The Flames had a chance to put some distance between themselves and Colorado, as well as sweep the season series and they didn’t. Calgary had a 2-0 lead that evaporated in the second period as Colorado scored 4 straight and sent the Flames home losers 5-2.
1st Period: Flames 1 Avs 0
The Flames and Avs came out like a ball of fire in the first period, but the Flames would get the lone goal of the opening 20. Calgary, with it’s newest acquisition in Chris Stewart and recent call up Tanner Glass took the physical roles to the next level, with Glass laying a massive hit that lead to a fight. So the Flames decided to put all aspects of their game to use in the first period and it worked well for the good guys.
The lone goal of the period came of the stick of red hot Mikael Backlund at 14:19 of the first. Backlund would come streaking in all by himself, short handed and beat Semyon Varlamov for his 12th of the season giving the Flames a 1-0 lead.
David Rittich would stop all 11 of Colorado’s shots in the period to keep the Flames lead intact, but a lack of discipline would be the real story of the period. Calgary would take mulitple penalties in the period and the Avs would take 3 penalties of their own, but both team would kill each and every one of the man down chances.
2nd Period: Flames 2 Avs 4
The second period started off strong for the Flames and they looked like they were well on their way to victory. “Looked” would be the key word because the Flames and David Rittich will want to burn the tape of this period as fast as they can.
Calgary opened the scoring when Michael Frolik would deposit his 10th of the season, with a little over 2 minutes gone in the period. Frolik’s goal would give the Flames a 2-0 lead and it would be the second time this night that the 3M Line would connect on a goal.
After Frolik’s goal things really went down the drain and quickly. Colorado would score 4 unanswered goals and in the blink of an eye what was a 2-0 lead became a 4-2 deficit. The Avalanche would get markers from Nathan MacKinnon, Nikita Zadorov, Tyson Barrie and Matt Nieto and David Rittich’s body language looked as bad as the second period was as a whole for the Flames.
3rd Period: Flames 2 Avalanche 5
The Avs would get the only goal of the period, an empty netter from Duncan Siemens with 10 seconds left in the final frame. Semyon Varlamov would be the star of the period as he would stop all 13 shot she faced in the period to preserve the win for Colorado, getting them 2 huge points in the Western Conference playoff race.
Johnny Gaudreau’s 10 minute game misconduct would pretty much sum up the Flames night in Denver. Gaudreau would get slashed by Blake Comeau near the benches and somehow the Flames winger would take an unsportsmanlike penalty on the play. The normally mild mannered Gaudreau would spend the next minute barking at the officials until he got the gate with a 10 Minute Game Misconduct. And that was all she wrote.
The Flames looked like they were going to collect 2 points and sweep the season series from Colorado, but the Avs had other plans. Five unanswered goals by Colorado sank the Flames and pushed them further down in the WC standings.
It was a good thing that the 3M Line showed up tonight because the rest of the Flames didn’t. The Flames top line was a no show and the defence let Calgary down all night long. David Rittich once again struggled as the starter and looked lost for most of the night. Calgary also took 7 penalties in the game, which is WAY too many.
This ship is starting to take on water and Calgary needs to start bailing water fast or this season is going to sink VERY quickly.
Flame Of The Game
Mikael Backlund (C). Backlund continues to be the best Flame over the last few games, collecting a goal and an assist tonight in the loss.
3/2: Calgary Flames vs NY Rangers, 7 PM MT