The streak came to an end against the St. Louis Blues yesterday afternoon. Tonight, Flames were looking to get back to winning, as they closed out their four-game road trip against the Detroit Red Wings.
The 'Bob-Hartley-line-shake-up-after-a-loss' worked to start off the game. Most notably, last season's top line of father and sons, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Jiri Hudler, seemed to be clicking again.
Also making himself known on the ice: Josh Jooris (affectionately referred to here as JoJoo). The Flames PK, which happened twice this period, was much more efficient and bearable with him back in the line-up.
In the first penalty kill, Markus Granlund almost had a shorthanded breakaway and scoring chance, but was unfortunately poke-checked before he could get a shot off.
Sam Bennett had one of the best looking plays of the period, with a bit of deking and dancing, that ended with a nice backhand shot.
Alas, the best Flame of the period had to go to Johnny. He was taking shots, making plays, and playing well defensively - he stopped a high-danger scoring chance by Henrik Zetterberg with a quick steal. He also drew a penalty near the end of the period, and did all he could to score before the penalty even started.
A closely contested scoreless period ended with Corsi even at 20-a-piece, and shots slightly in favour of the Flames, 15-13.
The period started out alright, with an early Dennis Wideman powerplay goal. Yep, a powerplay goal. It finally happened.
However, whatever good the Flames were doing was quickly erased. Three words summarize the rest of the second period: poor puck management. They couldn't control the play, and they had trouble getting the puck out of their zone.
Thanks to the poor play, Detroit was able to take advantage, with goals from Dylan Larkin, Brad Richards, and a tip-in from Riley Sheahan.
Not the most flattering period for the Flames as they stalled and would end the period down 3-1. Shots and Corsi were in favour of the Wings, 14-5 and 19-8, respectively.
One powerplay for each team didn't amount to much. The most exciting thing to happen came with a chip from JoJoo on the kill which allowed Granlund, T.J. Brodie, and Mark Giordano a 3-on-1 shorthanded chance. Petr Mrazek made two saves on that.
With just over four minutes left in the game, Kris Russell and Justin Abdelkader received offsetting penalties, which Hartley manufactured into a Flames 5-on-4 with a pulled goalie. Dougie Hamilton potted a goal on this makeshift 'powerplay.' Maybe things are turning around for the Flames PP.
Unfortunately, the Flames couldn't get the equalizer with an extra attacker. Instead, Abdelkader ended things with an empty net goal, and the Flames finished their roadtrip 2-2.
Thanks to score effects - where one team plays more of a defensive shell to protect a lead - the Flames won the third period Corsi battle, 21-13. Unfortunately, shots and goals were even at 8-8 and 1-1.
Flame of the Game:
Dougie Hamilton. He only played 18:08, which was only more than Ladislav Smid on defence, but he scored a goal and was an effective player. He also tied with Johnny for most shots with four. Reasons why he should get more ice time.
Hamilton had 0% OZS after one and 71.43% ES CF? huh— ari y (@thirtyfourseven) December 21, 2015
He ended up at 55.88% ES CF with 60% OZS, but that's a lovely first period.
- For some reason, Bob didn't play Sam Bennett. Two players ended up with fewer than 10 minutes of ice time. Smid and Bennett. One of those things doesn't belong. And because I love alliteration:
Bring back Baby Boy Bennett, Bob.— saltysyd (@saltysyd) December 21, 2015
- Joe Colborne was finally taken off the PP, but was used as the extra attacker.
- Someone needs to have a chat with Bob.
The Flames return home to host the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, December 22nd. Join us in the gamethread and for all of the coverage!