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Flames Hand Oilers Pot of Golden Chances in Frustrating Loss

It was not a good night at the Saddledome

NHL: Edmonton Oilers at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

It was a night that much like the jerseys they wore, everyone just wants to forget about it and move on. From start to finish the Calgary Flames were the second best team by a wide margin aside from a good stretch in the second period, and they took their first loss of the new Darryl Sutter era by a score of 7-3 to the Edmonton Oilers.

The name of the game in this one was bad turnovers and undisciplined penalties and it started early. After an offensive sequence for Edmonton, Jacob Markstrom made a save but then Milan Lucic threw the puck up the middle hoping for a clear. Connor McDavid grabbed it and found Ryan Nugent Hopkins down low as the defenders had already moved up in the zone and he easily beat Markstrom who was out of position.

A few minutes later after a poor and unnecessary slashing penalty by Brett Ritchie, Edmonton again took advantage after a bad clearing attempt, this time with Jesse Puljujarvi deflecting the puck between Markstrom’s legs.

From there the Flames would push back with a few good chances but head to the intermission down 2-0. The Flames came flying out of the gate to start the 2nd period as well, with a number of really good scoring chances but Mike Smith shut them down. One rush the other way and an uncharacteristic turnover from Mikael Backlund gave the Oilers their third goal with Dominik Kahun scoring on a one-timer after a nifty touch pass from Leon Draisaitl.

Calgary managed to push and get one back shortly after with Elias Lindholm putting home a one-timer for his second goal in as many games, but that’s as far as the Flames would get in the frame.

The Oilers blew the game wide open in the third with a pair of undisciplined penalties again to Mark Giordano and Andrew Mangiapane respectively both winding up in powerplay goals against. Darnell Nurse and Zach Kassian also scored after that to make it a whopping 7-1 scoreline for the Oilers who put in four goals in 6:48. From that point on, the teams just killed the clock really.

Calgary got a couple of late garbage time goals from Mikael Backlund and Johnny Gaudreau but neither were particularly worth discussing and did nothing to improve the mood on the evening.

Final Thoughts

  • I’ve talked about this on the podcast and on Twitter, but McDavid and Draisaitl are always good to generate 2-3 goals a game regardless even if you play perfect hockey. Tonight the Flames played horrible hockey so it’s not a surprise the score ended up the way it did.
  • Among the players I really didn’t like tonight were Mikael Backlund, Mark Giordano, and Jacob Markstrom, all with their fair share of mistakes and sloppy play.
  • I thought the Tkachuk-Lindholm-Dube line had a pretty good game through the first 40 minutes and were the Flames most dangerous trio all night long
  • I love Brett Ritchie for his grit, but the Flames really need a better RW on that line
  • The Lucic-Backlund-Mangiapane line really has been a boom or bust line so far as they’ve had some games were they look great, and others like tonight where they were on for ALL FOUR even strength goals against.

Flame of the Game

NHL: MAR 13 Canadiens at Flames Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

These fine cutouts for sitting through that debacle.