1st Period: EDM: 1:04- Yamamoto (Klefblom/Ennis), EDM: 7:44- McDavid (Draisaitl/Klefblom)
2nd Period: CGY: 19:56- Lindholm (Gustafsson/Gaudreau)
3rd Period: EDM: 15:26- Russell (Nugent-Hopkins/Benning), EDM: 15:59- McDavid (Russell)
The Flames and Oilers opened up their RTP schedule and Edmonton came away with a 4-1 victory. The Oilers big guns were in full effect last night and they easily dispatched the Flames with two first period goals that set the tone. The Oilers would get a quick goal from Kailer Yamamoto, just 1:04 into the first period making it his second goal this year against the Flames. Connor McDavid would add two goals to the Edmonton total and Patrick Russell would also score and collect an assist to get Edmonton it’s four tallies.
On the Calgary end their lone goal would come off the stick of the most consistent player on the roster, Elias Lindholm. Lindholm’s goal would come as the second period was winding down (19:56) to make the score 2-1. Erik Gustafsson and Johnny Gaudreau would collect the helpers accounting for the only Flames points of the night.
Let’s not read too much into this performance as no one has played hockey in a very long time. The Flames came out slow, but managed to push the pace of play the rest of the game. Edmonton took it to the Flames in the first period, out shooting Calgary 16-9, scoring twice. In the end, the Flames put 28 shots on goal the rest of the way, but as has been the case at times during the season, they couldn’t solve the opponents goaltender.
Speaking of goaltenders, Calgary’s were “OK” last night. Cam Talbot saw 29:40 of ice time last night, stopping 19 of the 21 shots that came his way and David Rittich stopped seven of nine in 30:06. Not the best stats line, but as we discussed in The Tinderbox Podcast yesterday, goaltenders are a weird lot and it’s crap shoot for these guys when they’ve been off for so long.
The Flames special teams were solid last night, going 3-4 on the PK, while netting one PPG in four chances. Not bad for being away from the ice for that long.
I wouldn’t jump ship at this point and say the Flames are sunk. The big test will be Saturday night when they open up their playoff run against the Jets. Calgary can’t fall behind early because if they lose Game 1, it could be a quick RTP for the Flames.
Flame Of The Game
Elias Lindholm (C): Lindholm was his usual self last night, scoring the Flames only goal (PPG) and finished second on the team with five SOG.