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Smith, Gaudreau Propel Flames to Overtime Win in Minnesota

The top line was hot yet again as the Flames won their fourth straight game

Calgary Flames v Minnesota Wild

The Calgary Flames entered Tuesday’s contest against the Minnesota Wild looking to win their fourth straight game and make up some ground in the playoff race. They did just that but didn’t do it the easy way, but should we really expect them to do it the easy way ever?

1st Period: Calgary Flames 1, Minnesota Wild 0

Minnesota would be given an early powerplay with Mark Giordano taking an interference penalty. The Wild would generate three shots but Mike Smith would hold the fort with a pair of great saves.

Shortly after the penalty expired, the Flames top line would counter-attack with a nice passing play that would be finished off by Micheal Ferland. It was his eighteenth goal of the season with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau having assists on the goal. 1-0 Flames early.

Calgary would get their own powerplay later in the period but Minnesota would get the better chances, capped off by Eric Staal getting a breakawy at the end of the powerplay but Smith would make the save.

The teams would both trade late abbreviated powerplays in the period and be unable to score. Overall not a bad road period as the Flames lead 1-0 and limited Minnesota’s opportunities.

First Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 1 8 0/2
Wild 0 8 0/2

2nd Period: Calgary Flames 2, Minnesota Wild 0

The Flames would start the period out well by controlling most of the play with the only real Wild chance coming on a 2-on-1 opportunity while they were shorthanded. Calgary’s powerplay would look pretty lackluster yet again as they’d be unable to extend their lead.

Minnesota would get a powerplay and be shut down, Smith would make a few more big saves but not much else would happen for the middle portion of the period.

Calgary would extend their lead late in the period with Sean Monahan tapping in a beautiful backhand pass from Micheal Ferland. Johnny Gaudreau got an assist on the goal after corralling the puck on a Wild turnover. It’s Monahan’s 20th goal of the year and the fifth straight year that he’s hit 20 goals.

That’s how the period would end with Calgary ahead 2-0 and playing better in the second than they did in the first.

Second Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 1 14 0/1
Wild 0 10 0/1

3rd Period: Calgary Flames 2, Minnesota Wild 2

Minnesota would come out pushing hard to get back into the game early in the period and Calgary would weather the storm well for a bit but a turnover would bite them.

Mikko Koivu would steal the puck from Johnny Gaudreau and find Mikael Granlund in the slot who would finally beat Mike Smith over the shoulder to make it 2-1.

After another bad Calgary powerplay the Wild would go on the attack and Jared Spurgeon would tie the game with a far side shot past Mike Smith. Tie game with eight minutes to go.

Minnesota would get another powerplay shortly after and two very slow minutes would tick by with the Wild creating some really good opportunities and the Flames being unable to clear the puck.

The Wild would keep on the pressure and with 2:24 Mark Jankowski would take a holding penalty to give Minnesota another powerplay. Another tense two minutes but Calgary would kill it off.

The third period would end with the scored tied 2-2 after a dominating period by the Wild. Overtime on the way.

Third Period Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 0 5 0/1
Wild 2 15 0/2

Overtime: Calgary Flames 3, Minnesota Wild 2

T.J. Brodie and Matt Dumba would take matching penalties to start overtime in a net-front battle.

Minnesota would get a glorious chance with Ryan Suter being sprung on a break but Smith would be up to the task.

Calgary would immediately counterattack with Mark Giordano hitting Gaudreau on a long stretch pass. Gaudreau would buy some time as Monahan skated in, but then find the trailing Dougie Hamilton who would bury his second game-winner in two games as the Flames won! The assist was Gaudreau’s third of the game.

Overtime Stats

Team Goals Shots PP
Team Goals Shots PP
Flames 1 2 0/0
Wild 0 2 0/0

Final Thoughts

  • Calgary played the first two periods of the game about as solid as you could ask for, shutting down the Wild. Minnesota absolutely crushed the Flames in the third but they managed to hold off until overtime.
  • Gaudreau’s three points gives him a whopping 49 points in 42 games this year.
  • The first line is back to their November ways with another big night
  • Mike Smith was stellar in net for the Flames
  • The Jankowski line had a bit of a down night, especially offensively but it happens
  • Minnesota had 25 third period shot attempts to Calgary’s 9
  • Calgary gets a big two points in the Western Conference playoff battle
  • THE FLAMES HAVE WON FOUR IN A ROW

Flame of the Game

NHL: JAN 09 Flames at Wild Photo by David Berding/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Mike Smith (G): He made a number of outstanding saves tonight in all four periods and kept the game tied when Minnesota pushed late. It’s so nice having a reliable #1 goalie. Honourable mention to Gaudreau for his three point night.

Next Up: The Flames head to sunny Florida to take on the league-best Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.