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Judge, Jooris, Executioner: Flames 4, Senators 2

Calgary rides another strong third period into the sunset for their 11th win of the season - and Paul Byron finally scored on a breakaway!

Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

First Period

Jooris lost the opening faceoff, demonstrating what you probably already know - they're 29th in the NHL in faceoff percentage. The two clubs then traded breakouts for the next few minutes before Johnny Gaudreau fired one directly on net after two minutes. It was easily gloved by Craig Anderson, and followed by Ottawa almost getting set up several times, but they couldn't really close the deal. Sven Baertschi looked like he was getting behind the defense squarely, but was instead called for high sticking at the 3:46 mark. The Flames cleared twice in the early going before Erik Karlsson squeezed off three quick shots before the rest of the Senators let the Flames clear it twice more.

The teams joined in a tribute during the commercial break for Senators General Mananger Bryan Murray, who was recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. Both teams banged their sticks on the boards, and the house announcer reminded us that although they are opponents on the ice tonight, they can all get together to get behind him.

Back to the action again, Gaudreau got a quick shot on net from the left side of the ice. A minute later, Mark Giordano looked like he got smacked in the face with Chris Neil's stick. After hitting the ice and dropping his stick, he skated directly to the bench, then went directly to the dressing room. To Bob Hartley's disappointment, no penalty was called. At the 10 minute mark, Paul Byron and Sven Baertschi got a two-on-one, but Byron bounced the puck off Anderson's pads harmlessly.

Byron stole the puck deep in Ottawa's zone, and between him, Baertschi and Jooris nearly snuck one through with 12 minutes gone. The Senators took the first lead of the game, however, on the ensuing rush with a sharp wrister from Clarke MacArthur for his eighth of the season. Assists on the play were awarded to Karlsson and Kyle Turris. Brodie was paired with Deryk Engelland at the time, coincidence? Not really, just thought I'd mention it cause we're into Engelland bashing on this site.

For about a minute there at even strength, the Flames kept the Sens pinned deep in their zone. Ladislav Smid got a pretty good 30-foot zinger on the net, but Anderson caught it. Nobody else really threatened the opponent's netminders for the rest of the period.

Stray Observations

  • There didn't seem to be any intent on the part of Neil when Gio went down. It didn't look like he really took a hard shot, but possibly a stinger directly in the left eyeball. You know, ouch...
  • Brandon Bollig ran over the linesman with 1:30 left. I don't think that was on purpose either.
  • Calgary had nine shots on goal to five for the Senators, as eight different Flames got a chance. Dennis Wideman had two.
  • The Flames also won the faceoff battle, 10-to-7. They were led by Markus Granlund going five-for-seven in the dot. Josh Jooris had four wins in five tries. David Legwand was perfect in three tries for the Sens.
  • The Sens had 11 hits to eight fro the Flames. Chris Phillips had a game leading three, while Lance Bouma and Curtis Glencross led Calgary with two apiece.
  • Seven players blocked shots in the first period, but nobody blocked more than one as the Sens skated to the dressing room with a 4-to-3 edge.

Second Period

Giordano rejoined the team for the start of the second period, with a cut on the corner of his eye and a visor for the first time that I can remember. Kris Russell, who I don't remember having been injured, also returned to the ice. Cody Ceci got a gem of a shot off on Karri Ramo with just over a minute gone, but Ramo bounced it off his shoulder. Paul Byron boarded the much larger Mark Borowiecki and got penalized for his trouble. After the Flames cleared out the puck three times, Josh Jooris buzzed the heck out of the Ottawa defencemen who were trying to start a rush about half way through it. TJ Brodie cleared it out one last time to nearly kill it off. The Sens got one shot off just as the man advantage ended. Jooris, making a case for Flame of the game, took the puck from end to end and put a shot right where he needed to, but Anderson was equal to the task.

Engelland wired a shot at Anderson that almost fooled the goaltender at the five minute mark. Sean Monahan got a pretty good shot at Anderson but was foiled by an even better save by the guy who boasted a .941 save percentage last season. Jooris collected the puck in a scrum at his own end at the eight minute mark and pegged Baertschi across the ice. Baertschi hit a streaking Paul Byron waaaay up the ice for an all-too-familiar breakaway. Instead of bouncing the biscuit harmlessly off Anderson's pads, the little tramp wired it home right between the pads for a 1-1 tie. It was Byron's fourth of the season, and his third in two games.

A second later, Brodie and Jiri Hudler played a little give and go which didn't quite result in a shot on goal, but seemed to get the home crowd pretty worked up. The Flames and their crowd were acting really energized after Byron's equalizer.

Borowiecki drilled Lance Bouma, who when skates over helmet at the 11:33 mark. Bollig instantly skated to Bouma's defence, arguably getting the better of the tilt before each both Borowiecki and Bollig were broken up and each assessed a five-minute major. Bollig also got the instigator, resulting in Ottawa's third power play of the night.

Ottawa never got anything going with the extra man. Just after it expired, Gaudreau gave Hudler a gift pass from behind the net with five minutes left in the period. Anderson went all Matrix on Hudler's ensuing shot with a pad stack left leg save to preserve the tie. Gio had a chance at the 18-minute mark, just holding....holding....holding the puck - but the Flames didn't get a shot on goal.

Mika Zibanejad took a shot to the gob from the stick of Dennis Wideman with less than a minute left in the frame, but there was no penalty called, and the clock ran out with the score still knotted at one. Zibanejad had long since departed to the dressing room.

Stray Observations

  • After getting penalized for boarding Borowiecki (6'2", 205 lbs.), Byron (5'9", 144 lbs.) looked like he was skating for blood, which made the Flames' first goal of the game that much more satisfying.
  • I don't know about you, but I don't exactly need a bunch of goals to get excited watching these guys. It's an extra shot in the arm to stay up late on a Saturday night (I'm on the East Coast) to catch a full game. These Flames are a helluvan exciting team to watch.
  • The Flames owned an 18-to-13 edge in shots-on-goal through two, Byron led the way with three for Calgary, while Karlsson also had three for the enemy.
  • Faceoffs stood at 20-to-19 in favour of Calgary at the break. Josh Jooris was especially impressive with a nine-for-11 performance. Max Reinhart, in the meantime, was zero-for-four in the category.
  • The Senators collected 17 hits to 13 for the Flames. Chris Phillips led the way with four, while four different Flames had two apiece.
  • Each team had nine blocked shots. Curtis Glencross Cody Ceci, and Phillips had two apiece to lead all skaters.
  • Is it Movember already? I had honestly forgotten until I noticed the prevalence of creeper-staches on display.

Third Period

The teams were barely out of the dressing room before the Senators went on their fourth power play of the game. This was followed directly by another Byron breakaway. On the breakout in the other direction, the goallight went off on a dangerous looking shot but was immediately waved off by the ref as play continued. Erik Karlsson bounced one off the post. Sean Monahan cleared it out to close the dangerous sequence.

Just after the penalty ended, Lance Bouma skated into the Sens zone and fed Markus Granlund right in front of the net for a point blank goal. It was his third marker of the season.

The Flames finally got a power play with 16:40 remaining, and pulled the goaltender. They skated around with the puck at six-men-to-five for nearly a full minute, mostly in their own zone while gathering for the rush before Ottawa could touch it. When the dust settled, Alex Chiasson was in the box for hooking Mark Giordano. About halfway through it, Josh Jooris took a perfect pass from Glencross to double Calgary's lead, and the score sat at 3-to-1 for the good guys.

Bobby Ryan slammed home a beautiful wraparound on Ramo's right to cut the lead back to one with just over 12 minutes remaining. Believe it or not, it was only Ryan's fourth goal of the season, with assists awarded to Milan Michalek and Eric Gryba.

Clarke MacArthur was called for high sticking for a sucker punch on Bouma at the 10:34 mark. The following power play would see the Sens clear the puck out several times and the Flames fail to get a shot on the net.

....and that was awesome. Anderson strayed out of his net to play the puck and -- that turned out to be a poor mistake, as Bouma collected the loose puck for an easy marker, his fifth, with six minutes left in regulation for a 4-2 Flames lead. Soon thereafter, Brandon Bollig was called for tripping Kyle Turris. The Flames killed off half of it, then Dennis Wideman high sticked David Legwand in the face. The Sens were staring at a 1:02 five-on-three penalty. Brodie, Gio, and Bouma stood strong for 40 seconds when Ramo made a save and stopped play by holding the puck. The Flames cleared the puck off the next faceoff, and the teams were back to five-on-four. The Flames escaped this one without letting the Sens cut into their lead, and the teams went back to even strength with three and a half minutes left in regulation.

The Sens pulled Anderson with 100 seconds left - but it didn't do the Senators any good, and the Flames earned this 4-2 win with yet another strong third period. The Flames have 24 goals in 19 third periods, the second best total in the NHL.

Stray Observations

  • The suddenly deadly Flames power play now is four for their last 12. For those counting, Ottawa's power play, 0-for-6, Calgary, 1-for-1.
  • The Saddledome Multimedia team sure does love ACDC, no?
  • Karri Ramo is clearly not as good as Jonas Hiller - he loses his balance too easily and flails sometimes when Hiller wouldn't - but he's good enough to be counted on to give up exactly two or three goals per game. No less, no more. He's a perfect number two goaltender.
  • The penalty kill ended up going six-for-six on the night, including that nail-biting 1:02 in the back half of the third period.
  • Each team collected 25 shots-on-goal for the night. Paul Byron led the Flames with four, and Karlsson had five for Ottawa.
  • Calgary won 34 faceoffs to 29 for the Senators. Most impressive was Josh Jooris' 14-for-18 performance. Sean Monahan was nine-for-16, and Markus Granlund also broke the 50% mark by winning 10-of-19 from the dot.
  • Each team had 20 hits on the night, led by four for Chris Phillips. Jooris had three for the Flames.
  • The Flames had 15 blocked shots, to 10 for Ottawa. Curtis Glencross and Deryk Engelland had three each for the home team.
  • Calgary didn't earn their 11th win of the season until December 7th, in their 29th game. They just finished their 19th, for those of you counting.

Flame of the Game

Lance Bouma, Markus Granlund, and Josh Jooris each had a goal and an assist on the night - and a good case could be made for each of them. For my money, the award goes to Paul Byron, who finally potted a breakaway on his (ninth?) 1000th try. Byron had four shots on goal, two blocked shots, two hits, and two takeaways to go with his minor penalty.

That was fun. Next up for the Flames, the Anaheim Ducks come to town on Tuesday. Check back here in the morning for the advanced statistical breakdown, and keep us bookmarked for everything Flames.