Calgary Flames 1 NY Rangers 4
The Rangers came to the Saddledome for their annual visit to try and get back in the win column after having a 5 game winning streak snapped. The Flames meanwhile are gearing up for a brutal stretch in November and trying to stop a 3 game skid.
The Flames, despite what the scoreboard showed, didn’t have a terrible period, but found themselves down 2-0 after 20 minutes. Turnovers and not being able to get the puck out of the zone did the Flames in during the first stanza. NY’s first goal came at 6:32 of the period when Jesper Fast hit a streaking Michael Grabner down the right side and he sniped a wrister past Brian Elliott to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Fast forward to 11:59 and the Rangers capitalized on the Flames turning the puck over in their own end. Deryk Engelland attempted to clear the puck, but it hit a Flames skater, the puck stayed in the end and Chris Kreider fed Derek Stepan to put the Rangers up 2-0. The Flames best chance of the period came with under 2 minutes left when Dennis Wideman hit Johnny Gaudreau is stride, sending him in on a break away. Gaudreau attempted to go 5 hole on Lundqvist to no avail. Calgary out shot the Rangers 10-9 in the period, but came up empty.
Well, the second period went just about as well as the first period. NY added two second period goals and the Flames looked dead in the water. Each team had a power play opportunity in the period, but it was the Rangers who did the most damage by scoring two goals to extend their lead to 4-0. Harvard University phenom Jimmy Vesey scored his 6th goal of the season at 9:26 as he beat Brian Elliott to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller picked up the helpers on the goal. Five minutes later the Rangers jumped ahead 4-0. Pavel Buchnevich “avoided” two Flames, including Brett Kulak, standing in the crease to hammer home his 3rd goal of the season. The Flames best chance, again, came with under a minute left when Sean Monahan was robbed out front by Lundqvist. The Rangers outshot the Flames 11-10 that period and without a few key saves from Brian Elliott the doors could have been blown off this game.
For a good part of the third period there wasn’t a ton of action. The Rangers almost got a gift/fluke goal as Brian Elliott came out to play the puck and turned it over right near the crease, but the Rangers weren’t able to capitalize. The Flames dreaded power play got another chance to try and finally score a goal at home. Dan Girardi took a high sticking penatly and Micheal Ferland sat out front and ended the Flames home power play drought by getting the Flames on the board with his 3rd goal of the season. The Rangers would get one more shot to score, but they hit the cross bar and weren’t able to put another goal on the board.
The Flames have now dropped 4 in a row after dropping a 4-1 decision to the NY Rangers. The Flames looked flat and uninspired tonight. Calgary has a hefty 16 game stretch coming up and if things don’t get better, and fast, this is going to get even uglier. Calgary’s next game takes them on the road to Minnesota on Tuesday to take on the Wild.
Flame of the Game: Matt Stajan
These are getting harder and harder to pick, but we’ll go with Matt Stajan tonight. Stajan may have been one of the few Flames on the ice to show any fire. He had 0 shots, but took 1 penalty, had 2 hits and was 2/2 at the face off dot. He also mixed it up a few times after plays and got under the skin of the Rangers. That’s what it’s come to.