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St. Louis Blues (4) vs. Calgary Flames (7): Janko Unchained!

Mark Jankowski puts up 3 points as the Flames edge the Blues 7-4 in a high scoring matchup.

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

1st Period: St. Louis Blues 2 Calgary Flames 2

If you had just tuned it for the first two minutes of the game, you’d have thought that this would be a slow, tight-checking, defensive game. However, the game would take on a sudden twist of fast-paced hockey characterized by great scoring chances on both ends. The Flames were scared early on when Vladimir Tarasenko rifled one past Mike Smith to make it 1-0 for the visitors.

Mark Jankowski however would tie the game a minute later with a fantastic slap shot to get his 2nd goal of the year.

The Flames and the Blues would continue to trade chances until Mark Jankowski capitalized on a great pass from Jaromir Jagr, deking around Jake Allen to make 2-1 for the hosts as well as getting his second of the night.

Calgary would begin to take on increasing momentum in the 1st until T.J Brodie was caught tripping Jaden Schwartz, putting the Blues on the powerplay. Schwartz would rip one past Mike Smith to tie the game at 2. Overall, it was a very entertaining, but wild first period.

1st Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Blues 2 9 1 for 1
Flames 2 12 0 for 0

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

The second period did not start off well for Flames fans, as Mike Smith was replaced by the relatively untested Eddie Lack. However, he looked fairly comfortable in net as the Blues put shots on him. Momentum in the 2nd belonged to the Flames though, as they played tight defense around Eddie Lack, while spending significant time in the Blues zone. The Blues would take a ‘too many men’ penalty, but the Flames powerplay was unable to capitalize on that chance. Overall, it was a fairly eventful 2nd, but did not have much to show in terms of the score. The Flames however, did command the second.

2nd Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Blues 2 4 0 for 0
Flames 2 8 0 for 1

3rd Period: St. Louis Blues 4 Calgary Flames 7

Where to begin? With a tight-checking game that was tied going into the third, who would have expected the third period to go the way that it did. A hockey game has the benefit of being one of the most unpredictable things that a sports fan can ever watch and did the third period ever show that. 5 minutes into the third period, a ricocheting puck found the stick of Mark Jankowski, who fired the puck on Jake Allen, only to find Sam Bennett, who potted in his first of the season. A huge goal for the still-young Flames forward as he slowly starts to regain his confidence.

With momentum on the Flames side, the hosts kept the pressure on. However, a seemingly harmless shot by Alexander Steen deflected off of Micheal Ferland’s stick and past Eddie Lack to tie the game at 3. However, less than one minute after, Ferland would capitalize on a rebound off a Johnny Gaudreau shot, roofing his 5th goal in 6 games. 4-3 Flames.

Excitement was building in the ‘Dome. But, owing to this game’s unpredictable nature, the Blues would give one right back. A turnover by Dougie Hamilton led to a 2-on-1, with two of the Blues most lethal scorers in Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. The Flames would not stand a chance as Tarasenko ripped a one-timer past Eddie Lack to, once again, tie the game up, this time at 4 a piece.

The tense nature continued to build up and frustration was mounting. A couple of minutes following the Tarasenko goal, Kris Versteeg stole the puck from Paul Stastny, sending it straight to Troy Brouwer. Brouwer fed Versteeg, who ripped his own one-timer past Jake Allen. 5-4 Flames.

The Versteeg goal was essentially the turning point of the game. It would be all-Flames from there onward. The hosts would continue to persist, as Johnny Gaudreau created a 2-on-1 chance with Sean Monahan. No pass, no shot, but incredible patience shown by Johnny Hockey. Mark Giordano would be the recipient of a Gaudreau pass, and went hard to the net, only to create an easy rebound for Johnny Hockey to pot in his 7th of the year and to cement the game in the Flames’ favour.

Michael Frolik would end up scoring an empty-netter but at that point, the game was basically finished.

3rd Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Blues 4 11 0 for 1
Flames 7 17 1 for 3

Final Thoughts:

The Flames showed some incredible character this game. It is never easy to go up against the best of the Western Conference. The St. Louis Blues deserve some credit for never really going away from this game until perhaps the last 5 minutes of the game. With that being said, the Flames were calm and collected despite the unlucky bounces and the pressure from the Blues. The Flames’ offense really showed their true colours today, and props to them for a fantastic performance.

While the score may not show it, the Flames’ defence also looked strong today, only allowing 24 shots on net. However, the burning question is the status of Mike Smith, who has by far been one of the Flames’ MVPs so far this season. Rumour has it that the Flames goaltender left with an upper body injury. Nevertheless, Flames fans will be hoping that it is a minor injury. Either way, keep an eye out at Flames practice tomorrow. Eddie Lack did a decent job of relieving Mike Smith following his early exit from the game. Stopping 13 out 15 shots, Lack made some crucial saves that kept the advantage on the Flames side.

Overall, a really good, character game by the Flames.

Flame of the Game

There were some great performances tonight, but ultimately, this game belongs to Mark Jankowski. He was just brilliant, creating chances, skating smoothly, making crisp passes. But most of all, he potted in 3 points tonight. Let’s not forget that he also assisted on Sam Bennett’s first goal of the season. It seems like the two are having some great chemistry, so look for more points to come out of that third line for the rest of the season.

Next Game: Calgary Flames vs. Detroit Red Wings on November 15th! Catch it on Sportsnet at 5:30 MT.