Calgary Flames 5 vs New York Islanders 2
CGY - Ruzicka (3) (Andersson (22), Hanifin (18)) 9:58
NYI - Dobson (7) (Barzal (19), Pageau (8)) PPG 17:07
CGY - Tanev (4) (Gaudreau (38), Kylington (18)) 18:08
CGY - Mangiapane (24) (Ruzicka (3), Zadorov (8)) 15:32
NYI - Pageau (6) (Parise (11), Wahlstrom (9)) 16:50
CGY - Gudbranson (2) (Lucic (8), Lewis (6)) 8:00
CGY - Lindholm (18) (Tkachuk (29), Gaudreau (39)) 15:13
-First Star: On another night of overwhelming positives, it was very enjoyable to watch some depth players take the spotlight. Perhaps none more than Adam Ruzicka, who was named the game’s first star for his efforts. He began the night off for both teams, by methodically shadowing a circling Rasmus Andersson and chipping the opening goal past Ilya Sorokin. He delivered a perfect pass to an irate and bloody Mangiapane for the game’s third goal, and in doing so recorded his first career multi point NHL game, as he now sits at 6 points in 14 games.
-Just a trend?: In the span of exactly three games Andrew Mangiapane has essentially closed the book on the tale of the man who could only score on the road. He deflected Ruzicka’s pass late in the second period to reignite some scoring after a tepid first 15 minutes, and posted his fourth goal in the past three games on this homestand.
-More Good D: Calgary got goals number four and five in the last two games from their backend tonight, but it’s the spread that makes it so impressive. Hanifin, Andersson, and Kylington all scored against the Maple Leafs, while it was defensive stalwarts Erik Gudbranson and Chris Tanev who tickled the twine against the Islanders. Tanev took a second attempted pass from Johnny Gaudreau in the high slot, and his deflected shot sailed over Sorokin just one minute and one second after Dobson’s equalizer. If you recall, Noah Dobson was selected with the Flames’s #12 pick at the 2018 draft as a result of the Travis Hamonic trade.
-Gud Night: If you need to know what his teammates think of him, just watch their reactions after Gudbranson’s goal was reviewed to see if it crossed the goal line. The big defender fought Ross Johnston earlier, and had visibly bloodied knuckles after a heavyweight bout. Those hands flicked a shot that squeezed through Sorokin and just barely crossed the line under his glove. The Zadorov (who also recorded an assist) and Gudbranson pairing has massively grown on me in recent games, and I’ve been particularly impressed with Zadorov’s ability to calmly keep pucks in the offensive zone.
-Yawn: Watching the first line go to work in a game that was all but decided and manufacture a dagger goal is almost an automatic process at this point. Gaudreau, Lindholm, and Tkachuk all found the scoresheet as the trio seems to be excelling under the line-matching Darryl Sutter is able to manipulate on home ice.