On the evening of Family Day Monday, two wildcards will face off in an attempt to hold on to those spots. The Boston Bruins are in a three game slump, and the Calgary Flames will be looking to hit them while they're down.
The Flames have been dominant in the Western conference, but less than stellar versus teams from the East, going 7-12-2 this season. On top of this, the Flames have been alternating wins and losses recently. Let's hope the pattern ends today.
But first, a heartfelt tribute to the late Steve Montador. Oh the stick tap. He meant a lot to Calgary and it's fans and will be missed. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
It took a while for the Flames to generate any offence. When they finally stayed in the offensive zone for a while, Chris Kelly tried to pull TJ Brodie back by his jersey, leading to a powerplay.
And what a terrible powerplay it was. It started alright with Johnny Gaudreau doing Johnny Hockey things, but the rest of it looked pretty sloppy. Kris Russell was caught daydreaming and stripped of the puck for a Bruins shorthanded chance. Disaster struck when Brodie tried a drop pass that got picked up by Patrice Bergeron. He and Brad Marchand capitalized on the 2-on-1 shorthanded chance. The Flames didn't get a single shot on net.
Poor Johnny blew a tire in the defensive zone and lost the puck. The Bruins crashed the net and cycled the puck to Zdeno Chara at the point, who unloaded a rocket on Karri Ramo. The shot was so hard and bounced out so quickly that Kelly poked it back in through Ramo's five-hole just to be sure.
There were a couple of chances from the Paul Byron - Matt Stajan - Joe Colborne line, proving how effective Stajan and Byron can be away from possession black-hole, Brandon Bollig. Big Joe Colborne didn't get that nickname for nothing either, proving he knows how to use his size, and more effectively than Bollig.
The Flames looked so close on a few more shots, including a highlight reel save by Tuukka Rask on Mason Raymond off a wraparound attempt by Josh Jooris.
Ramo was not without some great saves himself. In particular, the young'un David Pastrnak received a long lead pass that put him behind Raphael Diaz and in on Ramo, who stretched for that one.
The period would end with a score of 2-0 and shots at 8-7 for Boston. The Flames were able to battle back a bit to even out Corsi at 17 apiece.
Great start. I'm not sure where the Flames learned to complete a line change while the puck is entering their zone, but that happened, and Torey Krug was able to backhand it right over Ramo's glove. Poor Ramo - that would be the last of him for the night, as Jonas Hiller got to slot in.
Milan Lucic slapped a puck on net that hit the post and led to a great rebound opportunity, that was batted out quickly. For whatever reason, the whistle blew to call Lucic's shot a goal. A review showed that the puck clearly did not go in. Thanks Postie.
Hiller was just barely able to get his stick down to make the save on Daniel Paille (pie, yay!), who tried to shove the puck in tight to the post. Keeping us in the game.
And just like that, David Jones was able to bury a shot behind Rask. After beating Dougie Hamilton, Chara tried to close the gap on Jones, only to deflect the puck into his own goal.
Matty Franchise was able to save Hiller from himself. As the goaltender got caught behind his net, Stajan was quick to swat the puck away from the front of the net. That would have killed any momentum the Flames had after the goal.
Hamilton and Jiri Hudler got tied up behind the play and received two minutes each for roughing. Let's go 4-on-4!
Great play by Brodie to poke that puck out, which led to a 2-on-1 with Mikael Backlund and Lance Bouma on net. This is what they needed. There was a great period of pressure and rebounds that the Flames just couldn't get their sticks on.
Johnny is becoming such a goon, as he took his first penalty - high-sticking Pastrnak for a four minute, double minor.
What a chance by Jooris, getting the turnover behind the Bruins' net. Too bad it was passed in front to Bad Luck Byron. Forever snake-bitten. The Flames PK held Boston to zero shots on net in the four minute penalty to end the period.
Score: 3-1 for Boston. Shots: 9-8 for Boston. Corsi: 18-13 for... Boston. Great second period.
Bob Hartley loves throwing the line combination in a blender to shake things up. This time it worked. Rask had a little misplay, which led to the following series of events and a Hudler goal! Sean Monahan made a very smart play, passing the puck behind Matt Bartkowski, who was definitely expecting Monny to shoot.
Just like that, the Calgary Third Periods make it a one goal game, and don't disappoint, carrying that momentum for a few more scoring chances before Hiller made a very important save.
Turns out Dennis Seidenberg got his stick up in Curtis Glencross's visor behind the play. Glenny was not happy when he got off the ice, throwing a bit of a fit. Drama drama drama.
Brodie made an awesome pass straight onto Bouma's stick, which led to a great play by Bouma, side-stepping Seidenberg, but getting shut down by Rask.
The Bruins iced the puck and Dennis Wideman had taken a high-stick to the face from Pastrnak (perhaps he just wanted someone elses lip to bleed?). And Calgary gets another powerplay.
Well, that didn't take long. Monahan won the faceoff and got the puck back to Mark Giordano. Two passes was all it took for Gio to get a wrist shot through and Hudler deflected it just right. Good thing Monahan fell down in front of that Gio shot.
David Krejci got the puck on net, with Reilly Smith ready to tip it in, but Hiller saved the day with an amazing save through traffic. The period is over, AND THAT'S A THREE POINT GAME.
Tie game at 3 apiece. Shots in the third: 10-7 for Calgary. Corsi: 17-13 for Calgary. Making it total shots, 25-24 for the Flames, total Corsi 48-47 for the Bruins.
It's been almost a month without overtime for the Flames, so this is exciting.
A couple of great defensive plays from both Jooris and Wideman. Most notably, Jooris' ability to hustle back on Marchand, who was in front of Hiller alone, and get his stick on the puck.
Down to the wire, it looked like the game was going into the shootout, but Gio found a streaking Brodie, who chipped and chased the puck and got a backhanded shot off from a terrible angle. The hockey gods smiled on Brodie, as the shot went off of Rask's glove, off the crossbar, and in off of Rask's shoulder. You have to see this.
Calgary completes the comeback and wins 4-3 in OT. The Bruins out-shot and out-Corsi'd the Flames 3-2 and 6-4 in OT.
- Both teams came off of completely opposite games against the Vancouver Canucks. Both teams hate them.
- Apparently, since 2011, whenever Boston has had three goals, they've gone 91-1-1. That was a daunting stat. Now it's 91-1-2.
- David Jones is on a four game, five point scoring streak. When he's not forever injured, he can be very effective.
Flame of the Game:
Scoring the OT winner is great and all, but Brodie also had the giveaway that led to the first goal. The Flame of the Game has got to go to Jiri Hudler. He was able to register just two shots on net, and what shots those were, since he also recorded two goals. Very timely goals at that. The only goals in the third period. He kept us in this. He also took a two minute penalty that let the Flames try their luck at 4-on-4.