The Flames had won 2 in a row. The Blue Jackets had won 4 in a row. Something had to give. Calgary’s 4th game of a 6 game road trip was another tough test for the good guys and they didn’t have their best showing. One half of a struggling defensive pairing shined while the other half cost the Flames in OT. Mike Smith was once again under fire all game and he more than held up his end of the bargain.
1st Period: Calgary Flames 0 Columbus Blue Jackets 0
The best way to describe the first 20 minutes of this contest would be....disjointed. There was no real flow to the period and the scoring chances were limited to turnovers that neither team capitalized on. Neither team took a penalty, so it was 20 minutes of straight 5 on 5. A bright spot for the Flames was the play of T.J. Brodie and Travis Hamonic. The pair has been struggling lately but they saw some significant time on the ice, played well and Hamonic had a key blocked shot to keep Columbus off the board. Calgary’s best scoring chance came on a 4 on 1, but the hottest Flame, Johnny Gaudreau, couldn’t put the puck in the net. Columbus’ best chance came on a Troy Brouwer turnover which lead to a 1 on 0 and Mike Smith came up with a beauty to keep the Jackets off the board.
1st Period Stats
2nd Period: Calgary Flames 0 Columbus Blue Jackets 0
As good of a 1st period as the Flames second D pairing had, Mark Giordano struggled. The Flames captain took 2 tripping penalties and committed a few turnovers. Thankfully for the Flames and Giordano, none were costly. The Blue Jackets league worst power play was held scoreless thanks to Mike Smith’s strong play between the pipes. The only other “major” thing to note during the period was Kris Versteeg’s accession to the 3rd line with Mark Jankowksi and Jaromir Jagr and it almost paid off. Jagr would bring the puck into the zone and get dumped, but hard work by Janko would free up the puck and it would land on Jagr’s stick. He fed Versteeg, but Bobrovsky would make a great save and we remained scoreless. Calgary’s red hot PP had a little over a minute of 5 on 4 time, but didn’t get anything accomplished. And to the greater point, neither did the Flames as a whole. Calgary only mustered 3 shots in the second period.
2nd Period Stats
3rd Period: Calgary Flames 0 Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Mike Smith. That’s all you need to know about the third period. Smith made save after save, keeping this game tied at 0-0 as the Flames would try to grind out a goal, which wouldn’t come. In the other end of the rink Sergei Bobrovsky held his own as well and we would finish this contest tied at 0-0. Columbus did a great job of clogging the neutral zone in the period and made life difficult for Calgary to get the puck in the zone on their stick.
3rd Period Stats
Overtime: Calgary Flames 0 Columbus Blue Jackets 1
The Flames were somehow able to hold off the Blue Jackets for 60 minutes, but 2 minutes into overtime Columbus finally solved Mike Smith. T.J. Brodie would wash what good he did in tonight’s game with a turnover and Josh Anderson would beat Smith glove side to get the Jackets the 1-0 win.
The Flames overtime winning streak was snapped, Johnny Gaudreau’s point and goal scoring streak was snapped and Mike Smith was outstanding. Travis Hamonic and Brett Kulak really shined on defence for the Flames, with Hamonic blocking a shot in the second period that could have lead to a Columbus goal. The Flames top line had really been cranking, but tonight they couldn’t get anything going and that’s going to happen. You have to give credit to Columbus in this game as they forced the Flames to try to skate through them and it worked. The Blue Jackets met the Flames in the neutral zone with pressure and if the Flames were able to get through, they were waiting at the blue line as well. Yes, losing is bad, but at least the Flames were able to scratch out one point in a game they really didn’t deserve to win. And a win is tough to get when you only put 9 shots on net in the final 2 periods of regulation.
Flame Of The Game
Mike Smith (G). What more can you ask of Mike Smith? The Flames top netminder kept them in this game stopping 41 of the 42 shots he faced. He certainly deserved a better fate than a 1-0 loss, but it’s not like he didn’t handle his business in net.
Friday, 11/24: Calgary @ Dallas 7PM MT