The Flames kicked off their season-high six game road trip tonight against the Detroit Red Wings. Tonight marks the final visit to Joe Louis Arena for the Flames barring the two teams meeting in the Stanley Cup Final. The two teams split the season series last year with the Flames winning at home, and the Wings doing the same.
Chad Johnson got his fourth straight start in net tonight for the Flames, and Hunter Shinkaruk returns]ed to the lineup in place of Linden Vey. Tonight was also Mikael Backlund’s 400th NHL game, all with Calgary.
Calgary would take an early penalty when Brett Kulak took a delay of game penalty for clearing the puck over the glass. The Flames would have a stellar kill without allowing Detroit a single shot on their powerplay.
Tomas Tatar would then score by sliding a puck in on net after the originally shot hit him. His shot would get past an unsuspecting Johnson to give the Wings a 1-0 lead after an extended offensive sequence for Detroit.
Sam Bennett would take an offensive zone penalty off a faceoff when he high-sticked a Red Wing to give Detroit another man advantage. The Flames would kill it off but the Wings would get a few more opportunities this time around.
The Flames would get an amazing shift from the Backchuklik line and force a number of Wing turnovers that resulted in good scoring chances for the Flames. They wouldn’t be able to bury them as the Wings maintained their 1-0 lead.
The opening period ends with the Red Wings ahead of the Flames 1-0 and Calgary outshooting Detroit 10-9. Certainly not a bad opening period for the Flames.
The Flames would get the game tied up early in the period when Garnet Hathaway deflected Dougie Hamilton’s rocket from the point after the Flames fourth line outbattled the Wings. The goal is Garnet Hathaway’s first NHL goal, congratulations kid! We’re tied 1-1 3:40 into the second.
The Flames would get a couple strong with shifts with heavy forechecking which would lead to a Red Wing penalty and give Calgary their first powerplay of the night. Calgary would have a good start to the powerplay before it slacked off towards the end, and would be killed by Detroit.
The Wings would get a couple good scoring opportunities on Johnson but he would be up to the test as he continued another solid game in net.
After a very hardworking period by the Flames, the game is tied at 1 with Hathaway’s first NHL goal. The shots are 20-16 in favor of the Flames. Very good contest so far, and I love the fight and grit I’m seeing by all lines tonight.
Calgary would take the lead when Matt Stajan deflected a Dougie Hamilton shot past Jimmy Howard. Stajan’s first goal of the season puts Calgary ahead 2-1 two and a half minutes into the third. Hunter Shinkaruk also gets an assist on the goal.
Anthony Mantha would tie the game with a snipe over Johnson’s shoulder. The goal came as the result of Mantha walking from behind the net with no Flame on him. The game is tied at 2 with 12 minutes to go.
The Flames would get the lead back(lund) when Mikael Backlund would bury a pass from Michael Frolik close in. A great passing play by those two as we’ve seen all season, and the Flames have a 3-2 lead. Dougie Hamilton gets the other assist on the goal for his third assist of the night.
Shinkaruk would be gifted with a golden opportunity as he got a break off a bad Red Wing change but rang the shot off the cross bar.
Jimmy Howard would take a back breaking penalty for the Wings with 1:47 to go when he cleared a puck over the glass to send Calgary to a late powerplay. This gives the Flames the man advantage for the rest of the game, meaning a goalie pull would only give the Wings 5 on 5 hockey.
The Wings would end up pulling their goalie but be unable to generate any scoring chances as the Flames win 3-2! Final shots for the game are 26-23 in favor of the Flames.
- Dougie Hamilton had the night he needed after having some struggles this season. 3 assists, a +3, 18:20 of ice time.
- The Backchuklik (Backlund, Tkachuk, Frolik) line was very strong tonight with hard forechecking leading to a wealth of scoring chances before being rewarded with the winner late.
- Chad Johnson turns in another solid performance with 21 saves on 23 shots.
- After a strong game against Chiacgo, the line of Monahan-Brouwer-Bennett, struggled with all players posting a -2.
- Still don’t know why Alex Chiasson has a lineup spot, barely noticeable
- Saying Goodbye to Joe Louis Arena. The Wings move on to Little Caesars Arena (lol) next season and bid farewell to a building with a lot of character. Takes me back to the ‘04 cup run when Conroy scored in Game 5 and Kipper shut the door.
The Flames up their record to 8-11-1 and pick up the first two points of their road trip. They’ll head right out to Buffalo tomorrow for a date with the Sabres. Puck drop is at 5PM MT. Keep it locked here for the Rate The Flames, and all of tomorrow’s pregame coverage. Go Flames!