Coyotes took a penalty with eight seconds left on their powerplay.
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When the Flames were on the powerplay, the Coyotes cleared the puck but it went into the Flames bench and clipped Bill Peters in his face. He had to leave the bench and required stitches but returned later in the period.
On the PP, the Flames had a great chance before the Coyotes came back the other way and almost scored their 11th shorthanded goal of the season, but it was stopped.
The Flames went on the powerplay (again) shortly after their other PP ended. As the second unit came on, Hanifin did a good job of keeping the puck in the zone, then went deep in the zone. James Neal fed the puck over to Hanifin who scored his second goal of the game and second of the season. With that assist, Neal also finally got his 500th point!
Very shortly after, Elias Lindholm had a breakaway attempt and was hooked on the play so he got a penalty shot. Unfortunately, he couldn’t score, but the Flames were definitely on fire this period, especially after that. Moments later, the Flames’ fourth line was putting pressure and Mark Jankowski managed to get it past Raanta, bringing the lead to 4-0.
The Flames then went on the powerplay later and had some decent chances, but as the powerplay expired, the Coyotes went the other way and had a few great chances on Smith, but he managed to save them all.
The Flames outshot the Coyotes 12-10 but the Coyotes had the slight edge at 5on5.
The Coyotes came out with some jump to start the third period and had some good pressure in the first couple of minutes in which Smith made a great toe save. Shortly after, the Calgary Flames took a penalty so the Coyotes had a chance to get back into this game. But again, it didn’t go in their favourite at all.
The Flames got the puck out of their zone and TJ Brodie had the puck with Lindholm on the other side, intended to pass it over, but the puck bounced off the Coyotes and went into the net. Shortly after, on the same penalty-kill, Jankowski scored the Flames’ sixth goal and third shorthanded goal of the game. The last time the Flames had scored three shorthanded goals in a game was 1997.
After that goal, the Coyotes made a goaltending switch.
This game finished 6-1 for the Flames and the Coyotes definitely pushed back in the third period, but the Flames took this one. And hey, at least Mike Smith showed up too!