Calgary Flames 7 - St. Louis Blues 1
|St. Louis Blues||1||0||0||1|
- STL  - Bozak (3) (Sundqvist, Kostin) 5:10
- CGY  - Zadorov (3) (Tkachuk, Gudbranson) 6:01
- CGY  - Tanev (2) (Gaudreau) 12:46
- CGY  - Lindholm (13) (Gaudreau, Tkachuk) PP 15:46
- CGY  - Monahan (7) (Tkachuk, Andersson) PP 3:24
- CGY  - Coleman (8) (Backlund, Lewis) 14:11
- CGY  - Ruzicka (2) (Tkachuk, Gaudreau) 16:09
- CGY  - Gaudreau (16) (Tkachuk, Zadorov) 19:36
|St. Louis Blues||7||2||12||21|
The Calgary Flames (and their fans for that matter) were a pissed off bunch heading into Monday night’s tilt against the St. Louis Blues. The Flames were coming off of an extremely frustrating 5-3 loss to their provincial rivals on Saturday night in Edmonton despite having played what was a very strong game and being extremely unlucky to leave without even a point.
They managed to channel that energy into a productive performance tonight to the tune of a 7-1 crushing of the Blues. The win snapped a four game losing streak to St. Louis, dating back all the way to December 2018. It was also their first win over the Blues in five tries at the Saddledome.
Despite the final scoreline, it was actually the Blues who opened the scoring in this one after their fourth line generated a turnover and made a few nice passes leading to Tyler Bozak being alone at putting a puck into a yawning cage.
Calgary struck back just 51 seconds later though as a seemingly harmless play led to Nikita Zadorov wiring home a perfect wrist shot from the right side of Jordan Binnington. The goal was his third of the season and was our first look at the elite goal song chosen for Zadorov.
The Flames jumped ahead six minutes later when Johnny Gaudreau made an outstanding play on a rush into the offensive zone, outwaiting the Blues and finding the trailing Chris Tanev in the slot who had no problem beating Binnington for his second of the year. It was one of those plays that you probably want to keep in the Gaudreau vault for down the road.
The lead was extended late in the period on the powerplay as St. Louis attempted to get a 3-on-1 while shorthanded, but a bad pass gave the Flames a rush the other way. Robert Bortuzzo for some reason slid into Binnington while trying to break up a pass, and it gave Elias Lindholm an open net for his 13th of the season and a 3-1 lead.
From that point onwards it was all Flames as they dominated in the second period, outshooting the Blues by a whopping 18-2 margin. They got goals from Sean Monahan, Blake Coleman, Adam Ruzicka, and Johnny Gaudreau in the second to widen the gap to a staggering 7-1 scoreline.
In the third period the Flames more or less coasted their way to a victory but Jacob Markstrom was far busier, facing and stopping 12 shots compared to the 9 shots he faced in the first 40 minutes. He made a number of very impressive saves in that stretch as well to end his night with a 20/21 statline, good for a .952 SV%.
With the win the Flames move to 19-12-6 on the year and move back into a playoff position on actual points with 44. They still sit 2nd in the division on points percentage though and have anywhere from 5-7 games in hand on the teams they are trailing.
- Home Cooking: Are the Flames starting to finally get things rolling at the Saddledome? That’s back-to-back impressive performances on home ice after a 5-1 win over Florida last week and the 7-1 win tonight. Prior to these last two games they were just 4-4-4 at home so building confidence at the Dome is critical to success down the stretch.
- Chucky Apple?: Matthew Tkachuk had five assists tonight for the Flames and looked very impressive alongside Johnny Gaudreau who had a goal and three assists. Tkachuk has 13 points in his last five games and 19 points in the last 10 overall.
- More Coleman-Backlund-Mangiapane: This line was very good for the Flames again tonight pulling a combined xGF% in the high 80’s. If they can keep developing chemistry and put some pucks in the net, it really helps solidify what has been a shaky forward core behind the top line.
- More Ruzicka Please: Adam Ruzicka found his way into the lineup tonight and looked very impressive, even being rewarded with a goal after creating a turnover in the Blues zone. He was also robbed of another one by Binnington late in the second period. I know Brad Richardson has the “intangibles and veteran experience” that is so often wanted in hockey, but in terms of actual play, Ruzicka was miles ahead tonight.
- Gear up for Thursday: The Flames and Blues will go at it again on Thursday night, but the Flames have a quick stop in Columbus on Wednesday first. That game on Thursday will be the Blues next game, so they have three days to stew on this loss and you can imagine that they will come out rested and angry for that one. The Flames better be ready.
Flame of the Game
Literally Everyone: I really struggled to isolate just one player for Flame of the Game tonight as everything was clicking for the team, or conversely nothing was clicking for St. Louis. Particular shoutouts go to Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Zadorov, and Ruzicka.