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Flames Rally Late, Then Lose It Late, Fall 5-3 To Vegas

As gut punches go, that’s up there.

Vegas Golden Knights v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

Calgary Flames 3 - Vegas Golden Knights 5

Complete Stats

Scoring

Calgary Flames

1st: None

2nd: 8:23- Lucic (8) (Unassisted), PPG 16:32- Dube (6) (Backlund/Lucic)

3rd: 17:00- Tkachuk (23) (Mangiapane/Gustafsson)

Vegas Golden Knights

1st: 5:24 - Nosek (8) (Reaves), 11:49 - Holden (6) (Cousins/Pirri)

2nd: PPG 3:39- Pacioretty (32) (Karlsson/Statsny)

3rd: 18:50- Theodore (21) (Martinez/Stevenson), 19:42- Marchessault (21) (Smith/Karlsson)

Recap

The Flames had a “golden” opportunity to do more damage within the division Sunday night against Vegas and instead they fell flat on their faces, losing 5-3. Calgary spotted Vegas a 3-0 lead before finally deciding to show up and play hockey and they almost pulled it off.

Calgary went 28:23 without scoring a goal until Milan Lucic got the Flames on the score board and things started to look up. Dillon Dube would get the Flames to 3-2 with his 6th of the season and Matthew Tkachuk would get the game tying goal at the 17:00 mark of the third period. Unfortunately for the home team that was the last of the scoring for the good guys.

Shea Theodore would seal the deal for Vegas with his 12th goal of the season from an impossible angle (looked like it went off of Mangiapane), putting Vegas out front for good 4-3. The Golden Knights would add an empty netter as the game wound down and the Vegas would leave Calgary with a 5-3 win and two valuable points.

Final Thoughts

Where to even begin with David Rittich? You have to really second guess Geoff Ward’s decision to not go with Cam Talbot tonight. Calgary needed a win and those two points and Talbot has been more than solid recently. David Rittich hadn’t won in his previous 7 starts at the Saddledome, while Talbot has won five of the last seven times he’s gotten the start. Rittich wasn’t terrible tonight, but he wasn’t good either. You can go back and forth on who’s fault what goal was, but in the end he’s allegedly the Flames top goaltender and he didn’t play like a #1 tonight. His final stat line: four goals allowed on 31 shots. An .871 save percentage in a big game like that just isn’t getting it done.

The Flames found themselves out shot on the night 32-22. The had a solid first period with 11 shots, but after that everything dried up. Calgary had five shots in the second period and six in the final frame. Luckily for them three of those 11 shots found the back of the net, but when you’re trailing 3-0 a LITTLE sense of urgency might do you some good. All in all a disappointing night for sure if you’re a fan of the Flames.

Flame of the Game

Vegas Golden Knights v Calgary Flames Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images

Milan Lucic (F): Looch had a goal and an assist, 7 hits, 2 SOG and blocked 2 shots. Clearly the most engaged Flames player on the ice tonight.

What’s Next?

2/12: Calgary Flames vs NY Islanders, 7PM MT.