Calgary leads best of 7 series 3-0
STL: Perron/Faulk (3)
CGY: Monahan (8)
STL: Schwartz (6)
CGY: Andersson (9)
STL: Schwartz (8)
CGY: Monahan (13)
STL: Binnington (3-3-2) 2.97 GAA .905 Sv%
CGY: Rittich (8-1-0) 2.23 GAA .941 Sv% 2 SO
1st: 15:41- Monahan (8) (Andersson , Gaudreau )
2nd: 1:42- Giordano (2) (Brodie , Tkachuk ), 4:11- Dube (4) (Bennett , Hanifin )
3rd: 5:58- Jankowski (2) (Lucic ), 15:33- Jankowski (3) (Forbort , Lucic ), 18:59- Gaudreau (4) (Lindholm , Andersson )
St. Louis Blues
1st: 00:52- Schenn (2) (Tarasenko , Schwartz ), 2:12- Faulk (3) (N/A)
It was as much of an inauspicious start as a team who’s been plagued by home ice troubles all season could have. Coming back to Calgary up 2-0 in the series, the Flames were riding a 5 game winning streak and had started to look like a real force. The Blues quieted the hype early.
A sequence of zone clearing attempts within the first minute were so poor, it appeared a lineup of clowns had started the game instead of the Flames top line. This of course, lead to Brayden Schenn being left way too open at the side of the net for an easy one-timer past Rittich, who was left out to dry by his team.
Rittich generously returned the favour by letting Justin Faulk sneak an incredibly soft shot under his blocker barely a minute later. And so, just 2:12 into the series’ first game in Calgary, the Flames were already down 2-0 and had sapped the energy out of the entire building.
The Blues wouldn’t score again.
Starting-to-think-he-hacked-this-sim-himself Sean Monahan got the Flames on the board before intermission. Mony opened the scoring for Flames for the second straight game, 3rd time these playoffs, and pushed his point streak to 5 games. His 8th goal was a beautiful deflection of a Rasmus Andersson point shot, which Jordan Binnington had no chance of seeing.
Monahan cuts the Blues lead in half. pic.twitter.com/gnq2djjjwB— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 30, 2020
Binnington then went tit for tat with Rittich’s soft goal early in the second period, stopping most of Mark Giordano’s long range shot, but not enough. Gio also extends his point streak to 5, and has 4 points through the first three games of this series.
Captain Gio ties it! pic.twitter.com/5m3Ephkekl— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 30, 2020
Just 3 minutes later, Sam Bennett whiffed on Noah Hanifin’s set up in the slot, but was able to recover and fire a shot off of Binnington’s pad. The puck fell right to Game 2 hero Dillon Dube, who scored the Flames third goal for the second straight game. Dube had been unable to generate anything against the Golden Knights, but is riding a 3 game point streak against the Blues.
The Flames carried that 3-2 lead into intermission, and it would be the Mark Jankowski show from that point on.
6 minutes into the third, Milan Lucic (who should probably have his virtual urine tested) sped down the ice and recovered a loose puck before anyone else. Looch bought himself some time behind the net before finding Jankowski cruising down the middle. Binnington stopped the initial chance, but Janko was just too quick and deflected the rebound in to make it 4-2.
Lucic sets up Jankowski to double the Flames lead. pic.twitter.com/5E6QTom2Nm— Matchsticks & Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) April 30, 2020
He wasn’t done there. Derek Forbort, playing in just his second game of the playoffs, carried the puck all the way to Binnington, where he set up Lucic for a quality chance. Forbort recovered the rebound and sent it back to Jankowski covering for him at the point. Janko let loose a howitzer through traffic, which perfectly picked the far top corner, and made it 5-2.
It was more or less a done deal past that point, but Elias Lindholm found Johnny Gaudreau in the slot with a minute left for a garbage time goal. David Rittich finished the game with 33 saves after the abysmal start.
The Flames are now up three games to none against the defending champs, and are a single home victory away from moving on the Western Final for the first time since 2004.
Flame of the Game
Mark Jankowski (F): While I’m not sure I’m able to agree with the enthusiastic fan holding the “Jankowski for the Hart” sign during the game, Janko had a superb outing. His two goals in the most important period of the game put this one out of reach for the Blues, and gives Calgary the chance to sweep on Friday night. After mustering just 2 assists through the first 2 series, Jankowski already has 3 goals through the first 3 games of this series.
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