The projected lineups have been a mess this season for anyone trying to keep updated on injuries and recalls. With all this confusion, it's no wonder no one has any idea which players are in or out at puck drop.
One thing was for sure, Dougie and Freddie Hamilton were both in the starting lineup along with Joni Ortio, Jyrki Jokipakka, Lance Bouma, and Michael Frolik. The Jets opened the scoring with less than 3 minutes gone, but the goal was immediately called off due to goalie interference. Paul Maurice used his coaches challenge, but the call on the ice was good and there was no score. Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund, and Joe Colborne have been a forceful offensive line lately and they opened the scoring to put the Flames on the board. Just after a Calgary penalty kill, which would have given him another short-handed goal, Frolik scored to give the Flames a 2-0 lead. At the same time, Dennis Wideman and Joe Colborne collided near the end boards, Wideman, in obvious pain, headed down the tunnel, not to return. Sean Monahan scored one more time for the Flames, giving them a 3-0 lead to end the first period.
Wideman did not return to the bench to start the middle frame. And another potential injury had me holding my breath as Garnet Hathaway went down the tunnel after blocking a shot with his hand. But he soon returned and made a statement to Big Buff after Byfuglien was mixed up with Johnny Gaudreau. Hathaway seems to understand his role as a protector - as well as an offensive threat - on this team. The lone goal of the period happened when Ortio was caught out of position and the Jets broke the shutout. Generally speaking, the Flames looked disorganized and uncoordinated for most of the period, but brought back some pressure during a couple of good shifts. The score was 3-1 heading into the final period of play.
Not the most spectacular period, but it served it's purpose. The Jets owned the period, but Joni Ortio saved the game throughout the last 20 minutes as the opposition peppered him with shots. In total, Ortio made 28 saves all game. Dennis Wideman did not return to the bench and it was announced that he would not return due to an upper body injury. In spite of how disorganized the Flames looked in the last period, they rallied in the final few minutes during a powerplay and finalized the score at 4-1 after one more goal by the captain.
Flame Of The Game
Mikael Backlund. With 8 points in his last 7 games and 2 assists tonight, Backlund seems to be on a roll lately. His productivity has increased and he seems to have good chemistry with Frolik. I hope to see more from Backlund for the final few games this season.