Calgary Flames 4 - Arizona Coyotes 3 (OT)
2nd: PPG 17:16- Gaudreau (4) (Tkachuk/Monahan)
3rd: PPG 16:30- Tkachuk (8) (Lindholm/Giordano), 17:19- Giordano (4) (Andersson/Monahan)
Overtime: 4:26- Tkachuk (9) (Backlund/Andersson)
1st: 8:29- Keller (2) (Schmaltz/Garland)
2nd: 4:09- Dvorak (6) (Kessel/Goligoski)
3rd: 10:31- Hinostroza (1) (Stepan/Grabner)
The Flames finally returned home after a grueling road trip to face the upstart Arizona Coyotes Tuesday night. Arizona has been a surprise so far this season, having won eight of their last ten and doing it by playing solid defence and getting good goaltending. All of that was on tap tonight as the Coyotes would control this game for almost the entire contest. But as they say, almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Calgary would mount a serious push in the last five minutes of the third period and score two goals in the span of 49 seconds to tie it, get it to overtime and eventually win 4-3.
The excuses were flying early between the radio broadcast and TV broadcast about how it should be expected that the Flames would still be tired from their 10 day road trip. That’s fine, we get it. It was a long trip, but the Coyotes played in Edmonton Monday night, went to overtime and then had to travel down to Calgary. Guess which team played like they had a day off? That’s right, the Coyotes, not the Flames. Arizona had fresh legs for the bulk of this contest and made Calgary look like a team that played overtime the night before.
Arizona would jump out to a 2-0 lead with goals in the first and second period and it looked like the Flames would have to just power through and live to fight another day. Calgary took four penalties in the first two periods, putting a heavy work load on their already overworked PK units. Thankfully that group would get the job done, killing all four penalties and with some help from David Rittich the Flames would stay within striking distance.
Have you heard about how bad the Flames PP and Johnny Gaudreau have been? The Flames were 0-10 coming into this contest and Gaudreau hadn’t scored in 12 straight. At the 17:16 mark of the second period all that changed. With their “top” PP unit on the ice Matthew Tkachuk would slide a pretty feed to the star forward and Johnny Gaudreau would send it home for his 4th goal of the season and the Flames were within one at 2-1.
Arizona would get the next goal of the contest halfway through the third period when a loose puck would deflect off of Noah Hanifin’s skate right to Arizona centre Vinnie Hinostroza. Hinostroza would not miss as he would rifle a shot past David Rittich for his first of the season, giving the ‘Yotes a 3-1 lead.
Arizona really had control for most of the period, limiting the Flames quality chances, but they got a little sloppy with a two goal lead and the Flames applied some serious pressure with a little under five minutes to go. Calgary would climb within one when Elias Lindholm would fire a shot towards the Arizona net and who else but Mr. Late Game Heroics, Matthew Tkachuk would redirect the puck in, making the score 3-2. Calgary again would force the game into the Arizona end and Mark Giordano would throw a wrist shot at the net and it would deflect off a Coyote stick, beating Antti Raanta and the game was tied 3-3.
Overtime provided both teams with ample opportunities to score, but both goaltenders held strong. The Flames would pin the Coyotes out on the ice, not allowing them to change as they cycled the puck looking for a golden opportunity to score. Matthew Tkachuk would come in from the right wing and just throw a shot at Raanta and somehow the puck would beat him five hole and the Flames would walk away with a 4-3 OT win.
The Flames offence, despite scoring four times, is a mess. They put 43 shots on goal and could only manage four goals. And this wasn’t a case of them getting robbed repeatedly by a hot goalie. Raanta was busy, but it’s not like the Flames were peppering him with high danger chances. For the 43 shots they put on net, they missed a ton more.
The Flames special teams were a mixed bag tonight with the PK being the high point. Calgary took five dumb penalties, but they were able to kill them all off. The PP scored twice tonight, which was good, but they also had six chances with the extra skater. Aside from the two times they lit the lamp, the PP looked like it was down a man as opposed to having the extra skater.
What more needs to be said about Matthew Tkachuk? Tkachuk has bailed the Flames out with some late goals and tonight was no different. Tkachuk scored with 3:30 left to get the Flames within one and then scored the game winner with 34 seconds left in OT. He also had an assist on Gaudreau’s PPG, giving him a three point night.
Flame Of The Game
David Rittich (G): With all the gushing above in regards to Matthew Tkachuk this game doesn’t see OT without Rittich. Yes, again. David Rittich made some HUGE saves down the stretch to give the Flames a fighting chance and he played without a team in front of him for most of this game. Calgary was very sloppy with the puck early on and turned it over a ton (17), leading to some odd man breaks that Rittich withstood. He stopped 34 of the 37 shots that came his way including all five in OT and all 11 he faced when Arizona was on the PP.
11/7: Calgary Flames vs NJ Devils, 7 PM MT