It was announced earlier today that Dennis Wideman's season is done due to an injury to his triceps. But with T.J. Brodie back in the lineup, the blue line will survive. Tonight's starting lineup included Joni Ortio in net, Dougie Hamilton and T.J. Brodie on defense and Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Micheal Ferland up front. Niklas Backstrom was dressed as backup and it was mentioned that he could get the start on Sunday in Montreal.
The home team put the pressure on early and kept it up most of the period. It was nice to see Joe Colborne using his size to his advantage, throwing his weight around and using his long reach to interrupt passes by the Avalanche. Ortio made key saves throughout the period that kept the Flames alive. When the Flames scored first, the goal was under review due to a possible kicking motion by Matt Stajan. But the Flames were on the winning end of the review and the goal was good. It was 1-0 for the home team. The Avs answered back before the end of the period to tie the game 1-1 heading into the 2nd period.
What a wild 2nd period for the Flames. Even though it started with a Flames penalty, 2 short-handed goals by Mark Giordano and Freddie Hamilton made up for it. Congrats to Freddie on his first goal with the Calgary team! The Flames were up 3-1 when Colorado answered back to shorten the gap to 3-2. The Flames were ready for the Avs in the middle frame and played hard, putting all the pressure on the visitors, making Colorado look disorganized and desperate.
Calgary got an early powerplay to start the final period after former Flames forward, Comeau, took a high-sticking penalty, but it didn't do much for the Flames offense. Even though the home team owned this game, the Avs put some pressure on the Flames net about halfway through the period, and the Flames could hold on for only so long before the puck found the back of the net and Colorado tied the game 3-3. Johnny Gaudreau was showing off his amazing hands again in the Avs zone, but two Colorado players wouldn't allow him a chance on net. Yes, it took two players to interrupt a pass from Johnny to his teammates. Then the Avs decided to show up, led by none other than Jarome Iginla, and the opposition peppered Ortio with shots. Luckily, Ortio was focused and ready for the challenge, stopping everything the Avalanche could shovel at him. 60 minutes ends in a 3-3 score and the teams headed to overtime.
It was exactly what we always hope for in overtime - a fast-paced game led by the Flames. With Brodie, Giordano, and Monahan to start, Calgary put on the pressure and just wouldn't quit. Even when Colorado would get the puck out of their zone, the Flames would skate it right back in. The only problem I could see in the final couple minutes of play was the major mistake made by Ortio in tripping Iginla in front of the net. Giordano was not happy about the call and got up in Iginla's face to exchange a few pleasantries and, I'll admit, seeing former and present Flames captains getting mad at each other on the ice made me physically uncomfortable. I was really happy to see that it did not escalate into anything more. Bouma blocked another shot with his leg, wincing in obvious pain, and I have a feeling the Flames may have to call up another forward from Stockton soon. Overtime ended with no goals and no clear winner.
On to the shootout - the dreaded shootout. First shooter for Calgary was Colborne who lost the puck and didn't even get a shot on net. The Avs went high and couldn't score either. Gaudreau was up next, but he, too, was denied. Colorado buried one and it was all on Monahan to keep the Flames alive, but he could not. The Colorado Avalanche won by a score of 4-3.
Flame Of The Game
Lance Bouma. He played fast, skated hard, and sacrificed his body to block shots. He had a few chances on net tonight and earned 2 assists. With an effort like that, Lance is tonight's Flame Of The Game.
"I think our PK has been a lot better lately. We've been aggressive and getting chances offensively." - Lance Boumahttps://t.co/A4ATEpVC5j— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) 19 March 2016