Calgary Flames 2 - Minnesota Wild 1
Well, it certainly wasn’t the eight goal, never ending shootout, highly entertaining game that these two played four days ago, but the Flames 2-1 victory was just as satisfying. Calgary’s win was their fourth straight and they were able to defeat a Wild team at their own game.
These contests are typically low scoring and defensive battles (despite the shot totals) and this game was exactly that. Each team blocked 12 shots, three by Minnesota when they had an empty net in the final minutes of this contest and it was also a heavy game as well. Calgary and Minnesota combined for 33 hits with the Flames leading the way with 19.
Calgary jumped out to an early 1-0 lead with a little over four minutes gone in the first period thanks to Derek Ryan’s 8th of the season and Calgary had another early lead. That was it for the first period as the teams would total 31 shots on net (17 for Calgary, 14 for Minnesota), but Cam Talbot and Alex Stalock held their own.
The Wild would give the Flames a taste of their own medicine, scoring (Zuccarello) a mere 39 seconds into the second period to tie the game at 1-1. Both teams would battle back and forth until Calgary’s wizard named Gaudreau would give the Flames a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Gaudreau would take a feed from Sean Monahan in his skates and kick the puck to his forehand and snap a wrist shot past Stalock for the game winner.
We say game winner because each team locked down in the final period and the score stayed the same thanks to some stellar goaltending from both keepers and the Flames would send the Wild home losers, while winning their fourth straight.
1st: PPG 4:39- Ryan (Hanifin/Backlund)
2nd: 9:38- Gaudreau (12) (Monahan/Andersson)
2nd: 00:38- Zuccarello (11) (Stalock)
This was a goaltender’s dream game. Each keeper played outstanding when you look at the shot totals on the night. The teams put 80 total shots on net (CGY 37, MIN 43), but only three pucks found the back of the net.
Cam Talbot had another strong start for the Flames, winning his third in a row and looking very sharp in the process. David Rittich is Calgary’s #1, but Cam Talbot is really knocking on the door and making the case for the Flames to give him some more starts. He’s only given up five goals in those three wins all while facing 102 shots (.950 save%).
Flame Of The Game
Cam Talbot (G): See above. What more needs to be said about the Flames goaltender last night? He stopped everything when he had to and made some rather big saves late in the game to keep Calgary ahead 2-1. The only thing he didn’t do was collect a point. Stalock did by way of an assist, but Talbot only surrendered one goal, got the win and that’s what matters most.
1/11: Calgary Flames vs Edmonton Oilers, 8 PM MT