Well, it wasn’t a 9-6 game, but this contest between the Flames and Wild was major league entertaining. Calgary got outstanding goaltending from Mike Smith as he stopped all 31 shots he faced, earning his second shut out of the season and his 5th straight victory after struggling early on this year. Speaking on winning streaks, the Flames are red hot, winning their 4th straight game.
For a 2-0 game there was plenty of fireworks throughout the contest with both teams trading scoring opportunities, but Calgary would be the only team to find the back of the net. The trio of Elias Lindholm, Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano would do all the damage in this game. Lindholm would score his 14th of the season, just under a minute into the second period with helpers provided by Gaudreau and Giordano. Then, just over 1 minute into the 3rd period Lindholm would put home his 15th of the season from, you guessed it, Gaudreau and Giordano.
Mike Smith would make the 2-0 lead hold up as he would stop all 6 shots that Minnesota would send his way during the final 20 minutes. The Flames PP would go 0-2 on the night, which isn’t a surprise seeing the Wild have the #4 PK in the NHL. The other end of the Flames special teams was absolutely spectacular. The PK unit went 5 for 5 on the night with Smith being a major part of the success. Smith stopped all 9 shots that Minnesota’s PP sent his way in their five man up opportunities.
2nd: 00:50- Lindholm (14) (Gaudreau/Giordano)
3rd: 1:13- Lindholm (15) (Gaudreau/Giordano)
This is a game Calgary needed to win and they got great performances from top to bottom. The one wild card from this game might be Mikael Backlund. With less than a minute left in the game Matt Dumba leveled the Flames centre with a borderline hit that dropped Backlund immediately. Backlund left the ice and didn’t return and there’s speculation that the end result won’t be good for the Flames. Ryan Lomberg did his job and jumped Dumba, punching him while he was on the ice. Lomberg took a 5 minute instigator penalty, which most likely will carry an automatic one game suspension.
So, the good from this game was Mike Smith’s outstanding play and Calgary’s top line continuing to put pucks in the net. The bad is Calgary may be without Lomberg for a game and they could be without Backlund for a good amount of time.
Flame Of The Game
Mike Smith (G). Smith stopped all 31 shots he faced, earning a shut out and more importantly, earning the trust of the fans and his team.