Calgary Flames 2 - Anaheim Ducks 1
Friday’s game was a timeless tale: a team playing down to their weaker opponent. The Flames showed flashes of their expected dominance over the struggling Ducks, but allowed them to hang around the entire game. Ducks captain (and notable Flame killer) Ryan Getzlaf was a late scratch.
An uneventful first period saw no score from either team, although Ryan Miller certainly kept the Ducks in it. Austin Czarnik had a glorious opportunity to extend his goal streak, but Miller reached back with his paddle to knock his backhand rebound out of the gaping net mouth. The Ducks outshot the Flames 6-5 in the period, although the Flames didn’t allow them much. The 4th line continued its elite offensive zone cycle game, keeping the Ducks in their own zone for large portions of their ice time.
TJ Brodie finally opened the scoring for the Flames just 1:22 into the second period, firing a wrist shot that bounced off defenceman Jaycob Megna for his 8th of the season, and doubling last seasons output for him. Mike Smith’s only blemish of the night came just 4 minutes later, while he waited for a dump-in that never arrived. Carter Rowney won the puck race and fired a blind backhand into the slot which found one-time Flames prospect Derek Grant for an empty net goal.
The third saw the Flames continue their patented improved play. With just over 3 minutes left, Andrew Mangipane found himself on a 2-on-1 with Derek Ryan, after a superb breakout pass from TJ Brodie. His attempted pass to Ryan was nicely kicked back to him by the aforementioned Megna, and Mangiapane fired it over Ryan Miller’s outstretched blocker for the eventual winner, and his third goal this month.
2nd: 1:22- Brodie (8) (Prout/Backlund)
3rd: 16:39- Mangipane (3) (Brodie)
2nd: 6:13- Grant (4) (Rowney)
The Flames were on the receiving end of two...interesting penalty calls this evening. After Matthew Tkachuk got tangled up with Josh Manson, and they both went down, Brian Gibbons tripped over Manson’s outstretched leg. Tkachuk spent 2 minutes in the box. Later on a partial break, Noah Hanifin tied up Corey Perry’s stick from behind and was dealt a hooking call.
With the win tonight, the Flames surpassed last season’s entire win total (37), and are just one point short of tying last years mark (84).
Elias Lindholm’s 6 game point streak game to an end, while the first line continues to struggle. Mike Smith finally sees his GAA fall below 3, as he continues to prove he can trusted again.
Dalton Prout recorded his first point as a Flame.
Flame Of The Game
TJ Brodie (D): Honourable mention to Jaycob Megna. Brodie has certainly taken the highs and lows of the Flames fan base this season, but played superbly on his oppposite side, with a new partner, and less ice time. Don’t be surprised if Brodie and Mark Giordano are reunited after this game, despite Giordano and Rasmus Andersson playing superbly again.
2/24: Calgary Flames @ Ottawa Senators, 5 PM MT