This game had a lot of build up due to the prior meeting between two of the NHL’s best, but like the old saying goes “it takes two to tango” and only one team showed. The NHL’s top squad in Tampa Bay completely shut down the Flames and made them look like a team towards the bottom of the West, not the top.
The Flames started this game with some jump, but Tampa quickly turned the tables on Calgary and before you knew it the Flames were in a 3-0 hole. In 5:25 Tampa would score 3 straight goals, one on the PP and the Flames could have just hopped on the bus at the point and saved themselves the trouble. The Flames would respond with a Mark Giordano goal late in the first to cut the lead to 3-1 and it seemed that the Flames were slowly coming to life in this contest.
The action in the second period was marginal until Calgary would light the lamp at the 9:13 mark of the period. Sean Monahan would score his 28th of the season, snapping a five game goal-less streak for the the Flames centre and the Flames would climb within a goal at 3-2. But as quickly as the Flames looked like they were back, they were gone. Tampa would pad their lead to 4-2 on a Anthony Cirelli goal a mere 57 seconds after Monahan’s goal and that would be all the Lightning would need. Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos would round out the scoring for Tampa and Calgary would get their final goal of the night off the stick of Sean Monahan at 14:11 of the third period and Tampa would thoroughly handle the Flames 6-3 Tuesday night.
1st: 18:06- (PPG) Giordano (12) (Lindholm/Gaudreau)
2nd: 9:13- Monahan (28) (Lindholm)
3rd: 14:11- (PPG) Monahan (29) (Lindholm/Gaudreau)
1st: 11:54- (PPG) Point (33) (Miller/Kucherov), 16:06- Paquette (9) (Martel/Callahan), 17:19- Kucherov (25) (Stralman/Point)
2nd: 10:10- Cirelli (11) (Kucherov/Gourde), 16:11- Gourde (15) (Coburn/Stamkos)
3rd: 5:01- (PPG) Stamkos (30) (Kucherov/Point)
The Flames got a good look at what the NHL’s best team has to offer and it was impressive. Nikita Kucherov, Brayden Point and Steven Stamkos combined for nine points on the night and Tampa made life miserable for the Flames on the defensive side of the game as well. Calgary struggled to get shots to the Tampa net and that was due to the Lightning filling the gaps and blocking shots. The Lightning blocked 16 Calgary shots on the night and Andrei Vasilevskiy wasn’t tested much, stopping 19 of the 22 shots that came his way.
Calgary didn’t help themselves much tonight as they turned the puck over 13 times and just looked out of sync all night long. The Flames had a 5 v 3 power play which Mark Giordano scored on, but when the second unit hit the ice they looked like they were killing a penalty as opposed to being on the PP. The Flames top line contributed tonight, but they still look off and like something isn’t clicking. Matthew Tkachuk was a no show again, something that has been a disturbing trend for the past five games.
As for the goaltending tonight, David Rittich wasn’t great, but a lot of this wasn’t his fault. With that said Rittich needs to come up with a save or two every now and then. He was also left hanging on three of Tampa’s six goals on the night and when the opposition puts the puck in twice on the power play it makes life difficult for your keeper. Make no mistake Rittich is struggling, but Tampa’s first two goals of the night were all on the Flames defence, not David Rittich.
Flame Of The Game
Elias Lindholm (C): Lindholm carried the top line tonight, collecting three assists and he was clearly the best Flames player on the ice. Lindholm now has points in five of his last six games.
2/14: Calgary Flames @ Florida Panthers, 5PM MT