The Flames came into Arizona with one goal: beat the Coyotes and keep pace with the LA Kings. Neither of those happened. The Kings won their game and Calgary lost to the worst team in the NHL 5-2 Monday night. Mathematically the Flames are still alive in the playoff race, but they are in effect DONE. When you need a win and quit like they did in the last 3 minutes of this contest, you don’t deserve to have your name and the word “playoffs” mentioned in the same sentence.
1st Period: Flames 0 Coyotes 0
The first period ended with the game tied at 0, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t entertaining. The teams combined for 24 total shots (the Flames had 15 of them), but both goaltenders were up for the task.
Mike Smith was steady in the period turning away all 9 shots Arizona threw at him, but the real story was Antti Raanta. Raanta robbed the Flames repeatedly in the first and kept the Coyotes in this contest with 15 saves.
And it wouldn’t be a contest between the Flames and Coyotes if it didn’t get chippy. There’s something about the Flames and Yotes that doesn’t sit well and that continued in this game. Mark Giordano was boarded and Johnny Gaudreau took a borderline hit and the scrums started coming. Sam Bennett had some issues with a Coyotes hit and found himself in the bin. Mark Giordano wanted to fight Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Max Domi looked to throwdown with Mark Jankowski, but the linesmen did a good job of keeping the fists from flying. See, we told you it was entertaining enough for a period with no goals.
1st Period Stats
2nd Period: Flames 2 Coyotes 2
Where the first period had grit, the second period provided the offence. Four goals were scored on 30 total shots in the second 20. Arizona would strike first at 5:15 when Richard Panik would score his 9th of the season giving the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.
The Flames would battle back and get the equalizer just under 4 minutes later. Dougie Hamilton would take a feed from Travis Hamonic and squeeze off a wrist shot through traffic that would beat Antti Raanta for the Flames first goal of the night, tying it at 1-1.
Hamilton would find himself involved in the Flames second goal of the night as he would set Johnny Gaudreau up for a shot that Raanta would save. The Coyotes goalie would leave a fat rebound out front that Sean Monahan pounced on, scoring his 31st of the season, putting the Flames up 2-1.
The Calgary lead would be short lived however as sloppy play in their own zone would lead to the second Arizona goal. Micheal Ferland would dump a week pass right up the middle that the Coyotes would turn into their second goal of night. Max Domi would come flying in and Mike Smith stood no chance as Domi buried his 6th of the season, tying the game at 2-2.
2nd Period Stats
3rd Period: Flames 2 Coyotes 5
The third period brought some life back into the contest as it got chippy and it looked like the powder keg might explode, but the only thing that blew up was the scoreboard. Arizona would put 3 in the net in the final 20 and easily win this one 5-2.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson would open the scoring with this 12th of the season, which was also his 100th of his career, with a little over 3 minutes left in the contest. Apparently he wasn’t done. The Flames would pull Mike Smith for the extra attacker and OEL would fire a puck into the empty net for his second goal of the contest giving the Coyotes a 4-2 lead. And because this was a big game for the Flames, why not give up 1 more empty net goal? Max Domi would add the 5th and final goal of the contest to the score sheet and Calgary would drop another “must win game,” this time 5-2.
3rd Period Stats
What a terrible performance in a game the Flames needed to win. Calgary once again got more pucks TO the net than their opponent, but per usual didn’t get more in. The Flames had 44 shots on goal, yet could only solve Antti Raanta twice.
Calgary’s PP went 0-3 in this contest, continuing their remarkable streak of futility. And what to say about that final three minutes? In the 3 most important minutes of this maddening season Calgary gave up 3 goals, 2 of them empty netters and just like that, the game and potentially the season is over.
Flame Of The Game
Dougie Hamilton (D). Dougie put in his 16th of the season and picked up an assist as well. He had 6 SOG and also blocked 2 shots.
3/21: Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks