Calgary Flames 3 - Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (OT)
3rd: 11:14- Lindholm (29) (Mangianpane), 18:17- Tkachuk (22) (Giordano/Andersson)
OT: 4:49- Brodie (3) (Monahan/Gaudreau)
Columbus Blue Jackets
1st: 8:56- Shore (5) (Peeke/Harrington), 11:20- Nyquist (14) (Foligno/Dubois)
After a very successful road trip, the Calgary Flames had to come home and play a game at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The end result was trending towards a familiar conclusion until the Flames showed up half way through the final period.
The Flames had a chance to build on momentum they gained out East, but early on it looked like it was going to be another flat loss by the home team. It wasn’t that the depleted Blue Jackets were better, the Flames just played like garbage for most of Wednesday night. Columbus did what they had to do: they made zone entries tough for the Flames and had sticks in the passing lanes and defended their crease well. It also helped that Joonas Korpisalo played very well and made some key saves.
Columbus would control the play for most of the game and they would finish the first period with a 2-0 lead. Devin Shore would open the scoring by beating Cam Talbot on an extremely soft goal that the Flames keeper would love to have back. From their on out Columbus would continue to apply the pressure and it would pay off as Gustav Nyquist would score his 14th of the season off a bad Mikael Backlund turnover and the Blue Jackets would head to the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
The second period didn’t offer much in the way of excitement, but late in the third period the pace would pick up. Calgary would start to push the pace of play halfway through the final frame and their hard work would be rewarded. Elias Lindholm would bury his 29th of the season off a nice feed from Andrew Mangiapane and the Flame would cut the Columbus lead to 2-1. Calgary would then pull Cam Talbot for the extra skater and good things came to the home team. Mark Giordano would tee one up and Matthew Tkachuk would set up out front and tip home Giordano’s blast and with less than two minutes to go and the game was tied 2-2.
Overtime would toil along for a good three and half minutes and then it really opened up. Columbus had a few chances, but it was the threesome of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and T.J. Brodie that made things happen. First Gaudreau would find Sean Monahan in the slot and Korpisalo would make an outstanding save, but the loose puck would find it’s way to T.J. Brodie and the Calgary defenceman would not miss, firing home his 3rd of the season and giving the Flames a 3-2 victory.
This one won’t be hung in an art gallery or on Geoff Ward’s refrigerator, but a win is a win. Calgary did next to nothing for 2 1⁄2 periods, yet managed to come away with two very important points and more importantly, a win on home ice. But if you take the rose colored glasses off for a minute, you’ll see the ugly truth. If the Flames play like that against Vancouver or Edmonton or Nashville or anyone who’s fielding their normal roster, this game is over in the first period. Calgary was lucky that they had enough time to break down the Columbus defence and get to overtime for a chance to win, but an effort like that against a full NHL roster, forget it. The Flames need to stop treating this part of the season like it’s October. The marathon part of the season is over. It’s sprinting time and if the Flames want to put in that kind of effort down the stretch, it’s not going to be pretty.
Flame Of The Game
Mark Giordano (D): The Flames captain had a solid game on the blue line and for a good chunk of the game he looked like the only player who actually cared. He would finish with an assist, a team high 6 SOG and one blocked shot.
3/6: Calgary Flames vs Arizona Coyotes, 7 PM MT