Calgary Flames 6 - Florida Panthers 5 (SO)
1st: 11:43- PPG Czarnik (2) (Brodie/Lucic)
2nd: 11:59- Tkachuk (3) (Frolik/Brodie),
3rd: 00:32- Tkachuk (4) (Frolik/Giordano), 5:16- Giordano (Lindholm/Monahan), 17:17- Bennett (2) (Mangiapane/Hamonic)
Shootout: Monahan (1), Tkachuk (2)
2nd: 4:28- Huberdeau (5) (Barkov), 15:15- Weegar (3) (Barkov)
3rd: 6:20- Brown (1) (Yandle/Barkov), 8:41- Dadonov (5) (Huberdeau/Barkov), 14:59- Pysyk (1) (Malgin/Vatrano)
Everyone all caught up? The Flames and Panthers played a game of two tales last night as Calgary came out on top with a 6-5 win via a shootout Thursday. The lead would change four different times in this contest before the Flames would finally send the Panthers away.
This game started off as a defensive stalemate with both teams locking down in their defensive end. Shots were also at a premium through the first 20 minutes with the Flames only getting eights shots on goal and the Panthers mustering a measly five SOG to get things going. The main difference was Calgary actually found the back of the net in the first period. Austin Czarnik would continue his hot play, scoring the Flames lone goal of the period, his secod straight game with a marker and his third straight with a point. Thanks to his opening goal the Flames went to the dressing room with a 1-0 lead.
That one goal lead would not last however as the Florida’s top line went to work in the second period. Jonathan Huberdeau would get Florida on the board first with his fifth of the season and there went lead #1. Calgary would respond with a Matthew Tkachuk goal at the 11:59 mark and the Flames would regain the lead, 2-1. Three minutes later the Panthers would draw even again. Aleksander Barkov (4 assists on the night) would find MacKenzie Weegar for his third goal of the season and we were tied again, this time 2-2. Blown lead #2. Mercifully that would end the scoring in the second frame, but this was far from over.
Where the first period was a defensive battle, the rest of this game would be known for bad defense and bad goaltending and the goals they came a’plenty. Matthew Tkachuk would open the scoring in the third on a feed from Michael Frolik (2 assists) and the Flames took a 3-2 lead, just 32 seconds into the period. Five minutes later Mark Giordano would wire home his third of the season and the Flames looked to be coasting on their way to a nice, easy victory. Wrong. Florida would slowly chip a way and eliminate that two goal cushion. The Panthers would score two goals in the span of 2:21 (Brown and Dadonov) and the Flames would somehow blow ANOTHER lead, this of the two goal variety and this game was tied 4-4. Blow lead #3. Not to be outdone, Florida’s Mark Pysyk would bury his first of the season at the 14:59 mark and out of nowhere the Panthers had a 5-4 lead. But wait, there’s more. Andrew Mangiapane would put in some superior work along the boards to free up a puck that he fed to Sam Bennett, who in turned fired a shot off of Aaron Ekblad (second time for him in this game) past Sergei Bobrovsky and BAM!, the game was tied at 5-5. Blown lead #4.
Overtime saw both teams have some decent chances, including a Flames power play, but that solved nothing and these two were headed to a shoot out. Calgary would score on it’s first two chances (Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk), while David Rittich would stop both Huberdeau and Barkov to get the Flames a 6-5 victory.
This wasn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. Both teams combined for 10 goals on 47 shots, which isn’t good in any league.
Calgary had MANY chances to put this game away in the third, but Sergei Bobrovsky kept the Panthers in it with some spectacular play. Calgary had a third period PP where they had four solid scoring chances where the Panthers keeper turned Calgary away, keeping Florida within striking distance. He also had some luck as Mark Giordano and Rasmus Andersson each took turns hitting the post.
What a top line the Panthers have. Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau and Evgenii Dadonov aren’t your grandfather’s Panthers. The Florida top trio combined for seven points on the night and did most of their damage against the 3M Line, which is Calgary’s best defensive group of forwards. The Panthers are not going to be an easy out for anyone this season, especially if that grouping plays the way they did tonight.
In the end the Flames were able to walk away with two points and a much needed win. Was it pretty? No, but there’s no extra points for style in the NHL. Take the win and move on to the Heritage Classic on Saturday.
Flame Of The Game
Matthew Tkachuk (F): Tkachuk had been struggling, going eight straight games without a goal, but he rectified that tonight. He had two goals in regulation, a beauty of a chance in OT and netted the Flames second goal in the shoot out round. He also finished second on the team in SOG (3) and hits (3).
10/26: Calgary Flames @ Winnipeg Jets, Tim Horton’s Heritage Classic, 8 PM MT