Brian Elliott got another start for Calgary as the Flames aimed to extend their win streak to six games which would tie a season high. The rest of the Flames lineup remained the same with newest Flame Curtis Lazar participating in the warm-up but watching the game from the press box.
As is the recent trend with the Flames lately, they fell behind 1-0 early in the first period with Darren Helm bursting into the Flames zone and blasting a shot over Elliott’s glove from the circle.
The Flames would then get a four minute powerplay after T.J. Brodie was high-sticked. After the team’s special teams struggles of late, we sent out this tweet before the powerplay:
So of course, right on cue the Flames would win the faceoff, get the puck to Kris Versteeg and he would wire it past Mrazek only four seconds into the powerplay. Versteeg’s 11th of the year ties the game at one, and shuts us up in the process!
Later in the period, Matthew Tkachuk would provide a strong forecheck on Niklas Kronwall who would eventually lose the puck to Tkachuk. Tkachuk would then come in on Mrazek and a quick move later, he slides the puck into the net and gives Calgary a 2-1 lead. Tkachuk’s goal was his 12th of the year and he has 42 points now.
The Flames would get a few more opportunities to extend their lead in the period but to no avail as the opening period closes with the Flames up 2-1. Shots in the period were 17-9 for Calgary.
I’d go ahead and say that the second period of tonight’s game was probably the worst period I’ve seen the Flames play in quite a while.
The Red Wings got two early powerplay opportunities to gain momentum, and despite not scoring, the momentum gained was never relinquished as Detroit easily outplayed Calgary in the period.
Thank goodness we have recent Brian Elliott and not Octobr Brian Elliott as he was outstanding and was the reason that the Flames maintained their lead going into the third. The Red Wings outshot the Flames 14-2 in the period for a 23-21 edge in the game.
The third period would feature a lot of early Flames opportunities including a powerplay that generated some high quality chances but they couldn’t capitalize.
About halfway through the period the Flames started to focus on playing defensively as they worked to limit the Red Wings to few quality scoring chances. For the most part it worked as the teams headed towards the end of the game with Calgary still up 2-1.
With 15 seconds to go, the Red Wings would call a timeout and have their goalie pulled in the attacking zone. The Flames would win the faceoff to the corner and kill about 7-8 seconds off the clock.
But then the puck would then squeak out to Henrik Zetterberg who absolutely wired a shot on net, but it was kicked out by Elliott as he made another stellar save. However the rebound would find it’s way back to Zetterberg and he would find Tomas Tatar down low who would just beat Elliott to tie the game with 1.8 seconds left.
It was heartbreak for the Flames after strong defensive play prior, but nevertheless overtime was around the corner for the second straight game.
The Wings would control the puck for the first minute or so of overtime with Elliott being forced to make some great saves. Then Calgary would get a glorious chance with Johnny Gaudreau getting a breakaway and undressing Mrazek, but the puck would hop on him and he’d be unable to finish.
Then back at the other end Mark Giordano would fearlessly block a Wing shot which would give the Flames possession. Micheal Frolik would send a long pass up to Mikael Backlund who went with Gio on a 2-on-1.
Backlund would take a slapper that would elude Mrazek to give the Flames the 3-2 victory and their sixth straight win!
The goal is Backlund’s 20th of the year and 46th point. He’s one shy of tying his career highs in goals and points with 17 games to go, what a year he’s having!
- Heck let’s title this The Great and give props to Brian Elliott for another stellar performance by making 35 saves, including 5 in overtime.
- Matthew Tkachuk continues to dazzle us
- I felt like T.J. Brodie had another really solid night including one shift where he led an offensive attack and then was the first man back to break up a play defensively
- The Wings are a team that the Flames should be able to beat in regulation, but stinkers happen and the Flames found a way to win.
- Sam Bennett had a rough night, going 36% in faceoffs, and he seemed to be falling down a lot for some odd reason.
- The pretty wins aren’t worth more points than the ugly ones, and this was an ugly one but it’ll still be a W and just as important come April.
With their sixth win in a row, the Flames record hits 35-26-4 and they have a six point cushion on the Kings, and a seven point lead on the Blues.
The Flames are next in action on Sunday in a rare home afternoon game when they welcome the New York Islanders to town at 2pm MT. The Isles are also in the midst of a playoff battle so it should be a really good game! GO FLAMES!