Calgary Flames 2 - Florida Panthers 3 (SO)
Just stop going to shoot outs. That’s all the advice yo can really give the Flames after another disappointing effort in the gimmick session of extra time. Calgary dropped their fourth straight game (though they’ve gotten two points in that stretch), this time to the lowly Florida Panthers Thursday night, 3-2 in a shoot out.
The Flames certainly looked like a different team early on as they were flying and setting the pace, but neither team could find the back of the net in the first 20 minutes. Goaltending was definitely a good reason why as both Mike Smith and James Reimer were very strong, stopping the 20 total shots that were fired at them in the period.
Florida would open the scoring as Evgenii Dadonov would be in the right place at the right time. Mark Pysyk would fire a shot towards the Flames net and Dadonov, who was setting a screen, would redirect the puck with his pants past Mike Smith and the Panthers were on the board with a 1-0 lead.
The scoring drought in this contest would end in the final 20 minutes as the Flames and Panthers would combine for three goals in the third period. Mark Jankowski would tie the game at 6:51 in the period with an absolute rocket that would hit the crossbar and find it’s way into the back on the Florida net and we were tied 1-1. Florida would respond five minutes later with a goal off the stick of Mike Hoffman. The Panthers forward would skate in to the face off dot and rip a beautiful shot past Mike Smith glove side and just like that it was 2-1 Florida.
But as the Flames have done throughout this season they saved a little magic for late in the period. Elias Lindholm would bury his 25th goal of the season off a Rasmus Andersson shot and the Flames would get the equalizer, tying the game 2-2 and secure at least a point by getting this game to OT.
Truth be told, overtime was the most exciting part of this game. Both teams had opportunities to end this game in the 3 on 3 session, but James Reimer and Mike Smith were both outstanding in extra time and we’d head to a shoot out to decide things.
Sean Monahan would open the scoring in the first round, but unfortunately for Calgary he was the only the player to score for the Flames. Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck would score back to back goals and the Panthers would send the Flames to their 4th straight defeat, 3-2.
3rd: 6:51- Jankowski (10) (Hanifin/Smith), 17:36- Lindholm (25) (Andersson/Gaudreau)
2nd: 15:17- Dadonov (20) (Pysyk/Hoffman)
3rd: 11:59- Hoffman (26) (Yandle/Trocheck)
SO: Barkov, Trocheck
Where have the high flying Flames gone? Calgary’s robust offence has disappeared so far this month and their record is starting to show the lack of goal scoring. The Panthers are doing what many teams seem to be doing and that’s disrupt Calgary’s zone entries in the neutral zone and clog the shooting lanes. Florida had a stick in what seemed like every passing lane and the Flames just seemed off tonight.
Calgary’s passing wasn’t crisp and even though they put 43 pucks on net, they only scored twice. James Reimer was solid at that end of the ice, but the Flames just looked ineffective and didn’t take quality shots.
This team was due for some sort of slump as the pace they had been carrying seemed impossible to keep up for 82 games, but they looked like a team that hadn’t played together tonight. After forcing the pace of play on the Panthers early, Calgary disappeared and the Flames gave up a point to an inferior team, losing their 4th straight shoot out this season.
Flame Of The Game
Mike Smith (G): Mike Smith did everything you could have asked him to do, but his team failed in front of him. Smith was incredibly solid all night long and was lights out in overtime. The Flames keeper stopped 30 of the 32 shots that came his way and was the only reason the Flames had a chance to collect a point on the night.
2/16: Calgary Flames @ Pittsburgh Penguins, 11 AM MT