The Calgary Flames mounted another incredible comeback victory to pull within one game of the Anaheim Ducks in their second round series. With the goalie pulled, Johnny Gaudreau scored with 20 seconds remaining to tie the game at three-all. Then five minutes into the first overtime period, Mikael Backlund scored his first career NHL playoff goal to win the game and cut the Ducks' series lead to 2-1.
The Calgary Flames controlled play in this game, getting more offensive zone time than Anaheim and as a result getting more shot attempts. However the Ducks generated more quality chances, taking more shots on goal and getting more scoring chances at 5v5. For the Flames this is still a marked improvement over the first two games.
Special teams were a huge factor in this game. The Flames were able to generate 6 scoring chances in approximately 7 minutes of 5v4 powerplay time, but it was in other odd-man situations where Calgary capitalized. Joe Colborne scored on a shorthanded breakaway, Gaudreau's tying goal came on a 5-on-3 with the goalie pulled, and Backlund scored his OT winner on a 6v5 delayed penalty situation, also with the goalie pulled.
Meanwhile the Ducks only generated one scoring chance in two and a half minutes of 5v4 powerplay time.
Discipline is one of the major reasons Calgary finds themselves in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Flames have a much better chance of beating Anaheim if they can stay out of the box and continue to goad the Ducks into taking penalties.
It's nice to see some Flames at the top of this list, most notably TJ Brodie. While shot attempts reveal nothing about the quality of shots generated, they show that the shooting team is on the attack with possession of the puck in the offensive zone. In Brodie's case, his ability to break out of his own zone by skating the puck out or making crisp outlet passes is what allows his team to consistently set up offense. This is why he's at the top of this list, and why he finished the game with a Corsi For percentage of 67 (i.e. the Flames took 67% of the shot attempts with Brodie on the ice).
Mason Raymond was also a solid shot attempt contributor. He has good speed and composure with the puck, and his movement creates open ice for him and his teammates. The Calgary Flames are a better hockey club with him in the lineup. Raymond set up Brandon Bollig's goal with a beautiful pass on a 2-on-1 to open the scoring early.
Shots on Goal
The Calgary Flames weren't able to convert many of their shot attempts into shots on goal. So far in this series Anaheim has been very good at limiting Calgary's chances, and that trend continued last night. For all the shot attempts Brodie contributed to, he didn't contribute to a single shot on goal.
Conversely, the Ducks' top line of Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Patrick Maroon finished with the highest contributions to shots on goal. They continue to be dangerous, which should come as no surprise.
It's a huge relief to see Sean Monahan near the top of the scoring chance list, as he struggled to generate offense in the first two games in Anaheim. The Flames have performed well on home-ice (4-0 in the playoffs), but will need to bring this intensity on the road if they hope to get past the Ducks.
Sam Bennett contributed to two scoring chances, including what seemed to be the tying goal with just over six minutes remaining in the third period. In a play eerily reminiscent of the non-goal by Martin Gelinas in 2004, the League judged there was not enough conclusive evidence to prove the puck crossed the line.
Keep in mind this list is for 5v5 scoring chances only. Gaudreau and Colborne contributed to two scoring chances each on the 5v4 powerplay, and Colborne's shorthanded goal was also a scoring chance.
Again we see Anaheim's top line factoring in at the top of the scoring chance list. They are incredibly dangerous.
The war-on-ice Shot Plots
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