Calgary Flames 4 Vancouver Canucks 1
Vancouver came to Calgary looking to go up 2-0 on the season against the Flames and they went home disappointed. The Flames constantly put the hammer down on Vancouver after an early fluke goal and evened the season series at 1-1 with a 4-1 win at the Saddledome.
It would be hard to believe that when the 1st 20 minutes ran off the clock that the Flames would find themselves down 1-0. Calgary out shot Vancouver 16-5 in the period and had many quality chances, but they couldn’t find the back of the net. The Flames also had the only power play of the stanza and while the PP continued to look strong, it came up empty. Vancouver would get the only goal on the period on a fluke shot. Nikita Tryamkin would get credit for a goal that appeared to go off Kris Versteeg’s stick. The puck went high and Elliott went low and just like that the Canucks gained a 1-0 lead that would hold for the rest of the period.
While the Flames dominated the 1st 20 and came up empty, the second period was the exact opposite. Calgary dominated from the drop of the puck AND put the puck in the net. Mark Giordano put the Flames on the board first with a PP goal tying the score at 1-1. At 10:00 Mikael Backlund would head off for interference, but fear not, the Flames PK unit was on the ice and they did their job. Not only did the Flames kill their 11th straight penalty, but Mark Giordano scored his second of the night giving the Flames a short handed goal and a 2-1 lead. As the period would wind down, Matthew Tkachuk’s relentless effort would get Calgary the puck and Michael Frolik and Dougie Hamoilton would set up Mikael Backlund, putting the Flames up 3-1. After 2 the Flames were out shooting the Canucks 28-8 and it should have been a lot more lopsided if not for missed opportunities.
The third period saw the game even out a little. The Flames didn’t need to run over the Canucks like they did in the first 2 periods. Calgary held strong and continued to kill penalties and get some quality chances, but didn’t add to the lead until Matthew Tkachuk put in the empty netter to get a well deserved goal that he worked hard for tonight.
That put the Flames up 4-1 and that’s how the game would end.
The Flames roll into the Christmas break on a high note, absolutely owning the Canucks and putting a team away early and not relinquishing a lead once they got it. Brian Elliott had himself a fairly easy night stopping 13 out of the 14 shots he faced to get himself to 2-0-1 in his last 3. The Flames now get a few days off until Tuesday when they travel to Colorado to take on the struggling Avalanche.
Flame of the Game
Mark Giordano. The Captain got the Flames back into the game with their first 2 goals, one on the PP and the other short handed. Gio had 3 shots on goal, was a +2 and had 1 blocked shot and his shortie is credited as being the GWG.