The Calgary Flames lost this edition of the Battle of Alberta tonight as they were shutout 1-0. At least they’re still at the top of the Western Conference.
Well, you can’t win them all. The Calgary Flames five-game win streak and seven-game point streak came to an end tonight as they lost 1-0 to the Edmonton Oilers. They were playing the second game of a back-to-back and that fact was quite obvious.
The team looked tired and worn out tonight and many players weren’t playing to the top of their abilities. It was clear that they were missing their captain and Mikael Backlund, who is usually against the Connor McDavid line from how good he is at shutting them down.
The good news is that the Flames still sit at the top of the Western Conference. The bad news is that they don’t play again until Wednesday and they could easily lose that spot between now and then.
Let’s check out how the Flames got here tonight.
Less than a minute in, the Calgary Flames top-line had a three-on-one chance, but the pass from Johnny Gaudreau over to Sean Monahan bounced over his stick, so they didn’t get much of a chance with that.
Throughout the period, it was clear that the Oilers were going to be playing a physical game. Lots of hitting was happening early on, especially by the Oilers, and this was going to be an intense matchup.
Slightly before the midway mark, the Calgary Flames took a penalty as James Neal tried playing a physical game as well and got called for interference. So off to the powerplay the Oilers went. On the PP, at one point, Connor McDavid had a great chance and tried sneaking making a sneaky play happen, but it was stopped, and the rest of the powerplay went scoreless.
About 12 minutes in, in a play started by McDavid, and after some passing plays, he finished it off to give Edmonton the 1-0 lead.
With about five minutes left in the game, Anthony Peluso and Milan Lucic dropped the gloves and went for it. The refs came in after Lucic got a couple hits on him and Peluso was mad that he couldn’t answer back. So there were two five-minute majors along with Peluso taking an extra minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
On the PP, the Oilers again went scoreless so this remained a 1-0 game.
In the last minute of the game, the Flames couldn’t even clear the puck properly. They’d take it out to the neutral zone and lose the puck. It was a frustrating end to the period. The Oilers outshot the Flames 16-10 and they completely outplayed the Flames at 5v5.
Early in the second period, Juhjar Khaira noticed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins all alone skating down the ice, fed the puck over to him, and Nuge was all alone in front of David Rittich. But Rittich came up big and stopped that shot.
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Shortly after, as the Calgary Flames were putting pressure, a bounce of the puck out of the zone and a broken play that resulted in a two-on-zero breakaway chance for the Oilers but Rittich saved it.
About a minute later, Elias Lindholm shot the puck with a great deflection by Monahan but it just barely missed as it grazed the outside of the post.
Shortly after, the Oilers finally got called for a penalty so the Flames went to work on the PP. However, they struggled last night without Mark Giordano, and it was clear they were still struggling tonight on it. They had just one shot and only one scoring chance.
After this powerplay, the Flames were really pushing, and every line was doing a good job at applying pressure. At one point, the Flames fourth line were doing a great job applying pressure and at one point, Alan Quine shot it from close to the point with it deflecting off of Peluso and into the net.
However, they reviewed this and Peluso’s skate was in the blue-paint touching Mikko Koskinen‘s skate, so they said there was goaltender interference.
The Flames continued to push, but nothing resulted from it. The Flames outshot the Oilers 10-7 this period and completely outplayed them at 5v5 in this frame.
The Calgary Flames continued to push to start the third period and the top-line had a great chance, but no goals. Shortly after, the Flames went on their second powerplay of the night, but they couldn’t get much going until over a minute left and when they finally got something working, a blocked shot sent the puck down the ice.
After that PK by the Oilers, Sam Bennett had a great chance but he ended up running over Koskinen so the Oilers got a PP.
This Oilers PP was even worse than the Flames. The Flames did a great job at killing this one off and not giving the Oilers much to work with and the Oilers didn’t even get one shot on the PP.
After another scrum in the Flames zone, the Flames took another penalty so the Oilers went on another powerplay. The Oilers had a decent chance initially off the faceoff, but that was their best chance.
With a little over five minutes to go, Lindholm took a penalty so the Flames were shorthanded yet again. But luckily, the Oilers again couldn’t get a whole lot going, so this PP went scoreless for them.
After the Flames took out Rittich for the extra attacker, although they tried applying pressure, they still couldn’t get many quality chances, and thus, lost this game 1-0.
The Flames looked tired and worn out in today’s game. Lots of players weren’t on their best performance and they were definitely feeling the effects without their captain and the best player against the McDavid line (Mikael Backlund).
Oh well, you can’t win them all.