1st: 18:35- Giordano (2) (Monahan , Lindholm )
2nd: 14:31- Mangiapane (4) (Giordano , Valimaki )
3rd: 5:58- Gaudreau (8) (Monahan )
2nd: 6:31- Boeser (10) (Pettersson )
Stop me if this sounds familiar. Calgary was badly outplayed in the first, there was some horrendous bounces leading to goals, and the Flames lost. Well you should have stopped me, because the early season misfortune flipped for the Flames in this one.
The Flames suffered a span of consecutive goals in the early going of the season which had the habit of bouncing off their own players into the net, and has ultimately cost them a few points in the ultra tight North Division. Tonight, it was a different story.
The Captain opened the scoring for the Flames both at the end of a powerplay, and end of the first period. Giordano’s shot off of Jordie Benn’s shinpad and past Demko was a blessing for the Flames who were once again outshot by a double digit margin through the first 20 minutes of Thursday’s tilt.
Low and behold Calgary came out for a much improved second period, but the hockey deities wouldn’t allow them to go unpunished for a bad start. Elias Pettersson sent Brock Boeser in for a decent chance, which was stopped by Markstrom. Nikita Nesterov on the backcheck redirected the puck to sit daintily beside Markstrom’s oblivious foot, which was poked in by Boeser.
Yet another powerplay for Calgary came to an end, and shortly thereafter they’d regain the lead. Andrew Mangiapane’s blast took a double deflection off Canucks defenders and slid behind Demko. For Mang, it was his second straight game scoring, and extends his point streak to 4 games (3 goals, 2 assists).
Vancouver had a fairly listless third period for a team on a bad slide, and generated nearly no pressure in the final 20. Gaudreau put the game on ice with another breakaway goal early in the third, as Sean Monahan sprung him for a very similar shot to his snipe over Mikko Koskinen on Saturday.
You can analyze another bad start for the Flames, but the reality is the Canucks are a desperate, fragile team that expended all it’s momentum by the end of 20. They had a similar dominating start over the strong Leafs in their last game, and ended up with the same result as tonight.
The Flames meanwhile, move to 7-5-1 and further seperate the top 5 Canadian teams from the bottom 2. The Canucks fall to 6-11-0 and could very well be all but out of playoff contention by the end of the Calgary series.
Both teams play their next game Saturday night for the second of a four game matchup, at 8pm MST.