What wasn’t a very entertaining game turned into a gem as the Flames took down the Blackhawks for the second time this season in overtime 4-3. Calgary battled back all night long playing from behind and they were able to put that 6 game losing streak to bed.
1st Period: Flames 0 Blackhawks 1
If you made it through that period, you can stay awake through pretty much anything. The Blackhawks looked fresh and had some jump and the Flames looked like they played a game this afternoon. All eyes were on Mike Smith to see how he would rebound after Thursday night’s beat down and for the most part he looked ok. He fought the puck a little early on, but otherwise he seemed ready to go.
The only goal of the period came off the stick of Nick Schmaltz. Patrick Kane would work hard for the Blackhawks along the boards to get the puck and he would feed Schmaltz for his 15th of the season.
Calgary’s best chance came on a play where Jeff Glass was way out of position and Sean Monahan had the entire net all to himself.....and he shot it directly at a sprawling Glass.
1st Period Stats
2nd Period: Flames 2 Blackhawks 3
The second period was a much more entertaining period with 4 goals finding the back of the net between the two teams. The first would come on a Chicago power play as Patrick Kane would send a puck off the boards to Vinnie Hinostrova who would score his 15th of the season giving the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead.
The Flames would come roaring back and it all started off the stick of the recently rejuvenated.....Matt Stajan. Travis Hamonic would hit Stajan with a beautiful tape to tape pass and Stajan would sink his second in as many game, getting the Flames within 1. The Flames top line would tie it late in the period. Micheal Ferland would lay a huge hit behind the net, then steal the puck and feed Johnny Gaudreau with a beautiful back hand pass and Gaudreau would tie it 2-2.
Just when you thought things were looking up, the Blackhawks struck again. T.J. Brodie would fumble a puck at the Chicago blue line and Anthony Duclair would take the puck and race in alone and beat Mike Smith putting Chicago up 3-2.
2nd Period Stats
3rd Period: Flames 3 Blackhawks 3
Another period that got better as it went on. The 3rd was a great back and forth affair and the Flames would get the only goal of the period, tying it 3-3. Mikael Backlund’s forechecking would lead to a turnover. Backlund would retrieve the puck and find Michael Frolik who would squeeze one through Glass, getting the Flames the equalizer. That would be it for the period as Glass would handle every other Flames shot in the third.
3rd Period Stats
Overtime: Flames 4 Blackhawks 3
Jeff Glass had Sean Monahan’s number all night long. The Flames top goal scorer couldn’t find the back of the net in regulation, but OT is always a different story for Monahan. Mike Smith would make a huge stop on Jonathan Toews and the offence would head in the other direction. T.J. Brodie would lead the rush and wait for the trailing Monahan and this time he wouldn’t miss. Monahan would rip a top shelf shot that would finally beat Glass and the Flames would win it in OT 4-3.
The Flames were finally able to snap that pesky 6 game losing skid tonight and keep their playoff hopes alive thanks to some key loses in the Western Conference. The Flames got key contributions from 3 of their 4 lines tonight with the only line being a borderline no show was the 3rd of Bennett-Maginapane-Brouwer.
Mike Smith rebounded nicely for the most part tonight, though there were times where he looked shaky and you felt like it could go either way at any moment. All in all a fairly solid performance by the Flames in a game they really needed to win.
As for the lineup changes tonight, they didn’t help, nor necessarily hurt the Flames, though a Matt Bartkowski turnover almost lead to a Chicago goal. Andrew Mangiapane’s minutes were limited and you have to wonder if he might be headed back to Stockton soon.
Flame Of The Game
Sean Monahan (C). Monahan appeared snake bitten for most of this contest as everything he threw at Jeff Glass was swallowed up. But as we all know, Mony is money in OT and tonight was no exception. On his team high 8th shot on goal of the night Monahan grabbed the game winner, his team leading 24th of the season.
2/6: Calgary Flames @ Chicago Blackhawks, 6:30 PM MT