Calgary Flames drop fourth straight game to Florida Panthers

The Calgary Flames have dropped their fourth straight game and their fifth loss in six games against the Florida Panthers.

Well, it hasn’t been the best month so far, but at least the Calgary Flames have put themselves in a good position to not be overly worried right now. They have now dropped their fourth straight game and their fifth game in their last six. They’ve dropped from first in the West and in the Pacific for the first time since late November. At least they have still gotten two points in their last three games. Silver linings. This is the longest losing streak of the season so far.

Both goaltenders put up great performances tonight, both allowing just two goals. James Reimer especially who stopped 41 of 43 shots while Mike Smith stopped all five big shots in overtime. This went to a shootout, which the Flames have now lost their ninth straight shootout.

The Flames managed to tie it up late with a rocket shot from Rasmus Andersson, so at least they got the point. But it’s now off to Pittsburgh, where they last lost 9-1 to that team. With the point tonight, they’re tied with the San Jose Sharks (for now) in basically every metric, but the Flames have a better goal differential, so they’re currently first in the West, for now, unless the Winnipeg Jets or the Sharks win tonight.

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

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First period

Early on, the Florida Panthers had a good chance from a redirect from Jonathan Huberdeau, but Mike Smith batted it away. Both teams kept exchanging chances over the next few minutes before Mike Hoffman had a great chance around nine minutes in, but it didn’t make it’s way past Smith.

As the two teams continued to exchange chances in what was a relatively uneventful period, the Panthers were definitely putting up a good performance. But the Calgary Flames answered back and Johnny Gaudreau was also making some great moves. They finally got a few great chances in the last two minutes, but this period finished scoreless.

The shots were tied at ten a piece but the Panthers had the edge at scoring chances, attempts, and won a majority of the faceoffs.

Second period

Early on, Sean Monahan shot a puck that hit Gaudreau’s leg that stung him quite a bit, in which he went down the tunnel. He ended up returning moments later, so that was a relief. Right after, Mike Matheson made a great shot which Smith had to make a good save on.

A couple minutes later, James Neal did a good job of getting the puck down to the net and Andrew Mangiapane attempted to get that shot on net but it was stopped. Just about four minutes into the period, the Panthers almost had a two-on-one break and Frank Vatrano put a great wrist shot on Smith but it was stopped. Well, we can easily say there has already been much more action in this period than the first.

Finally, a little under six minutes into the period, we saw our first penalty of the game. Albeit it was against the Calgary Flames, but hey.

The Panthers initially had a shot on the PP but the rest, they weren’t able to set up and the Flames took advantage with a great shorthanded chance from Derek Ryan. The rest of the PP went scoreless for the Panthers as they could barely even enter the zone. After that penalty was killed off, the Flames had two good chances by their top line

A little past the midway mark, Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik had a two-on-one breakaway but James Reimer made what was probably his best save at that point on Frolik to keep this game scoreless.

Later in the period, Gaudreau was being double-shifted after Neal looked to be hurt on an awkward hit.

With under five to go, the Panthers put some pressure on the Flames and from a good shot by Mark Pysyk and a tip by Evgenii Dadonov in front of the net, the Panthers got the first goal of the game.

About a minute later, the Flames got their first powerplay of the game. Late on the PP, the Flames had a few decent chances but this one went scoreless. Right as it ended, Monahan and Gaudreau had a two-on-one, but Monahan couldn’t get his stick on the puck from a good pass from Gaudreau.

The Flames outshot the Panthers 14-13 that period but the Panthers still had the slight edge at 5v5 in terms of attempts and chances.

Third period

The Calgary Flames announced this period that Neal won’t be returning due to injury. Early in the period, the Flames went on the powerplay. The Panthers had a shorthanded rush and Sheahan had a good shot on Smith which was stopped. The rest of the PP didn’t see many chances, but a couple minutes later, the Flames went on another powerplay.

Right as the powerplay ended, Smith made a good play to pass the puck over to Noah Hanifin. Hanifin went down and gave the puck to Mark Jankowski who had a rocket of a wrist shot past Reimer for the tie game. The Panthers challenged this for offside but it was ruled a good goal so the Panthers took another penalty.

On that powerplay, the Flames had an excellent chance, especially from Monahan who looked to have almost an open net but it somehow stayed out. That did it for the PP and it went scoreless.

With about eight minutes remaining in the period, the Panthers won the faceoff in the Flames zone and right away went to work with a quick goal from Hoffman for the lead. The Flames continued to press hard and it finally paid off.

With a little over two remaining in the game, as the Flames continued to press, the puck went back to Rasmus Andersson who had a rocket of a slap shot from the blue line and, with a tip from Lindholm, the Flames tied it up.

Regulation solved nothing so this one needed extra time.

OT/Shootout

Monahan and Gaudreau had a two-on-one breakaway as Monahan elected to shoot but it was stopped. Right after, the Panthers had two great shots but Smith came up big for both of those. The Panthers continued to have a bit more possession than the Calgary Flames but they had a good chance when TJ Brodie got the puck and the Flames had all three guys there in the zone but they couldn’t quite get the shot away.

Smith came up big again in the final 30 seconds of the OT period and made five saves total, but overtime also didn’t solve anything, so off to a shootout we go.

Jonathan Huberdeau was the Panthers first shooter and it was stopped. Monahan was the first Flames shooter and he scored on Reimer’s blocker side. Aleksander Barkov was the Panthers second shooter and he scored. Mangiapane was the Flames second shooter and in his first shootout attempt, he stopped it. Vincent Trocheck was the Panthers third shooter and he scored. Matthew Tkachuk was the Flames third shooter and he shot it wide, so the Panthers won this one.

Next: Sam Bennett shaves Lanny-esque moustache

That’s now the Calgary Flames fourth straight loss and their fifth loss in six games. Not a great trend for the club, but it’s not like they haven’t been performing.

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