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Flames Collapse in Third Period in Loss to Kraken

It was a sudden but deserved result

NHL: Seattle Kraken at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The tone for a disappointing night was set even before puck drop as the Calgary Flames chose to dress forward lineup that was entirely different from their previous game. In an effort to get the top line going at 5v5, the Flames split up all of their other lines, including the impressive Mangiapane-Kadri-Dube line and a 4th line that had been solid.

Of course headlining this headscratcher was seeing Milan Lucic moved up to a 2nd line role alongside Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli.

I’ll jump through a brief recap of the scoring before I get into the reasons they lost.

Whether it was the new lines or just a sense of expected victory, the Flames came slow out of the gates to meet the Seattle Kraken tonight and had the play taken to them in the first period. Seattle finished the period ahead 1-0 which was a scoreline that flattered the Flames as a few nice plays from Chris Tanev separated them from being down more.

Calgary took control of the game back early in the second period and dominated for the majority of the period, with two goals coming from Nikita Zadorov and Nazem Kadri before Seattle evened it back up on a turnover.

Early in the third the Flames re-took the lead with two goals in 17 seconds coming courtesy of Tyler Toffoli and Trevor Lewis. A 4-2 lead in the third was something the Flames of last year had no problem putting away, but not on this night. Seattle got one back on the powerplay with Daniel Sprong finishing a nice bit of passing, but it was their fourth goal on an egregious turnover by Kadri to Yanni Gourde that changed the game.

He simply either didn’t see or lost track of the one forechecker who stripped him at the Flames blue line as the PP was attempting to rush into the attacking zone, and Gourde buried it on the breakaway.

From there, Seattle took the lead for good on an odd man rush following a bad pinch and a terrible play from Lucic at the blue line as he wasn’t able to swat the puck from the speedy onrushing Kraken forwards. Jordan Eberle set up Matty Beniers and he finished to make it 5-4, Calgary never really sniffed the Kraken net again aside from a few not so dangerous chances.

Game Observations

  • After being very good at closing games out last year, the Flames have blown back-to-back games on home ice against a divisional opponent after holding third period leads
  • Much like the Edmonton game, it was self-inflicted wounds that caught the Flames. Seattle’s 2nd, 4th, and 5th goals came off of poor puck handling by the Flames and were completely avoidable plays
  • In particular the 2-2 goal in the second period feels like a backbreaker after the Flames were dominating the period prior to an ugly turnover from Zadorov leading to a 2-on-1
  • I don’t understand why Sutter felt the need to change all of the forward lines after one loss to Edmonton. Things just didn’t look settled tonight and ultimately it cost them two points.
  • Jonathan Huberdeau continues to struggle to settle into a role with the team. It’s not unexpected but it just seems like the fit hasn’t been found yet.
  • Dan Vladar ended up with a bad statline in this one, but he was really hung out to dry on all of Seattle’s goals. He also made a few big saves as well, and maybe you want your goalie to steal you one or two more saves on their goals, but I don’t pin this loss on him whatsoever.
  • Darryl Sutter has some serious work to do in getting his message across over the next few days as this loss really is just chalked up to sloppy hockey.

Flame of the Game

Chris Tanev (D): He was probably the only Flame who brought it from the start tonight, breaking up a number of very dangerous Seattle rushes.