Calgary Flames 3 Montreal Canadiens 2 (OT)
The Flames NEEDED a win tonight in Montreal to fix a lot of what was ailing them. The Flames had dropped 3 in a row and were heading in to the second night of a back to back against Carey Price who was previously 5-1-0 in his last 6. Montreal was streaking one way, the Flames streaking another way, but Calgary dug deep and didn’t quick and got 2 important points with a 3-2 win in overtime.
1st Period: Calgary Flames 1 Montreal Canadiens 1
This was a fairly pedestrian period for the first half and then things started to get interesting. Sean Monahan opened the scoring for the Flames by netting his team leading 16th goal of the season. Monahan got into the tough spaces and fired a bad angle shot that delfected off of Carey Price to give the Flames a brief 1-0 lead. Not to be outdone, Montreal played “anything you can do I can do better.” Daniel Carr snuck around the back of the net and he fired a shot off an out of position David Rittich’s mask which landed in the back of the net, tying it at 1-1. Calgary had the only penatly of the period, Dougie Hamilton’s nightly tripping penalty, that the Flames killed off accordingly.
1st Period Stats
2nd Period: Calgary Flames 1 Montreal Canadiens 2
The Canadiens would get the only marker of another evenly played, entertaining period. But much like the first period, the puck found the net in a rather non-conventional way. Max Pacioretty would backhand the puck at David Rittich and Phillip Danault would deflected the puck towards the Calgary net. The shot would bounce off Rittich, off the post and in flutter in to give the Habs a 2-1 lead that they would take into the 3rd period. The Flames would hold their own for most of the period, but they couldn’t solve Carey Price. Just Calgary’s luck, two straight nights, two unbeatable goalies, but their luck was about to change.
2nd Period Stats
3rd Period: Calgary Flames 2 Montreal Canadiens 2
Tired of weird goals and odd scenarios? Too bad. Welcome to the third period and the Flames would finally get a bounce to go their way. The Flames would appear to have scored the equalizer at 7:49, but the goal was waived off because of goaltender interference. Glen Gultuzan challenged the call on the ice and the Flames came out smelling like roses. Upon review, Garnet Hathaway would keep the puck in the Montreal zone, crash the net and jam the puck in with NO interference and the Flames would tie the game at 2-2. The goal was Hathaway’s first of the season and his 2nd career NHL goal. Calgary would squander a 5 v 3 PP opportunity towards the end of the period, getting shots on net, but Carey Price kept his cool and kept the Flames off the board. Not to be outdone in the other end, David Rittich would stare down a Shea Weber rocket and keep the game tied. To overtime we go.
3rd Period Stats
Overtime: Calgary Flames 3 Montreal Canadiens 2
For the second night in a row the Flames needed extra time and tonight they got the job done. And who else would you expect to end it other than Mr. Overtime himself, Sean Monahan. Monahan would start the play getting the puck up to Johnny Gaudreau who would patiently wait for Mony to join the rush. Johnny fed Monahan and the puck found the back of the net on a beautiful wrist shot. The OT winner was Monahan’s second of the season, his 17th goal of the season and his franchise leading 9th OT winner.
The fact that the Flames escaped Montreal with 2 points is a good sign. They had a goalie playing in his 3rd NHL game. They were in the second night of a back to back. There’s a ground swell of chatter about their coach needing to be fired. They’d lost 3 in a row. They just played in Toronto and lost in a shoot out. Add all that up and you’d have to think if they played a close game and lost or just got to OT to get a single point they would be thrilled, but they did more. For the second straight night the Flames got stellar defence from all 3 pairings and the Flames new 3rd line of Sam Bennett, Mark Jankowski and Garnet Hathaway played a huge role in the Flames 3-2 win. That trio had 9 shots on net, lead by Hathaway’s 5. What else can you say about Sean Monahan? He had 2 goals on the night, the 2nd the game winner and had 4 SOG. Not to be forgotten in all this offence was the guy in the mask in the Flames end of the rink. David Rittich stopped 35 of the 37 shots that came his way to earn his 2nd NHL victory this season. He fought the puck early in the game, but settled in and really helped the Flames get this game to extra time to guarantee Calgary at least 1 point.
Flame Of The Game
Garnet Hathaway (F). Yeah, Monahan had the game winner, but the Flames don’t get to OT without Hathway’s play. On his game tying goal Hathaway hustled to keep the puck in the Montreal end and then immediately went right to the net. He had the second most shots on net for the Flames tonight with 5, he really got under Montreal’s skin early in the game and he was tied for the team lead in hits with 5. Hustle. Offence. Physical play. Hathaway brought it all tonight.
Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks, 12/9/17, 8 PM MT