Calgary Flames 3 Philadelphia Flyers 1
The Flames welcomed the Flyers to the Saddledome for their only visit to Calgary on the heels of their BRUTAL loss to the Coyotes on Monday 5-0. The Flames are, by some miracle, only 1 point out of the final playoff spot in the West and they looked to close the gap a little as they entertained the always tough Flyers. It wasn’t pretty, but there’s no spot on the score sheet for style points.
The Flyers opened the scoring early in the first period, like 90 seconds in early, as Nick Cousins took a pretty feed from Matt Read to put the Flyers up 1-0. This had the look of one of “those” games, but the Flames hung tough and eventually got the equalizer less than 4 minutes later.
The 3M Line got the Flames on the board as Mikael Backlund and Dougie Hamilton found Matthew Tkachuk out front and the Flames super rookie tied the score at 1-1. The 1st then took an odd turn as Nick Cousins was skating by the benches and Alex Chiasson felt it necessary to spear Cousins, right in front of the linesman and earned himself a 5 minute major & game misconduct. Adding salt to the wound shortly after, Sean Monahan attempted to clear the puck, but he managed to fire the puck over glass FROM THE OTHER END OF THE RINK and earned himself a trip to the box. That gave Philly a 5 on 3, but the Flames miraculously killed both penalties on the back of some HUGE saves by Brian Elliott and we headed into the first intermission tied 1-1.
The second period wasn’t action packed on goal scoring front for the Flames, but Brian Elliott stood on his head for the period and did all he could to keep the Flames in this contest. Calgary would find themselves out shot over the second 20 minutes, but played scrappy enough to make 1 of their 5 second period shots count.
T.J. Brodie ended a goalless drought that went back to December 19th when he ripped a wicked wrist shot past Michal Neuvirth to put the Flames up 2-1. That’s how the second period would end, minus Micheal Ferland beating the snot out of Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
The third period saw both teams combine for 20 shots, the Flyers had 15 on their own in the first period. So yes, it wasn’t a thriller of a period. The major excitement from the 3rd was once again Brian Elliott. The veteran goalie would stop all 9 shots he would face in the period and once again, keep the Flames hanging around with their 2-1 lead. With :38 left in the period the Flames would give Elliott a little breathing room by putting one more in the net. Mark Giordano would ice the contest by burying an empty netter to put the Flames up 3-1 and get the Calgary a win in a contest that they were outplayed from the puck drop.
Calgary snagged an important 2 points tonight after getting annihilated by the Coyotes Monday night. Some nights you need your goalie to steal you a game and that’s exactly what Brian Elliott did tonight. #1 stopped 33 of 34 shots he faced and the Flames did just enough to get the win. Calgary could have turtled early after falling behind 1-0 90 seconds in, but they chose to battle and steal 2 points from the Flyers.
Flame of the Game
The aforementioned Brian Elliott stole the show tonight for the Flames. Without Elliott in net, the Flames don’t win this contest. He made big save after big save and his work during the Flames 5 on 3 PK was outstanding. Elliott improved to 12-13-2 on the season.
Calgary travels to Vancouver on Saturday night for a contest that could be considered slightly important in the playoff race.