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Flames Down Canucks in Gritty Contest

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The Flames got their payback after last night’s loss

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

With the Flames set to battle with the Vancouver Canucks for the second time in two nights, a lot was riding on the game. The winner would remain in a playoff position while the loser would fall out.

The Canucks took a 4-2 victory on home ice on Saturday despite being ridiculously outshot 46-13. Michael Frolik had both Flames goals in the loss.

Chad Johnson returns to net while Jyrki Jokipakka and Garnet Hathaway also return in place of Tyler Wotherspoon and Freddie Hamilton respectively.

1st Period

The first half of the period would feature some Grade A scoring chances for both sides but some even better goaltending kept the game scoreless.

The Flames would get the opening goal of the game with Alex Chiasson deflecting a long Sean Monahan shot. Johnny Gaudreau gets an assist on the goal as well after making a stellar play to keep the puck in. 1-0 Flames!

Only 63 seconds later Matt Stajan would deflect a beautiful Garnet Hathaway pass into the net to make it 2-0. What an amazing pass from Hathaway, while Dougie Hamilton also gets an assist on the goal.

Dennis Wideman would be sent to the box for high sticking to give the Canucks the first powerplay of the period. The Flames would manage a strong kill to return to even strength.

The first period ends with the Flames up 2-0 on the Canucks and shots even at 10 apiece.

2nd Period

Bo Horvat would cut the Flames lead to 2-1 after the Canucks dominated the opening few minutes of the period. Horvat’s shot beat Johnson from the right circle.

The middle portion of the period would be controlled by the Canucks with the Flames generating the odd chance but nothing outstanding.

The Canucks would be given a powerplay when Matthew Tkachuk hit a Sedin. Again though, the Flames would shut down the Canuck powerplay by not allowing a single shot.

The second period ends with the Flames still ahead 2-1, and the shots 23-20 in favour of Vancouver.

3rd Period

Just over six minutes into the third period the Flames would get sent to their first powerplay of the game when Nikita Tryamkin hauled down Matt Stajan. The Flames would generate some really high quality chances but be unable to extend their lead.

The game would then experience a long period of the Flames mostly shutting down the Canucks as they tried to attack to tie the game.

Vancouver would be given a powerplay with just over five minutes remaining in the third when Kris Versteeg went off for hooking. The Flames would get a masterful kill stemming from some amazing saves from Chad Johnson.

With 1:50 to go Matthew Tkachuk would send Michael Frolik on a breakaway with a great pass, and Frolik would make no mistake giving Calgary a 3-1 lead. Tkachuk’s point streak hits nine games with the assist.

The Canucks would pull their goalie but the Flames would shut them down and leave with a 3-1 victory. Final shots for the game finish at 31-29 for Calgary.

The Good

  1. Chad Johnson was amazing between the pipes tonight to snap his personal four game losing streak
  2. The Flames penalty kill came up clutch again tonight

The Bad

  1. The Flames were outplayed for large stretches of the game, especially in the second period
  2. The Versteeg, Bennett, Ferland line struggled tonight with the three having a 32%, 30%, and 20.7% CF% respectively.

The Ugly

  1. This win wasn’t exactly pretty, but against a suddenly playoff pushing Canucks team and divisional rival, we’ll take it.

The Flames improve their record to 22-18-2 and 46 points on the season, which keeps them in the 1st wildcard spot for now.

Calgary next plays on Monday against the potentially Laine-less Winnipeg Jets. Puck drop is at 6PM MT.