Calgary Flames 2 Vegas Golden Knights 4
The Flames had a chance to extend their points streak to 12 games, instead they blew a 2-1 lead and collected no points. As demoralizing losses go, this is right up there, but the Flames have no one to blame but themselves.
1st Period: Flames 0 Golden Knights 1
Vegas tried to come out and dictate the pace of the game, but the Flames were more than up for the task for the first 15 minutes of the period. Calgary took Vegas’ challenge and poured shot after shot on Marc-Andre Fleury, but they were unable to find the back of the net (tell me where you’ve heard that before). The Flames PP unit had one chance in the period and created some solid scoring chances, but their efforts were fruitless.
Vegas meanwhile would get a PP opportunity when Sam Bennett would hit the bin for 2 minutes for interference. The Golden Knights would show the Flames how a power play should look when Reilly Smith would put home his 15th of the season, giving Vegas a 1-0 lead that they would take into the first intermission.
1st Period Stats
Second Period: Flames 2 Golden Knights 1
The Flames built upon their first period success and got 2 second period markers to give themselves a 2-1 lead after two periods. Sam Bennett would get the Flames on the board first when an attempted pass would come right back to him and he would beat Fleury five hole, tying the game at 1-1. It would take another 12 minutes, but Calgary would add another goal to get their first and only lead of the game. Matthew Tkachuk would hang around behind the net and completely undress Marc-Andre Fleury with a beautiful wrap around for his 17th of the season and just like that the Flames had a 2-1 lead.
Mike Smith would continue his strong play with a VERY solid second period. Vegas turned up the heat, but Calgary’s #1 netminder was more than ready. The Golden Knights fired 14 shots at Smith, but he stood his ground keeping Vegas off the scoreboard.
2nd Period Stats
3rd Period: Flames 2 Golden Knights 4
As with all Flames losses, the 3rd period appears to be a horror show and tonight was another example. The Flames held a 2-1 for 18:14 of the final frame. And then, in 10 seconds, anything and everything that could go wrong did go wrong. I’m just going to leave these 2 clips here because it’s almost impossible to describe and fathom all at the same time.
And 10 seconds later.....
Vegas would add an empty netter with :53 seconds left in the game and the Vegas Golden Knights would defeat the Flames 4-2 in the first contest ever between these two teams.
3rd Period Stats
Another lead, another loss. That’s been the trend with the Flames lately, but tonight Calgary couldn’t even muster a point out of this loss. The Flames point streak stopped at 11 and they have now lost 5 in a row (0-1-4) on the heels of a season high 7 game winning streak.
Of all the ways to lose. Michael Frolik had played a fantastic game as the 3rd period was coming to a close, but he fired a puck back at Mike Smith leading to an easy rebound for Vegas to pound home. In his first game back he looked very sharp, firing 2 SOG and he looked like he wasn’t rusty at all, yet that one play in the 3rd period soured what was a great game by Frolik.
Mike Smith once again was the victim of the team in front of him as the Flames could only muster 2 goals in the contest. Not one of the 3 goals that made it past him were his fault and even though he’s played ANOTHER outstanding game, he finds himself with another L next to his name.
The Flames looked like they were on their way to taking down the top team in the West and climbing into 2nd place in the Pacific Division. Instead they blew that lead, lost 4-2 and are now out of a playoff spot thanks to solid play by every team that was closing in on the Flames. All in all, a brutal loss for sure.
Flame Of The Game
Mike Smith (G). Once again, the best player on the ice was #41. Smith stopped 31 of the 34 shots that came his way, but honestly you can’t hold the 3 that went in against him. Smith was kind of like the quarterback who gets credited with 3 INTs, but all the passes went off receivers hands. You have to feel for Smith. This is his 4th outstanding start in a row, yet he’s 0-1-3 in those 4 starts.
2/1: Calgary Flames vs Tampa Bay Lightning, 7 PM MT