3rd: Lucic (2) (Bennett, Ryan) 18:42, Andersson (2) (Gaudreau, Lindholm) PPG 19:37
1st: Gallagher (3) (Perry, Kotkaniemi) PPG 10:07, Weber (2) (Petry, Drouin) PPG 15:39
2nd: Anderson (3) (Kotkaniemi, Drouin) 8:21, Toffoli (6) (Suzuki) SHG 19:35
Heading into the contest, there was some urgency for the Flames to get back to their winning ways after two home losses against Toronto. The Flames turned to David Rittich for his first start of the season to get him into the fold after a strong start by Jacob Markstrom.
The opening few minutes of the game featured a number of chances both ways as the Flames came out with a much better opening period compared to Tuesday’s game. However it was Montreal who got on the board first after a penalty to Juuso Valimaki gave them the man advantage. Despite a pretty good kill by the Flames for the first half of it, the Habs finally set up, and then a quick passing play in front had Brendan Gallagher beat out Giordano and score on Rittich.
A few minutes later, on another powerplay off a pretty chintzy call, Montreal struck again, this time with Weber slapping a shot that hit off Valimaki and past Rittich rounding out a rough period for the rookie defender. Despite a pretty strong performance at even strength, the Flames found themselves down 2-0 heading to the second period.
In the second period Montreal took over control of the game and added a third goal when Josh Anderson batted a rebound out of the air on a 2-on-1. That goal really took the wind of out the Flames sails and the game seemed pretty much over at that point. Montreal would then make it 4-0 late in the period when they were shorthanded as a lofted flip pass behind the Flames gave Tyler Toffoli a breakaway which he slid right through Rittich.
In the third the Flames held the majority of chances but were kept to the outside. Calgary would break the shutout bid late in the third with a long shot from Sam Bennett being deflected past Carey Price by Milan Lucic for his second goal in as many games. The Flames added another late goal in a fit of offense that more so angered me as a fan who watched them dawdle through the first 58 minutes of the game without doing much. This time it was Rasmus Andersson on the powerplay with a point shot that just made it through Price.
The goal made it 4-2 which was the final, as the Flames dropped their third game in a row and fell to 2-3-1 on the season. Their next game is also against Montreal on Saturday.
- While you couldn’t really hate the 1st period, it was pretty disheartening to still see the Flames behind 2-0 after 20 minutes just as they were on Tuesday when they played horribly in the first.
- David Rittich was fine in net, but probably should’ve had the fourth goal. I’m glad they signed Markstrom to be the full time guy though with the lackluster performances we’ve seen from the skaters.
- It feels like the Flames need to find a better linemate for Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan than Dominik Simon. He’s a fine middle to bottom six forward, but just can’t quite keep up with those two offensively.
- The Tkachuk-Lindholm duo was pretty strong once again and were the Flames best line most of the night.
- Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev once again turned in another very good performance at even strength, pulling in xGF% of 93 and 87 respectively over the evening.
Flame of the Game
Elias Lindholm (F): While no Flames were particularly great on this evening, I thought Lindholm and his linemates were the best of bunch, especially in the first fourty minutes as they created a number of very good chances.