At least one Flames player will be waking up with a sore head tomorrow, but by night’s end, it was worth it. The Calgary Flames ended up with a second straight victory over the Edmonton Oilers Saturday night.
The second installment of the 2019-20 Battle of Alberta saw the Flames get off to another good start. Andrew Mangiapane, who opened the first tilt with a goal just 11 seconds into the game, deflected Matthew Tkachuk’s pass to Elias Lindholm, who slid a shot past Mikko Koskinen just 4 minutes into the game.
The Oilers fired back just over a minute later, when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finished off a 2-on-1. Connor McDavid flew through the neutral zone and took advantage of some flat-footed defencemen, before roofing a shot over Cam Talbot to give the Oilers the lead.
With just 20 seconds left in the period, Johnny Gaudreau took advantage of some space and fired a shot off of Adam Larsson’s hip and over Koskinen to tie the game heading into the intermission.
The Oilers regained the lead a minute into the second period, when Oliver Kylington succesfully stifled Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ shot, but the off-speed shot hit Gaudreau’s skate and slid through Talbot’s legs.
The Flames third line matched the goal, when Dillon Dube finished off Derek Ryan’s steal and shot on goal.
In the final minutes of the second period, Matthew Tkachuk laid a clean, devastating hit on Zach Kassian. Kassian was none too pleased given their history, and punched Tkachuk multiple times. He was given the only penalties on the play, a double minor for roughing.
The Flames wouldn’t capitalize in the second period, nor on the first powerplay, but Elias Lindholm lifted home his second goal of the game on the powerplay just 39 seconds into the third period.
1st: 4:04 - Lindholm (19) (Mangiapane, Tkachuk), 19:20 - Gaudreau (13) (Monahan, Hanifin)
2nd: 11:34 - Dube (4) (Ryan)
3rd: 00:39 - PPG Lindholm (20) (Giordano, Gaudreau)
1st: 5:07 - Nugent-Hopkins (11) (Yamamoto, Draisaitl), 9:06 - McDavid (25) (Bear)
2nd: 1:24 - Nugent-Hopkins (12) (Yamamoto)
Elias Lindholm reached the 20 goal plateau for the second straight season, after never scoring 20 in any of his 5 seasons in Carolina. He is the first Flame to hit the 20 goal mark this season.
The Flames won their fifth straight game, all in 2020. All 5 games have been decided by a single goal. The team regained lead of the Pacific Division after Vegas and Edmonton losses.
Cam Talbot started and won his third straight game. He has posted a 1.85 GAA and .929 SV% over his last 6 starts. He is likely to deservedly maintain control of the Flames crease until he cools off.
Flame Of The Game
Matthew Tkachuk (F): Solid performances from Johnny Gaudreau, Elias Lindholm, and especially Cam Talbot tonight.
However, it was the Flames champion pest who turned the tide of the game. By games’ end, Matthew Tkachuk had one assist, one shot, and 6 hits. At least 3 of those hits were clean, hard checks on Kassian. He earned the Flames the powerplay upon which they scored the game-winner, and kept Kassian off the ice for a majority of the third while taking no penalties himself.
1/13: Calgary Flames @ Montreal Canadiens 5 PM MT