1st: 12:59- Monahan (26) (Lindholm, Giordano), 18:59- Rieder (5) (Andersson, Tkachuk)
2nd: 4:48- Lucic (10) (Hamonic), 13:33- Giordano (6) (Lindholm, Gaudreau)
3rd: 11:35- Gustafsson (6) (N/A), 19:50 EN- Gaudreau (20) (Lindholm, Giordano)
San Jose Sharks
1st: 14:45- Noesen (Kellman, M. Karlsson)
2nd: 3:23- Gregor (Simek, Burns)
3rd: 2:00 PPG- Meier (Vlasic, Thornton), 2:42- Labanc (Knyzhov, Heed)
Even in the virtual world, the Flames can’t keep the puck out of their own net at home. Such was the case Monday, where Cam Talbot gave up 4 goals on just 26 shots. The injury-riddled Sharks got contributions from some minor players, and gave the Flames a run for their money. Brandon Davidson made his Sharks debut, with injuries to Mario Ferraro, Jacob Middleton, and Erik Karlsson.
The Flames held 1-0, 2-1, and 4-2 leads, all of which the Sharks erased, before Erik Gustafsson decided to take the team on his back, and went end-to-end. Sean Monahan has been an absolute menace for opposing teams in our virtual games, and his game-opening goal in this contest gives him 4 goals and 3 assists in 5 games.
Monahan opens the scoring from in front. pic.twitter.com/siLA0muGmz— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) March 23, 2020
Tobias Rieder, back in the lineup for Mark Jankowski after sitting for 3 straight, scored on a beautiful top-shelf shot with just over a minute remaining in the period to give the Flames back the lead heading into intermission. Stefan Noesen had tied the game after Cam Talbot’s initial save on Joel Kellman was left in the crease.
Tobias Rieder scores. Bob Nicholson cringes. pic.twitter.com/61QWFVqo3A— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) March 23, 2020
Radim Simek got a shot through Talbot’s legs early in the second, but upon replay it was confirmed that Noah Gregor got a stick on it. Milan Lucic responded for Calgary, carrying the puck into the Shark’s end and ripping a slapshot that snuck through Dell. Lucic has points in three straight (2 goals and an assist).
Loooooooch is a beast. pic.twitter.com/tkhWK7EjRX— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) March 23, 2020
Mark Giordano added to Calgary’s lead before the break. After some slick passing by the top line in the offensive zone, Gio found himself able to creep down from the blueline and pick his spot on Dell, which happened to be low-glove.
Sharks keeping their social distance on this goal. pic.twitter.com/XgsRIE2vGH— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) March 23, 2020
Flames fans collectively groaned as the Sharks pulled within one on the powerplay, before a fortuitous bounce off a point shot found its way past Talbot to even the game. Nikolai Knyzhov recorded his first NHL point on the goal.
Erik Gustafsson would play hero in a period that Calgary dominated offensively, putting up 19 shots to San Jose’s 8. The Sharks lost control of the puck in Calgary’s end, which Gustafsson slowly carried all the way into the far offensive corner, before beating Knyzhov wide. Dell came off the post as Gustafsson came out front, and he was able to tuck it five hole on the Airdrie native. Johnny Gaudreau would add an empty net, and the Flames pulled out a much needed win at home.
Gus out here driving the bus. pic.twitter.com/5ltJDshBkD— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) March 24, 2020
Flame of the Game
Mark Giordano (D): The Flames captain has had a down year compared to the standards he set for himself last season, but these kinds of games remind the league how much offense he can generate.