The Calgary Flames beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-4 in what was a thrilling third period. Johnny Gaudreau also extended his point streak to ten games.
The Calgary Flames continue to remain first in the West with a 6-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings. The third period was especially thrilling when Sam Bennett scored the game-winning goal with under four minutes to go, his second goal of the game. That was his first multi-goal game in over a year. That mustache has so much power.
Johnny Gaudreau also extended his point streak to ten games tonight which ties a career-high for him. While Mike Smith made one bad play which initially led to the 4-3 lead for the Red Wings, he overall was quite decent tonight.
The most important thing of the night though was James Neal scoring a goal. What an absolute king. The Flames scored three powerplay goals tonight and one shorthanded goal, so this was a special-teams win tonight.
The Flames will head to Edmonton for the Battle of Alberta tomorrow.
Let’s check out how this game got to this point.
The first period started with almost a three-on-one chance for the Red Wings, but Mike Smith stopped that. A couple minutes later, Mike Green gave the puck away and Andrew Mangiapane was eye-to-eye with Jimmy Howard, but he shot it wide.
Around the midway mark, Michael Frolik got the puck over to Mikael Backlund behind the net and Backs just quickly got it over to Matthew Tkachuk who quickly shot it, but a good save by Howard kept this game scoreless.
With about six minutes to go, TJ Brodie took the first penalty of the game. On the PK, Dylan Larkin put a shot on net in which Thomas Vanek was right in front of Smith waiting for the rebound but Smith did a great job of holding on to the puck to not allow a rebound. The rest of the PP went scoreless for the Red Wings.
After that successful PK, it seemed like the Red Wings had some more jump to their play and were getting more opportunities. With a little over two minutes left, the Calgary Flames took a penalty, so the Red Wings got their second powerplay of the night.
On the PP, Larkin had a great chance early on, but Smith made another good save. With about a minute left in the PP, Brodie took a penalty, so the Red Wings had almost a full minute of a 5on3. On that 5on3, the Red Wings right away went to work and set it up. From the point, Anthony Mantha shot it through traffic and it trickled through for the 1-0 lead.
The first period finished 1-0 for the Red Wings as they managed to kill off that second penalty, but the second period will start with them on the PP. The Flames outshot the Red Wings 10-9 that period. In terms of shots and attempts at 5v5, the Flames definitely outplayed the Red Wings, but the Flames were too undisciplined that period.
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Mark Jankowski had a good shorthanded attempt early on in the period which Howard stopped. The rest of the penalty was killed.
Shortly after, Rasmus Andersson and Elias Lindholm went on a two-on-one breakaway but the pass went over Lindholm’s stick so they couldn’t get a shot away. The Calgary Flames then shortly went on the powerplay after that.
On the PP, the Flames first unit set it up but they mainly kept it around the perimeter and couldn’t get any great scoring chances. As the second unit came on, Andersson got it over to Brodie who had a good shot on Howard which was topped, the rebound went to James Neal but it slightly went past him to which Sam Bennett found the puck and quickly got it past Howard for a tie game.
Shortly after that, Larkin had yet another great chance but Smith kept this one tied.
Past the midway mark, the Wings were in the offensive zone and after a couple chances, Larkin shot the puck and it deflected off of Mark Giordano‘s skate and into the net to give them the lead again.
Less than two minutes later, the Wings gave up the puck in their own zone, Lindholm got the puck and he got it over to Johnny Gaudreau who spotted Sean Monahan and made a great pass over to stick. Monahan did a good job of tipping it in to tie the game up again.
With three minutes to go, the Red Wings had a couple of good chances, but Travis Hamonic and Mangiapane both made good plays to take away two scoring chances.
With a little over a minute remaining in the period, the first line was out and the Red Wings couldn’t clear the puck. The Flames attempted to put shots on, but they couldn’t quite get some good passes to lead to scoring chances. Right after, Gaudreau was still out there and had a good chance for a breakaway with Jankowski, but the puck was stopped.
The second period finished with the Flames outshooting the Red Wings 14-12, but this time, the Red Wings had the edge at 5v5.
The Calgary Flames took an early penalty so the Red Wings went on another powerplay. Throughout the PP, the Red Wings could barely even set it up, and after their first attempts early on, they couldn’t get any more clean zone entries.
After the penalty was killed, Smith somewhat gave the puck away to the Wings, but they couldn’t get a shot away, so thankfully, it was still tied.
A little over four minutes into the period, Green made a good play around the Flames defenders and got the puck past Smith for the lead again. Shortly after that, the Red Wings took a penalty so the Flames had a great opportunity to tie things up again.
The Flames took a bit to get it set up, but once they did, they kept jamming it on Howard. Tkachuk had a few great shot attempts before the Red Wings finally managed to clear it and Darren Helm got a good shorthanded shot on Smith but it was stopped.
Late in the PP, as the second unit came on, Andersson shot the puck from the point and Neal tipped it in to tie the game up again. Two things to note here: James Neal scores a goal and that’s now two powerplay goals as a result of Andersson.
About a minute later, Gustav Nyquist was on a bit of a breakaway, he looked like he shot it but he got it over to Larkin instead who had basically an open net and made it 4-3. Bit of a bad play on Smith there to go that far out of his net.
With a little over six to go, the Flames took another penalty. On that PK, Giordano went down on the wing and shot the puck. It deflected off of Larkin’s stick and went into the net. That’s now two PP goals and one SHG this game. With 43 seconds left on the Wings PP, they took a penalty, so we saw some 4on4 action.
Once that 4on4 ended, the Flames went on the powerplay and they went to work right away. Bennett quickly went down the ice and got the puck from Derek Ryan and got the puck past Howard with under four to go for the 5-4 lead. That’s two goals for Bennett and three powerplay goals in this game. That’s Bennett’s first multi-goal game since December 2nd, 2017.
Right after that goal, the Wings came back the other way and Smith made a BIG save on Tyler Bertuzzi to keep this lead. With under a minute to go, Smith was far out of the net to play the puck and clear the zone which led to Brodie scoring an empty-net goal to signify the win.
This game finished 6-4 for the Calgary Flames and it really felt like a complete team effort with special teams playing a big role. The Flames outshot the Red Wings 36-35 tonight and were outplayed in that third period at 5v5, but again, special teams played a big role tonight.