If you like the flair for the dramatic then this Calgary Flames team might be just for you. Calgary once again came into the third period on the short end of the scoreboard and yet, managed to come out on top after some relentless pressure in the final 20 minutes.
Calgary started off hot and looked like the team that has won 3 straight games, including scoring first. However, the Blackhawks quickly got back into the game and their defensive pressure shut down the Flames offense and Chicago took the game over. The Blackhawks managed 3 goals in the first 2 periods on hardly any shots. Through 2 periods Chicago had a minuscule 11 shots, but they made the most of each and every one. Of the three that found the back of the net, none could fall on the shoulders of Flames goalie David Rittich. Chicago scored on a 5 on 3 PP, a screened shot and a shot where a Flames defenceman was checked backwards into David Rittich. Hardly the Flames backup keeper’s fault.
As has been the case, the Flames came out roaring in the third period and put the Blackhawks back on their heels. If not for two lucky Blackhawk sticks in the shooting lane Elias Lindholm would have had 2 goals and this game would have been over much earlier. But as fate would have it the Flames got the job done. The top line combo of Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm would feed Sean Monahan for his second of the game and only 1:06 later Sam Bennett would put the puck on Michael Frolik’s stick for the game winner, putting the Flames up 4-3. Mikael Backlund would round out the scoring with an empty netter and the Flames would win their 4th straight game and send the Blackhawks to their 5th straight defeat.
1st: 4:46- Monahan (7) PP (Gaudreau/Lindholm)
2nd: 18:26- Tkachuk (6) (Hamonic/Backlund)
3rd: 13:59- Monahan (8) (Gaudreau/Lindholm), 15:05- Frolik (7) (Bennett) 19:02- Backlund (3) (unassisted)
1st: 13:57- Toews (8) PP (Kane/Seabrook), 19:33- Rutta (1) (unassisted)
2nd: 12:41- Saad (4) (DeBrincat)
This wasn’t the smoothest of games for sure, but Calgary hung in long enough to earn their 4th straight victory. The Flames top line is absolutely abusing teams right now and Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau look as comfortable as ever. David Rittich’s stat line on the night (3 goals on 15 shots) isn’t going to look great, but as I mentioned above you can’t hang any of the 3 goals on him.
The Flames worked hard to get this victory, but the Blackhawks losing Duncan Keith early in the first period was a huge help as the game wore on. Keith got the gate after a 5 minute major penalty for a hit on Dillon Dube and the ‘Hawks skated with only 5 defenceman the rest of the night. Calgary wore that tired unit down and struck hard and fast to pull this one out.
Flame Of The Game
Sean Monahan (C). Monahan had 2 goals (1 PPG) in the contest and his game tying goal changed all the momentum in the contest, setting the Flames up for their next 2 markers.
11/7: Calgary @ Anaheim 8:30 PM MT