There wasn't really that much worth noting through the first eight minutes of the game, as the two teams combined for four shots on goal and only two hits. That's when Karri Ramo stopped a pretty nifty deke by JT Brown. Just past the 10 minute mark, Calgary drew first blood when Tampa Bay goaltender Ben Bishop tried to clear the puck, but instead passed it directly to Mike Cammalleri for his 25th goal of the season, unassisted.
Just 15 seconds later, Christopher Breen threaded one towards the goal from the blue line, and Kevin Westgarth jammed the rebound past Bishop for Calgary's second goal in five shots. It was Westgarth's fourth goal of the campaign. The rest of the period passed without much incident.
First Period Notes
- The first period played out penalty free. These two don't really play each other enough to build up bad blood.
- Mikael Backlund won four-of-six face-offs, the rest of the team was four-for-11.
- Ryan Callahan created an impression with three hits.
The middle frame was only 26 seconds old when TJ Brodie was called for the first penalty of the contest, a Cross-Checking call on Alex Killorn. The Flames, who have an NHL-worst road penalty kill of 75%, were up to the challenge, allowing zero shots and clearing the puck three times.
At the four minute mark, Valtteri Filippula and Ryan Callahan each had a point blank opportunity against Ramo, but neither were able to break the seal on the scoreboard. This was followed a minute later by an equally juicy but equally fruitless Flames opportunity against Bishop.
With 6:20 gone, the Flames had their first man-advantage of the match when Killorn held Cammalleri. The resultant power play would see the Bolts easily handle Calgary's attack, clearing the puck four times. Chris Butler slashed BJ Crombeen for another Tampa Bay chance at five-on-four hockey at the 9:36 mark, but the Lightning couldn't make the Flames pay.
It was just around the 15-minute mark that I started thinking shutout, but only to myself, and not aloud either mind you. Of course, that's when the Bolts went and ruined it with Ondrej Palat's 20th goal of the season. He tucked it past an extended Ramo's glove side off a Filippula rebound with four minutes remaining in the period. The assists were awarded to Callahan and Matthew Carle.
Second Period Notes
- It was a much busier period for the two goaltenders, as the Flames and the Bolts combined for 25 goals. Tampa Bay leads with 20 shots to 18 for Calgary. Tampa Bay's Tyler Johnson leads both teams with four.
- Kris Russell has played nearly half of the available minutes through two periods, with 19:20 of ice time.
Mark Giordano went to the box at the 4:27 mark for tripping Palat. The ensuing power play would see the Lightning control the puck and keep it mostly in the Flames zone, getting a couple of shots on net but never quite getting the payoff.
Flippula took a shot at what looked like a wide open cage at the 8:40 mark, but Ramo made a sliding stop to keep the Flames ahead by a goal. Carle had a nearly identical opportunity at the 12:45 mark with an identical result.
Eric Brewer was called for tripping TJ Brodie with just over two minutes left in regulation. Just a moment later super-rookie Curtis Glencross scored his 11th goal of the season with assists from Mike Cammalleri and Kris Russell.
Just after the following face-off, the Bolts pulled Bishop. Glencross made them pay by netting his second goal of the period with 16 seconds remaining to ice the Calgary win.
Third Period Notes
- Ramo had a great night, stopping 31-of-32 shots, a .969 save percentage.
- Calgary had 25 blocked shots to just 10 for the Lightning. Russell had five of his own.
- Tampa Bay won 36-of-59 face-offs. No Calgary player won more than 50% of theirs.
Tomorrow, follow us throughout the day as we prepare for Part II of the Flames yearly visit to Florida as Calgary prepares to battle the Panthers.