Calgary Flames 7 vs. Minnesota Wild 3
MIN  Gaudreau (7) (Merrill (12), Fiala (27)) 1:36
CGY  Toffoli (12) (Andersson (26), Hanifin (20)) 10:29
CGY  Tkachuk (25) (Lindholm (27), Toffoli (18)) 11:49 PPG
CGY  Gudbranson (4) (Zadorov (11), Tkachuk (33)) 17:42
CGY  Mangiapane (27) (Coleman (13), Andersson (27)) 16:44
CGY  Coleman (11) (Lindholm (28)) 19:19 SHG
MIN  Bjugstad (5) (Boldy (10)) 13:25
MIN  Kaprizov (24) (Zuccarello (36)) 14:35
CGY  Tkachuk (26) (Gaudreau (45)) 18:06 ENG
CGY  Toffoli (13) (Tanev (15)) 19:18 ENG
-Killy: An awful looking accident occurred late in the third period of tonight’s game as Oliver Kylington crashed at an awkward angle to his head and neck after getting entangled with Ryan Hartman. Hartman was wrongfully penalized but the violence of the collision and the uncertainty of Kylington’s condition necessitated a response. Kylington was thankfully able to leave the ice under his own power, but his wobbling legs were awfully reminiscent of an all-too frequent head injury in this sport. Some fans bearing the flag of his mother’s homeland of Eritrea engaged with their favourite player during warmups and had the awful misfortune of witnessing this. Our thoughts go to his speedy recovery.
-Shock: With a 5-1 lead at the time of Kylington’s injury, no one had more concern or a worse view of the incident than Jacob Markstrom. The fellow Swede was clearly shaken by the accident and Minnesota scored two quick goals on plays where the Flames netminder was badly out of position. Given the circumstances it’s a justifiable situation, and Darryl Sutter’s ire clearly lay with the play of his defencemen. Markstrom also battled back to 3 entire strong periods as he gave up the first shot of the game under 2 minutes in on a nice deflection by the wrong Gaudreau.
-Marquee Night: With one highlight reel goal and one empty netter to his name through his first 5 games with Calgary, Tyler Toffoli exploded for 3 points in his best game so far. He evened the scored for the Flames midway through the first period on a gorgeous feed from Rasmus Andersson, before burying the second empty net goal of the game to close the night out. He added the secondary assist on Matthew Tkachuk’s powerplay goal to make it 2-1, as he really looked comfortable on the Flames top powerplay unit.
-11 Straight: The Saddledome had actually been a weak spot for the Flames in recent seasons, but this incredible 11 game home win streak they find themselves on has quashed any doubts of their ability to play on home ice. With restrictions lifting in Alberta and the Saddledome set to only get louder and louder, this team could truly be a force in the playoffs.
-Comeback player of the year?: Oliver Kylington would also be a contender for this as-of-now fictional award, but how good has Erik Gudbranson been? I will readily admit that I hated the signing especially with the cap hit, when Gudbranson, by nearly all statistical measures, had been one of the league’s worst defencemen for years. He has fit beautifully on the third pairing, and has gone beyond just being a steady defensive presence. His fourth goal of the season tonight matches his twice-set career high, and his 12 points is one off his career high of 13. Every sentence I just said could also be applied to Nikita Zadorov, who assisted his goal, and who is just 6 points off of his own personal best. Oh, Chris Tanev also recorded his 19th point of the season, which (you guessed it) is 1 point off his career high.
-749: That many days ago these same but different Wild came into the Saddledome and fell 2-1 to Cam Talbot and the Flames. Over two years later and Talbot found himself on the Wild bench as he watched Kaapo Kahkonen allow 5 goals through 2 periods. Colorado is now the only remaining American team the Flames have yet to face after the North Division season, and an astonishing 818 days will have elapsed between meetings when Calgary travels to Denver on March 5th.