If you’re going to give up a goal 15 seconds into the contest the best way to answer is score the next 5 goals and get solid goaltending. That’s just what the Flames did tonight against Winnipeg.
Calgary would continue to have issues in the opening period of games by surrenedering the first goal of the game once again, but the difference this time around is the Flames had plenty of answers on offence and in between the pipes. Calgary would score 5 first period goals for the second game in a row and hang on for a 6-3 victory over the Jets.
The Jets seemed to settle in after Calgary chased all world goaltender Connor Hellebuyck from the contest after only facing 9 shots and giving up 3 goals in a little over 11 minutes. The Jets owned the rest of this game, outshooting Calgary 30-12 over the final 2 periods, but Calgary’s PK killed all 4 penalties the Flames took in the second 40 minutes.
The story of the game for the Flames however was David Rittich. The Flames “backup” would win his 8th game of the season, stopping 36 of the 39 shots he faced in the contest. With the Flames cruising early in this game it didn’t appear that Rittich would need to be sharp, but did he ever. The Jets came out of the first intermission and took control of the pace of the game, but despite giving up 2 goals over the final two periods David Rittich more than held the fort and kept the Flames lead in tact.
1st: 2:07- Dube (1) (Jankowski/Hathaway), 8:20- Bennett (4) (Tkachuk), 11:35- Tkaxhuk (12) (Brodie/Bennett), 14:22- Jankowski (unassisted), 19:13- Gaudreau (8) (Monahan/Hanifin)
3rd: 18:12- Empty Net, Ryan (3) (Gaudreau/Lindholm)
1st: 00:15- Tanev (2) (Copp/Lowry)
2nd: 19:46- Laine (12) (Wheeler/Byfuglien)
3rd: 6:17- Laine (13) (Byfuglien/Scheifele)
While it looked like the Flames were going to run away with this one the Jets showed why they are one of the top teams in the NHL. Their relentless pressure was met with nothing but resistance from the Flames. The big second period penalty killing was a major factor keeping the Flames out front, but David Rittich may have stolen this game for Calgary. Which sounds weird seeing the Flames had a 5-1 lead after 20 minutes.
This was another contest where the Flames got contributuons from eveywehre in the lineup, none more impressive than the effort put in by the grinders on the 4th line.
And finally, congratulations to Dillon Dube on finally getting his 1st NHL goal last night, tying the game at 1-1.
Flame Of The Game
David Rittich: When you start off giving up a goal 15 seconds in you need the mental wherewithall to be able to shut out the noise and go win. That’s exactly what Rittich did. He was on point for the entire game and he threw the Flames on his back after things started going sideways shortly after the start of the second period.
11/23: Calgary Flames @ Vegas Golden Knights 4 PM MT