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Special Teams Haunts Flames (Again) in Loss to Blues

The Flames PK struggled again

NHL: Calgary Flames at St. Louis Blues Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Eddie Lack made his Flames debut tonight but was ultimately let down by a poor showing from the team who took bad penalties and couldn’t kill them off. Calgary was unable to channel the magic off last night’s win in Nashville.

1st Period: Calgary 1, St. Louis 1

After a couple of solid shifts to start the game, Calgary would take an early 1-0 lead courtesy of Mikael Backlund. Just 3:58 into the game Backlund would beat Jake Allen with a nice snap shot from the slot. Matthew Tkachuk and Travis Hamonic would get assists on the goal. The goal was a nice reward for Backlund after a tremendous shift where he broke up a Blues chance and then controlled the puck into the offensive zone to start the sequence.

After what was arguably one of the best opening ten minutes for the Flames this season, the Blues would slowly start to take over and eventually would find the tying goal. Hamonic would turn the puck over with a bad pass, the puck would then find it’s way behind the Flames net before Vladimir Sobotka would find Alex Steen alone to the side and Steen would bury it.

The Flames controlled the first half of the period but the Blues had the edge in the second half of the period. Tie game at 1-1.

First Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 1 12 0/0
Blues 1 9 0/1

2nd Period: Calgary Flames 2, St. Louis Blues 3

Sam Bennett would take an early tripping penalty and the Blues would make him pay to take the 2-1 lead. Jaden Schwartz would bury a puck in at the back door after a Vladimir Tarasenko shot rang off the post. Calgary would get their own powerplay chance right after but fail to generate much before a Michael Frolik penalty would end it early.

Once again St. Louis would score on the powerplay to make it 3-1 with Alex Pietrangelo walking right in to beat Lack. That’s another two goals allowed by the Flames penalty kill, giving them four allowed on the trip.

Calgary would be absolutely gifted a goal that cut the deficit to one. Jake Allen would go behind his net to play a puck but would trip and miss the puck. Matthew Tkachuk would race to the corner and throw the puck in front to Backlund who would score his 2nd goal of the game.

Matthew Tkachuk would get a couple really good chances late in the period as the Flames pushed the Blues after gaining momentum on the goal. The Flames were sent to the powerplay late in the period with a Blues slashing call of which the majority would carry over to the third.

2nd Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 1 7 0/2
Blues 2 9 2/2

3rd Period: Calgary Flames 2, St. Louis Blues 5

I didn’t really know what to write about the middle portion of this period because not much happened. The Flames were pushing but the Blues had some really strong play to limit Flames chances as they defended their lead. St. Louis would make it 4-2 on a tough break for the Flames as Mark Giordano would be hit with a slapshot dump-in attempt that would leave Giordano hobbled and the puck at his feet. The Blues would take the puck and get it to Paul Statsny would score. Blues up by two with 3:32 to go.

Joel Edmundson would score an empty netter to make it 5-2 and that’s how the game would end as Calgary falls to 5-5 on the year.

3rd Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 0 6 0/0
Blues 2 11 0/0

Final Thoughts

The Flames have lost three of their last four games. In that span they’ve allowed six goals while shorthanded including two in each of the last two games. Calgary lost games against Minnesota and Carolina essentially by one goal and were lucky to win last night after two early goals allowed. Tonight bad penalties reared their head as Calgary fell in to St. Louis. These goals on special teams have cost the team points early in the year and it could bite them by the end. STOP TAKING BAD PENALTIES! At even strength the Flames were with the Blues for most of the game, but special teams cost them for the third time in four games.

Flame of the Game

NHL: Calgary Flames at St. Louis Blues Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Mikael Backlund (C): Scored two goals and was creating chances with his line all game long. Honourable mention to Matthew Tkachuk.

What’s Next: Dallas Stars at Calgary Flames on Friday night at 7:00pm MT