Calgary Flames: Michael Frolik reunited on 3M line, magic happens

CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 11: Mark Giordano #5 and Michael Frolik #67 of the Calgary Flames celebrate a goal against the Florida Panthers during Mark Giordano's 800th NHL game on January 11, 2019 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB - JANUARY 11: Mark Giordano #5 and Michael Frolik #67 of the Calgary Flames celebrate a goal against the Florida Panthers during Mark Giordano's 800th NHL game on January 11, 2019 at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /

The Calgary Flames have won their fourth straight win against the Florida Panthers tonight as Michael Frolik put up three points.

Well, this one didn’t start off that well, but the end result is all that matters. The Calgary Flames found themselves down 2-0 against the Florida Panthers after the first period but battled back hard in the final two periods to win this one 4-3.

Michael Frolik, who initially started this game on the fourth line, was reunited on the 3M line in the second period and it paid off. Frolik got the comeback started with his goal in the second period and had two more assists throughout the game to help the Flames win their fourth straight game.

The Flames top-line wasn’t all that existent tonight, compared to the 3M line, but they managed to get an empty-net goal late in the game, so Johnny Gaudreau extends his point-streak to seven games. The Flames continue to lead the west and remain second in the league.

Let’s check out how the Flames got here tonight.

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First period

The Calgary Flames third line started the game with a great shift and have a couple of attempts in the first 30 seconds. A little past the midway mark, Noah Hanifin was behind the net with the puck, Mike Hoffman stole the puck from him and easily put the puck past David Rittich for the 1-0 lead.

Around the eight-minute mark, Johnny Gaudreau made a great play to dangle the puck around Aaron Ekblad, but there was nobody in front of Roberto Luongo to get his pass.

Inside nine minutes remaining, the Panthers basically had a two-on-zero right in front of Rittich, but Rittich made a great save on Jonathan Huberdeau to keep this a 1-0 game. Shortly after, Sam Bennett made a nice move around the defenders to go all alone in front of Luongo but he hit the post, because of course.

With less than six to go, it looked like the Flames top-line was going to get a good chance, but Gaudreau was tripped and no call was made, so the Flames didn’t get a good scoring chance on that play.

With under five to go, Rittich played the puck outside of the trapezoid, so he got a penalty and the Panthers got the first powerplay of the game which ranks fourth in the league. On the PP, Hoffman had a great chance right in front of Rittich, but Rittich came up big and came out to challenge to stop that shot. That was the Panthers best chance on the PP.

With a little over a minute to go, Matthew Tkachuk and Austin Czarnik almost had a two-on-one chance, but Tkachuk’s pass was intercepted, so they didn’t get a scoring chance out of that. Then, with only 30 seconds remaining in the period, the Flames took another penalty.

The Panthers went to work right away on the PP, but it was stopped which was followed by the puck being shot down the ice which ended the period. This period finished 1-0 for the Panthers with them outshooting the Flames 10-4 and it wasn’t a great period for the Flames.

Second period

The Panthers went to work on the powerplay right at the start of the period and it paid off. Huberdeau snuck behind the Calgary Flames defencemen and was fed on a breakaway, went five-hole on Rittich, and gave the Panthers the 2-0 lead just 20 seconds into the period.

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Following that goal, the Flames definitely pushed back. Slightly past five minutes, TJ Brodie got it to Mikael Backlund for one of the Flames best chances of the game but Luongo stopped it. Then Tkachuk got the rebound and had a good chance but it stayed in the blue paint and didn’t get past Luongo.

Around the midway mark of the period, the 3M line was reunited and Backlund shot the puck to which Michael Frolik tipped it. Stop taking Frolik off the second line!

After the Flames made it a one-goal game, they continued to push and it was basically all Flames. Finally, after all their chances, it again paid off. With a little less than five to go, Backlund spotted Mark Giordano coming from behind the play, passed it over to him and he snapped it from the point with Tkachuk and Troy Brouwer somewhat acting as a screen and it wired past Luongo. Thanks, Brouwer! Forever a Flame. The Panthers ended up challenging for goaltender interference, but the goal still stood.

Shortly after, Tkachuk and Frolik had another great chance to give the Flames their first lead of the game, but it didn’t go in.

This period finished 2-2 and it was a much better period for the Flames. They outshot the Panthers 10-5 and completely dominated at 5v5 in every aspect.

Third period

The third period started with some end-to-end action but the Calgary Flames had the slight advantage in attempts. A little past the five-minute mark, the Flames top-line had a great chance from a good play by Oliver Kylington at the blue-line but Sean Monahan‘s shot was stopped by Luongo.

About eight minutes into the period, the Flames were pressing on the Panthers. Huberdeau tried clearing the puck and got a little too fancy, Frolik stole the puck at the line and got it over to Tkachuk who was all alone in front of Luongo and gave the Flames their first lead of the game. That’s now three points on the night for Frolik.

As the Flames continued to push, they ended up getting a powerplay with under two to go. The Panthers took out the goaltender for the extra attacker, so Gaudreau got it over to Monahan who got the empty-net goal. That’s now a seven-game point streak for Gaudreau. Game over, right?

Well, the Panthers managed to score with 20 seconds left in the game, but that was it, and this game finished 4-3 for the Flames.

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While the Flames didn’t have a good first period, the Calgary Flames came out big in the second and continued the push, especially after the initial Frolik goal. The Flames continue to be the second in the league and first in the Western Conference.

I think Bill Peters may have learned his lesson: Don’t separate the 3M line.