It should have been a closer game, but the two empty net goals by the Maple Leafs left much to be desired in this matchup. Jonas Hiller got the start in net with Joni Ortio as backup. Deryk Engelland was still out of the lineup and Ladislav Smid, Dennis Wideman, and Karri Ramo were all on the injured list.
Speaking of Ramo, our own @jshanny14 got to meet Karri Ramo in Calgary today. We're hoping to hear more from him about his Flames experience soon.
The starting lineup included Hiller, Tyler Wotherspoon, Jakub Nakladal, Micheal Ferland, Sam Bennett, and Joe Colborne. The Flames started out making big hits throughout the first period again, showing the Leafs that they were ready to win. Calgary consistently put pressure on the Leafs net, but Bernier repeatedly stopped every chance the Flames had. Sam Bennett ended up in the box for slashing, but Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano took a chance at a short-handed goal only to be denied by Bernier again. Jonas Hiller was covering the Flames net well at the other end, but one mistake is all it took when he made a bad pass from behind the net and the Leafs buried their first goal to give them a 1-0 edge to end the period.
It was all Flames to start the period. Lance Bouma had a good chance on net as well as Jakub Nakladal. Ferland played well against the boards to help generate some of those chances. Calgary couldn't capitalize on a 5 on 3, but they aren't shy about scoring on the penalty kill as Matt Stajan notched his 6th goal of the season as Jooris sat in the box and the score was tied 1-1. But that goal wouldn't go unanswered as the Leafs restore their lead with just under 6 minutes left in the second period by a score of 2-1. And then things got real as Kadri made a hit on Gaudreau that Jooris didn't appreciate. Josh Jooris stepped in and stood up for Johnny, which cost him some time in the penalty box. After the last matchup between these two teams, and the Kadri incident against Giordano, I'm sure it's safe to say that Flames fans aren't smitten with this Leafs player. The Flames answered back in the best way they knew how, with a goal to tie the game at the end of the period.
Toronto opened the third period with a quick goal on Hiller and the Flames retaliated as Frolik took a good chance on the Leafs net, showing patience and holding onto the puck before taking a shot, only to be denied by Bernier. The Flames threw more hits on the Maple Leafs, but came up short on goals. The Leafs scored 2 empty net goals to finalize the score at 5-2.
Flame Of The Game
Garnet Hathaway. With 1 assist, 4 hits, and a plus 1 rating, Hath deserves the honour tonight. He's been consistent, energetic, and forceful on the Flames since his arrival in late February.