It was a mismatch on paper that lived up to the mismatch on paper. Calgary had scored exactly 7 goals in their last 6 games coming into last night’s tilt with the Blue Jackets and Sergei Bobrovsky did all he could do for 19:38 to keep the Flames off the scoreboard. In the end there was just too much Columbus and not enough Calgary (literally as Travis Hamonic would get hurt and not return) as Pierre-Luc Dubois’ hat trick would send the Flames to their 7th straight loss.
1st Period: Calgary 0 Columbus 2
Despite finding themselves down 2-0 after 20 minutes the Flames showed some life and looked ready to play. Both the Flames and Blue Jackets pushed the pace up and down the ice, but as been the story all too much lately, Calgary couldn’t solve the opposing team’s goaltender. Sergei Bobrovsky proved to be more than up to the task, stopping all 14 Flames shots in the period.
Columbus would do all the scoring in the first period getting goals from Markus Hannikainen (3) and Pierre-Luc Dubois (16) on 13 shots setting up what would prove to be an insurmountable 2-0 lead for the Jackets.
1st Period Stats
Second Period: Calgary 0 Columbus 3
Calgary’s goal scoring issues would carry over to the second period as they ran into a combination of a hot goalie at the other end of the ice and the inability to hit half open nets. The Flames would out shoot the Blue Jackets 13-5 in the period, but just like the first period, Columbus would do the only scoring in the period.
Pierre-Luc Dubois, the 3rd overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, would prove his worth by burying his 17th goal of the season to extend the Columbus lead to 3-0. Any goal lead might as well be a 100 goal lead when it comes to the Flames as of late. The Flames would get a PP opportunity and come up empty, while Columbus would go 0-2 on their two chances.
2nd Period Stats
3rd Period: Calgary 1 Columbus 5
The 3 goals the Blue Jackets scored in the previous period would have been enough to beat the Flames in three games, but Columbus wasn’t done. Markus Nutivaara (7th) would put Columbus up 4-0 at 10:58 of the period. Had enough Pierre-Luc Dubois? Too bad. Dubois would deposit his 3rd (18th) of the night to secure the hat trick at 15:23, getting the Blue Jackets a PPG and their 5th tally of the evening.
Chris Stewart would close out the scoring by getting his first goal as a Flame, with assists from Curtis Lazar and Mark Giordano with 22 seconds left in the game. Sure, the goal was late, but at least the Flames didn’t get shut out again.
3rd Period Stats
I’m not really sure what the Flames were supposed to do here. They’re without Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, Matthew Tkachuk, Kris Versteeg, T.J. Brodie AND Travis Hamonic left after the 1st period with an upper body injury and didn’t return. Jon Gillies was thrown out there as a sacrificial lamb (5 goals on 28 shots) as the season winds down and when you add it all up, this SCREAMED blow out before the puck drop. Calgary put forth a decent effort considering what they had to work with, but they were clearly over-matched by Columbus and Pierre-Luc Dubois.
Calgary once again found themselves on the losing end of the scoreboard, even though they out shot the opponent (38-28). The only lipstick to throw on this pig was the fact that they were finally able to put in a goal at the 19:38 mark of the 3rd period. You can’t even be mad anymore. All you can do is cross the games off the calendar and shrug your shoulders. On to Edmonton......oh boy.
Flame Of The Game
Congrats to Chris Stewart as he scored his first goal as a member of the Calgary Flames and he gave us SOMEONE to put in this space because it wasn’t looking good as the game was winding down.
3/31: Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers, 8 PM MT