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NHL20 Playoffs Sim Round 2, Game 1: The Curse Continues

Flames just couldn’t contain Vegas’s offense at home

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Vegas leads best of 5 series 1-0

Leaders:

Goals

VGK: Marchessault/Stone (2)

CGY: Mangiapane/Gaudreau (3)

Assists

VGK: Stastny/Smith/Karlsson/Pacioretty (2)

CGY: Monahan/Gustafsson/Andersson (4)

Points

VGK: Pacioretty/Stone (3)

CGY: Monahan (6)

Goalies

VGK: Lehner (1-0-0) 4.00 GAA .862 Sv%

CGY: Rittich (2-1-0) 2.67 GAA .935 Sv% 1 SO


Calgary Flames 4 - Vegas Golden Knights 6

Scoring

Calgary Flames

1st: 1:34- Monahan (2) (Brodie [2]), 5:20- Lucic (1) (Andersson [4], Ryan [3])

2nd: 17:44- Tkachuk (2) (Mangiapane [1], Hanifin [2])

3rd: 12:44- Andersson (1) (Gustafsson [4], Jankowski [2])

Vegas Golden Knights

1st: 8:10- Stone (1) (Pacioretty [1], Karlsson [1]), 15:01- Marchessault (1) (Smith [1])

2nd: 1:24 PPG- Stone (2) (Pacioretty [2], Schmidt [1]), 3:56- Marchessault (2) (Stone [1], Stastny [1]), 16:44- Pacioretty (1) (Reaves [1], Karlsson [2])

3rd: 19:21 EN- Stephenson (1) (Stastny [2], Smith [2])

Recap

Only in Calgary will you ever hear these words: Vegas is the new Anaheim. Though vastly different in climate, people, and claim to fame, Vegas and Anaheim appear to have a very clear similarity: the Calgary Flames can’t win there.

While Calgary has since broken the Disneyland curse with 2 wins in Anaheim in as many years, they have yet to win a single game in Sin City since the Knight’s inception. With Vegas being the higher seed in this best of 5 series, that will have to change should Calgary earn their way to the next round. Game 1 was not a good start.

Despite opening up a 2 goal lead early in the game, the Flames were unable to stop Vegas scoring at home, as is usually the case. Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault each scored their first of two goals to close out the first and tie the game. Sean Monahan opened the scoring, as a patient TJ Brodie picked off a clearing pass around the boards, and found Monahan at the side of the net for a tap in.

The Flames kept the pressure on, as some extended zone time saw the puck cycled and fired on net multiple times. Derek Ryan slid the puck to Rasmus Andersson at the blueline, who’s wrist shot was neatly redirected by Milan Lucic for the 2-0 lead.

The Knights wasted no time in the second period to gain their first lead of the game. On the powerplay, Stone redirected Max Pacioretty’s shot, which trickled over the goal line oh so slowly despite David Rittich’s last ditch efforts. Marchessault added his second of the game just a few moments later, blasting a one timed slapshot over Rittich. Max Pacioretty was the beneficiary of a turnover generated by Vegas’s fourth, and had ample time to pick a spot on Rittich, to cap a 5 goal Vegas run and give them a 5-2 lead.

Things would have looked that bleak heading into the third had Matthew Tkachuk not ripped one past Robin Lehner just a minute later to end the streak, and cut the lead to 2.

The Flames had an okay third period, but didn’t generate enough chances to justify a 2 goal deficit in the third period of a playoff series. Rasmus Andersson continued his second consecutive stellar playoffs, and cut the lead to one. Off an offensive zone draw, Erik Gustafsson slid the puck over to his partner who hammered in his first of the playoffs, but is already his fifth point.

The Flames wouldn’t come closer than that, and Chandler Stephenson’s empty netter sealed the deal. Calgary remains in Vegas for Game 2 on Thursday, before returning to Calgary for at least one game.

Flame of the Game

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Rasmus Andersson (D): He’s always shown a lot of offensive skill and potential, but it all seems to come together in the playoffs for Raz. 3 points in the 5 games last year, and now 5 points through the first 4 games of this years’ playoffs. These depth guys stepping up is what wins cups.

Other Scores from the NHL20 Playoff Sim

(1) St. Louis Blues 2 vs (9) Minnesota Wild 1 (Blues lead series 1-0)

(1) Boston Bruins 5 vs (11) New York Rangers 2 (Bruins lead series 1-0)

(4) Philadelphia Flyers 6 vs (5) Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (Flyers lead series 1-0)