Calgary Flames 5 - Minnesota Wild 4 (SO)
As far as games go this was four sure entertaining. As far as games between the Flames and Wild go this was the most entertaining game they’ve EVER played. The Flames and Wild typically play bore-fest’s that result in low scores, hits and blocked shots. Both teams put that stuff on the back burner and decided to load up on the offence.
The Flames and Wild combined for five first period goals, an unheard of thing in these match-ups. Calgary found themselves down 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 after 20 minutes, a explosion of goal scoring that is a complete change of pace in these contests. Besides the five first period goals both teams combined for 23 shots in the opening frame.
The second period would let everyone catch their breath with no scoring, but the third period would pick right up where the first left off. Calgary would tie the game 3-3 with a goal from Michael Stone. A mere 41 seconds later Minnesota would take a 4-3 lead by way of Jordan Greenway’s stick. The shots and chances would continue to build from there on out until the 14:32 mark of the third period. Mark Giordano would attempt a centering pass that would deflect off of Ryan Suter’s skate and find it’s way past Alex Stalock and we were tied 4-4. Luck would play a major role in the rest of this game as Greenway would hit a post shortly after Giordano’s goal and Calgary would claw their way to overtime and secure at least a point.
Overtime was spent killing a ticky-tack tripping penalty on Mark Giordano as the Flames and David Rittich survived a 4 on 3 and would drag this game into the shoot out round.
Rittich was the clear star of the gimmick session, stopping six Minnesota skaters before Dillon Dube would end the shoot out with a goal as the 14th shooter, propelling the Flames to a 5-4 win.
1st: PPG 9:32- Lucic (4) (Andersson/Backlund), 15:40- Hamonic (3) (Backlund/Gaudreau)
3rd: 1:55- Stone (2) (Brodie/Ryan). PPG 14:32- Giordano (5) (Gaudreau/Lindholm)
SO: Ryan, Dube
1st: PPG 5:01- Fiala (9) (Suter/Parise), 10:06- Foligno (6) (Eriksson Ek), 19:!4- Foligno (7) (Dumba/Kunin)
3rd: 2:37- Greenway (5) (Spurgeon/Suter)
The Flames survived a wild game that found them behind the 8-ball more often than not. David Rittich battled all night long, stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced. It was not his greatest performance this season, but he held it together late to give the Flames a chance to get two points. He stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced after the first period and was an absolute machine in the shootout.
As mentioned above, sometimes luck plays a factor in getting a win. Calgary got wonky goals from Michael Stone and Mark Giordano, the post saved David Rittich after Gio tied the game and in the shoot out David Rittich guessed right on a poke check that kept the Wild from scoring. It doesn’t always have to be pretty, but getting two points and winning two straight sure looks good no matter what.
Flame Of The Game
Mikael Backlund (C): Backlund had a two point night collecting two assists. He was second on the Flames in SOG with four and logged 1:23 on the PK.
1/7: Calgary Flames @ Chicago Blackhawks, 6:30 PM MT