Sean Monahan scored his 100th career goal, Dougie Hamilton had a 3 point night and Brian Elliott was solid as the Flames continued their hot streak and defeated the Lightning 3-2.
The Calgary Flames came in with a 6-2-1 record in the past 9 games, so they have been running hot lately. Brian Elliott was in net once again for the Flames, while Andrei Vasilevskiy was in net for the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Lightning would get the only goal of the first period, just over 6 minutes in. Vladislav Namestnikov (cool name) tipped a shot in the slot past Elliott to put the Lightning up 1-0.
The Flames had a couple first period powerplays, which included Troy Brouwer being stopped on a breakaway, and were unable to find the back of the net. The shots were 8-5 for Calgary in the first.
The Flames would tie the game 5 minutes into the second. Off the cycle, Mark Giordano threw the puck on net and Mikael Backlund deflected it past Vasilevskiy for his 18th of the season. 1-1 was the score.
A minute later, Sean Monahan scored his 100th career goal. Johnny Gaudreau backhanded a puck on net, which Monahan knocked down right in front of Bishop and then he tapped the puck into the open net. Just like that, it was 2-1 for the Flames. The goal made Monahan the youngest player in franchise history to reach the 100 goal mark, at 22 years and 134 days. With 6 more years left on his contract after this season, we are going to see many more goals from #23.
Following the newfound Calgary lead, a couple of nice saves were made by Brian Elliott, including one off of Brayden Point, where he did the full splits to keep the puck out. Later, Lance Bouma got into a scrap with Jake Dotchin. Sean Monahan would almost get goal 101 before the period was up, but he wired a shot off the post on the 2-on-1.
The Flames entered the period down a goal and left the period up a goal. Shots were 18-12 for the Flames after 2.
A concerning moment for the Flames occurred halfway through the frame. Matthew Tkachuk got elbowed in the jaw by Jake Dotchin and was down for awhile before going to the quiet room to get looked at. Thankfully, he returned before the game was up.
Late in the game, Mikael Backlund was tripped and the Flames got another powerplay. About 20 seconds after he had hit the crossbar, Dougie Hamilton had another opportunity and this time he found the back of the net. His third point of the game gave the Flames some insurance as they went up 3-1.
Nikita Kucherov would bring the Lightning back within 1 on a late powerplay with the extra attacker. However, that was as close as they would get, as Tampa ran out of time and the Flames won, 3-2. Shots ended up at 25-25.
Flames 3 Stars
- Brian Elliott: He was not overly busy in the first couple of periods, but he was there when called upon. In the third he was a lot busier, but shut the door and preserved his team’s lead. He’s winning and is on a roll.
- Dougie Hamilton: 1 goal, 2 assists for Douglas. He is a beacon of offense on the backend. He now has 10 goals and 29 assists in 60 games on the season, tied for 6th among all NHL defensemen.
- Mikael Backlund: Scored another goal, posted a 65.2% CF despite only starting 12.5% of his shifts in the offensive zone. He should win the Selke this year.
- Very happy to see Tkachuk return, you never know with shots to the head. He is absolutely one of their most valuable forwards and it would be a massive blow to the team if he missed time. Thankfully, he should be good to go for tomorrow.
- The idea of an Engelland-Bartkowski pairing scares me, but they actually fared well in their limited minutes.
- Meanwhile, the Brodie-Stone pairing was the worst among all of the pairings in possession metrics, but I thought they looked pretty good together considering it was their first full game paired up. Stone plays a quiet game and has not shown to be turnover prone to this point.
- I always thought it was hilarious when people said Dougie Hamilton was not a good player, if you still think that I do not know what you are seeing. His offensive awareness is elite and he is better defensively than people give him credit for. You do not need to hit people all the time to be a good defender.
- I get PTSD flashbacks from the Tampa Bay goal horn from when I was a child, watching Ruslan Fedotenko score those goals in Game 7.
- The Flames are rolling. Since that dismal run of games against the Predators, Oilers, Leafs and Canadiens, they have posted a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games.
- The win moves Calgary ahead of Nashville, into the first wildcard spot, but at the time of writing, Nashville held a 3-2 lead over Colorado and could jump back ahead of the Flames with a win. At least the Flames are making it tougher on the Kings.
They are back at it tomorrow. The Flames head down the road to face the Florida Panthers, who have been hot. It will be a tough test, but hopefully the Flames can snag another 2 points out of the Sunshine state.