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Calgary leads best of 7 series 1-0
STL: Perron (3)
CGY: Monahan (6)
STL: Schwartz (4)
CGY: Andersson (7)
STL: Schwartz (6)
CGY: Monahan (11)
STL: Binnington (3-1-2) 2.46 GAA .919 Sv%
CGY: Rittich (6-1-0) 2.34 GAA .940 Sv% 2 SO
Calgary Flames 5 - St. Louis Blues 4 (OT)
1st: 10:37- Czarnik (2) (Bennett , Giordano ), 17:20- Jankowski (1) (Hanifin , Brodie )
3rd: 2:46- Backlund (2) (Tkachuk , Andersson ), 5:58- Ryan (1) (Giordano , Dube )
OT: 11:25- Lindholm (2) (Gaudreau , Monahan )
St. Louis Blues
3rd: 10:51- Perron (2) (Faulk , Pietrangelo ), 14:17- Dunn (1) (Bortuzzo , Sanford ), 17:32- Sundqvist (1) (Barbashev , Kyrou ), 18:45- Perron (3) (Steen )
Well, they won. Despite the many positives of Saturday afternoon’s game, the inexperienced Flames nearly fell to the Blues in embarrassing fashion. The defending champs put on a clinic in the final half of the third period, and overcame a 4 goal deficit to send the game to overtime.
But, as stated before, there were many positives. The Flames were carried by their top two lines in Round 2 against the Golden Knights, and the 7 forwards that played a game in the bottom 6 of that series combined for a lone goal and 3 assists. Perhaps even more strange, was the fact that Johnny Gaudreau didn’t manage to record a single point in Round 2, despite linemate Sean Monahan tallying 5 goals in the 4 games.
In Game 1 of this series alone, the bottom six combined for 3 goals and 2 assists. The Flames were determined to win this one, as they’d dropped Game 1 of both previous series in these playoffs. Austin Czarnik would kick this series off midway through the first, as he one-timed a slick Sam Bennett pass from close up in the slot.
Czarnik scores the first goal of the series! pic.twitter.com/kxw6g3Cw79— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 25, 2020
The one-timer trend would continue. Noah Hanifin collected a loose puck from TJ Brodie’s initial shot, and fed Mark Jankowski in a prime spot for his first career playoff goal late in the first.
Janko puts the Flames ahead by two. pic.twitter.com/WVZrGMJVLr— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 25, 2020
Jordan Binnington and David Rittich, whom have both had terrific playoff performances coming into this series, shut the door in the second. The impressive goaltending thus far, gave no indication of the insanity that would come in the third.
The Flames dropped the hammer hard and early in the final frame, and looked to have buried the Blues at home in this one. The second line gained the zone, and Matthew Tkachuk’s pass bounced through the Blues’ defender to Mikael Backlund, who scored for the second straight game. The goal came just 3 minutes into the period.
Backlund and Tkachuk team up to make it 3-0! pic.twitter.com/0bfn54l8re— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 25, 2020
Derek Ryan would add the Flames fourth of the game just 3 minutes later. Dillon Dube found Mark Giordano at the blueline, and his one touch pass over to Derek Ryan was too much for Binnington to track. Ryan hammered home the slapshot, and the Flames were fully in control.
Derek Ryan extends the Flames lead to four! pic.twitter.com/cWoCyxKxrg— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 25, 2020
The Blues started pouring the shots on Rittich, but Big Save Dave had already recorded two shutouts these playoffs, and clearly the Flames weren’t too concerned. Halfway through the third, the game was still 4-0. 51 seconds later, the collapse began.
David Perron chipped a shot over Rittich for the Blues first goal. 4 minutes later, Vince Dunn’s slapshot from the point deflected off of the Flames defenceman directly in front of the net. 3 minutes later, Oskar Sundqvist stepped over the blueline and ripped one five-hole on Rittich. Finally, with just 1:15 left in the game and Binnington starting to look at the bench, Alex Steen found Perron out front for another five-hole goal.
Four Blues goals in the final 9:09 erase the Flames lead and what was a very good performance. Overtime has begun. pic.twitter.com/8ZHs9GnIcG— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 25, 2020
After containing the Blues for 50 minutes, the Flames utterly collapsed in a span of just 9 minutes, and things were looking awful going into overtime. The shots had been relatively even after 2, but Calgary was out-shot by a terrible margin of 18-8 in the third.
The put an even 8 shots apiece in overtime, and it would be that eighth Flames shot that would be the difference. Johnny Gaudreau one-timed Sean Monahan’s pass, which was blocked by Marco Scandella. Neither Scandella nor Binnington could get to the puck before Elias Lindholm, who buried the rebound for the relieving winner.
A fortunate bounce allows Elias Lindholm to give Calgary the 1-0 series lead. pic.twitter.com/tJ5IduBs1q— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 25, 2020
Johnny Gaudreau broke his 4 game pointless streak, and will look to build on that in Game 2 on Monday, which will be live-streamed on our Youtube page.
Flame of the Game
Mark Giordano (D): The Captain started the playoffs slowly, but has turned a corner with a goal and 4 assists over the past 3 games, including the two assists he had in this one.