The Flames made their first and only trip of the season to Minnesota to take on the Wild tonight. The Flames entered the game on a four game losing streak, and had lost 6 of their last 7 games. Calgary went 1-2 against the Wild last season with their only win coming in the last game of the regular season. Calgary has only won 4 out of their last 15 games against the Wild.
Chad Johnson got the start in net tonight for the Flames while Matthew Tkachuk returned to the lineup after a wrist injury. Garnet Hathaway also made his season debut for the Flames.
The Wild came out of the gate flying with three shots in the first minute on solid scoring opportunities but Johnson kept them out.
Calgary would get the first powerplay of the game on a Wild hook in front of Devan Dubnyk.
Johnny Gaudreau would score on the powerplay to give Calgary the 1-0 after he snuck through a couple Wild players who were changing. He slid a cheeky backhand past Dubnyk and the assist on the goal went to Gio. A powerplay goal is scored (!!!) and the Flames are in front.
The game would continue with the Flames getting a few good opportunities before the Wild were sent in on a 4 on 1 (!!!) but would hit the post before the rebound was deflected out of play. The game remains 1-0.
Off the following faceoff Chris Stewart and Deryk Engelland would get into a very spirited fight with both guys landing solid shots.
The final few seconds would feature a flurry of Minnesota chances including a last second attempt which only could be stopped by Dougie Hamilton taking a cross checking penalty that would begin in the second period.
The opening period ends with the Flames ahead of the Wild 1-0, despite the Wild outshooting Calgary 10-7 and outplaying them for the most part.
The Wild would have the powerplay to start the second period but against Flames tradition, they’d actually kill it off. Minnesota would get an opportunity shortly after the powerplay but ring the shot off the post again.
Gaudreau would counter with a post of his own as the teams combine to make a beautiful post melody early in the second.
Now...prepare for penalties
Calgary would get sent back to the powerplay after Zach Parise was whistled for a slash shortly after the Wild had the Flames hemmed in their own zone. Calgary wouldn’t muster much in the first half of the powerplay before Minnesota would be whistled for a delay of game penalty. Sean Monahan would then take a retaliation penalty for cross checking only seconds into the 5 on 3.
Calgary would be unable to score on a brief 4 on 3 before we’d get 4 on 4 hockey. That would only last about a half minute before Ryan Suter would be whistled for interfering with Gaudreau sending the Flames back to a 4 on 3.
Eventually we’d get back to 5 on 5 hockey with no goals scored and the Flames continuing to lead 1-0.
However that would only last a few seconds before Matt Stajan would be whistled for interference sending Minnesota to a powerplay. The Flames would kill it off with some solid penalty killing especially by the Frolik-Backlund duo.
The very very chippy and hard fought second period would end with the Flames still ahead 1-0 of the Wild and outshooting them 20-19. Looks to be a very entertaining third on the way.
Calgary would get sent to an early powerplay to start the third when Dennis Wideman was high sticked. The Flames would be unable to capitalize on the man advantage as the teams returned to even strength.
Garnet Hathaway would incidentally run over Dubnyk before being jumped by Matt Dumba as a result. Matt Dumba would be given the extra two minutes leading to another Flames powerplay. The Flames wouldn’t score or generate much with the Wild getting the best chance on a 3 on 2 shorthanded break.
The Wild would get a flurry of chances in the last five minutes but be unable to score before pulling Devan Dubnyk with 1:25 to go.
There would be a whistle with 50.5 seconds to play and a timeout was taken by Minnesota as a result. The Flames would win the faceoff but fail to clear out the puck three times as the Wild continued to pressure up until the final second.
Chad Johnson gets his first shutout as a Flame and it’s a 1-0 victory for Calgary over Minnesota. Final shots finish at 27-27 as the Flames snap their 4 game losing streak.
- CHAD JOHNSON!!! Exactly the game the Flames needed from a goaltender as he stole the show
- The fight in this team: Tkachuk, Ferland, Hathaway, and the rest of the team didn’t back down when the Wild brought the physicality
- The Special Teams looked really good tonight with the penalty kill being perfect and the powerplay scoring a goal. Could’ve used one or two more on the six powerplay opportunities, but most of the PP’s looked better than previous games and generated chances
- Would’ve liked to see the offense generate one or two more goals but the Wild played a strong defensive game and had one of the league’s best in Devan Dubnyk between the pipes so it’s not a big thing.
- Johnny Gaudreau left with an injury halfway through the third period and did not return. Really hoping it’s nothing serious as that would be a major blow to the team
The Flames got exactly what they needed by having Chad Johnson steal them this game. They also fought very hard and didn’t back down from the Wild which will certainly help this unit grow. These is the type of game that the Flames will need to play and win on a nightly basis to get back into the playoff picture and stay there. Calgary moves to 6-10-1 on the season.
The Flames are back in action tomorrow night when they host the Arizona Coyotes (5-9-0) in what is a bit of a scheduling head-scratcher in my opinion. The puck drops at the Saddledome at 8PM MT. Don’t miss it as the Flames try to start a winning streak.