The Flames were unable to take advantage of the massive disparity of shots (46-13) over the Canucks and lost 4-2. Former Flame Markus Granlund victimized his former team with 2 goals and 1 assist.
Tonight was the first of a back-to-back, home and home with the Vancouver Canucks, who surprisingly came into the game having won 5 consecutive games since the Flames defeated them back on December 23rd. Brian Elliott got the start in goal for the Flames, on a personal 5 game win streak himself.
The Flames would open the score just 1:18 into the first period. The top line got in on the forecheck, Matthew Tkachuk got the puck to Mikael Backlund, who sent a pass across the crease to Michael Frolik who fired it past Ryan Miller to make it 1-0 Calgary on their first shot of the game. With their assists, Backlund (6 games) and Tkachuk (8 games!) continued their point streaks.
The Flames almost went up 2-0 after Sam Bennett took a slashing penalty. Shorthanded, Matt Stajan pressured Sven Baertschi and made a great move to the net and was stopped by Ryan Miller, but Lance Bouma put in the rebound. Unfortunately, the referees waved the goal off immediately, saying Stajan made incidental contact with Ryan Miller which prevented him from making the save. Upon watching the replay, it is tough to see how Miller would have stopped Bouma regardless and it looked as though Miller really sold the contact to be more than it was. Glen Gulutzan obviously thought similarly as he issued a coach’s challenge but he did not prevail.
Sometimes your team has a bad break and then the opposition immediately gets a good break after. Shortly after the goal was waved off, the Canucks tied the game after Michael Chaput passed back and forth with Jack Skille and put one past Elliott down low. Then the Canucks went up 2-1, after a Loui Eriksson pass deflected up off of a sprawled out Tyler Wotherspoon on a play Elliott had no chance on.
The Flames played quite well in the first and outshot the Canucks 11-6, but found themselves down 2-1 after one.
On the first shift of the second period, Sean Monahan had a partial break but was denied by Miller. That was indicative of how the period would go for the team. The Flames completely controlled play in the second frame, but could not beat Miller. The Canucks were badly outplayed in the period, but with 22 seconds left in the second, former Flame Markus Granlund fired a rocket past Elliott on the powerplay to put the Canucks up 3-1. Tough breaks for the Flames who played much better than the opposition in the period, but could not connect on anything.
Shots were 12-4 in the period for Calgary and 23-10 after two, but they found themselves down 3-1.
Things continued to work against the flow of the play in favour of the Canucks, as Sean Monahan could not clear the puck out and seconds later Markus Granlund had deflected a shot past Elliott for his second of the game to make it 4-1.
The Flames did not take it easy after getting down 4-1. They continued to pepper Ryan Miller with shots, but Miller had an unreal game. The Flames could not solve him. They would finally get on the board again on their 45th shot, with Michael Frolik scoring his second of the game on a late powerplay.
The Flames were dominant but it was not enough to beat Miller. Shots were 23-3 in the third period, but the Flames fell to the Canucks 4-2.
Flames 3 Stars
- T.J. Brodie: Played a terrific game, as a big driver of the attack and made some strong defensive plays. Finished the game with an 88.57% CF at even-strength (hockeystats.ca).
- Michael Frolik: Was the only guy who actually solved Miller at all, with 2 goals. Had an 85% CF himself.
- Mikael Backlund: Continued his hot streak with 2 assists and was his usual dominant self in all areas of the ice.
- That is a tough one to lose with how thoroughly the Flames outplayed the Canucks. The Flames made a couple mistakes that cost them, but Ryan Miller’s transcendent performance was absolutely the difference. Elliott could have probably had a couple of those goals too. The Flames win that game 97 times out of 100.
- The Flames controlled 77.2% of shot-attempts at even-strength. Dennis Wideman led the way at 89.7%, while Deryk Engelland was the lowest on the team yet still had a CF of 61.1%. Unreal.
- Markus Granlund looks like a completely different player than the one the Flames traded to Vancouver last year. Good for him.
- Rough to lose points to a division rival like that when they did everything possible to score, but I like the chances of the Flames bouncing back tomorrow.
Time for a rematch. The Flames and Canucks meet again tomorrow night in Calgary.I think that the Flames are due to exact revenge.