Calgary Flames 6 – Nashville Predators 5 (OT)
1st: 15:27- Ryan (2) (Tkachuk/Hanifin)
3rd: 1:58-Andersson (2) (Gaudreau/Monahan), 13:38- Lindholm (9) (Monahan), 16:39- Quine (Giordano/Ryan), 19:21- Tkacuk (Gaudreau/Monahan)
Overtime: 4:58- Tkachuk (Unassisted)
1st: 5:33- Bonino (7) (Smith/Ellis), 10:15- Watson (2) (Sissons/Irwin)
2nd: 4:36- SHG Jarnkrok (4) (Watson), 18:52- SHG Jarnkrok (5) (Watson)
3rd: 18:38- Watson (3) (Sissons/Ekholm)
Like the rest of us, you didn’t see this game going this way and if you say you did, you’re a liar. Calgary clawed their way back into a game they had no business being in and managed to defeat the Nashville Predators 6-5 in overtime Thursday night.
As far as starts go, they don’t get much worse than this one. Calgary was outplayed for nearly two periods before finally showing up in the final 20 minutes. In a continuing and concerning scenario, Calgary took over 10 minutes in the first period to record their first shot on goal. Meanwhile the Predators already had 13 SOG and a 2-0 lead. That’s not exactly how you want a game to go.
Calgary would get within one with their second shot of the game, a goal off the stick of Derek Ryan at the 15:27 mark of the first period. If you look at the stats alone, it looks great that the Flames had a goal on two shots. The problem arises when those two shots are the only two shots you’ve had in over 15 minutes of play. Stats after 20 minutes: Nashville 2, Calgary 1. Nashville 15 shots. Calgary 4 shots. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
If you hated the first period, you’ll hate the second as much. Calgary was gifted two power plays by Nashville and instead of the Flames taking advantage, the Predators did. Calle Jarnkrok had the period of his life, scoring not one, but TWO short handed goals in the second frame, extending Nashville’s lead to what seemed like an insurmountable 4-1 lead. And why would you not think that? The Flames were only able to put five shots on net in the period. Five. That’s 9 total through 40 minutes. Luck should get you more than that. On to the third.
The Flames are always talking about how they need to put together a full 60 minutes, yada yada yada. They keep saying it, but never do. However, they put together an extraordinary final 20 minutes and in this game that’s what mattered most. Calgary got one back early off the stick of Rasmus Andersson and it was 4-2. Twelve minutes later the best Flame on the roster, Elias Lindholm, would score his 9th of the season on a feed from Sean Monahan and it was 4-3. Three minutes after that Alan Quine would one time a pretty feed from Mark Giordano and JENGA!, we’re all tied at 4-4. Where was this offence all game?
As with all good things with the Flames this season, the lead barely lasted. Two minutes after Alan Quine tied it, Nashville regained the lead. Austin Watson would collect his 4th point of the night on his second goal of the game and it looked like all hope was lost for Calgary. Wrong. In rode Matthew Tkachuk to play hero. The Flames Associate Captain had been struggling as of late, but he picked a great time to get on the board. Sean Monahan would fire a shot that Pekka Renne would stop, but Tkachuk was right there on the doorstep to collect the rebound and tie the game at 5-5. So if you’re counting at home, that’s five third period goals with four in the span on six minutes.
Overtime had it’s moments, but it turned into a possession game to try and get tired players off the ice as it was winding down. Calgary got extremely lucky as Johnny Gaudreau ole’d a check, turned a puck over and was bailed out by a sprawling Mark Giordano who made a “save”, held the puck underneath him and kept the Flames alive.
Like he did in regulation, Matthew Tkachuk would play the hero with the game winner with 1.3 seconds left in overtime. I’m not going to describe it. Just watch the clip and be amazed.
The Flames desperately needed a game like this as they had really been fighting it as of late. Their big guns finally made contributions with Tkachuk having a three point night, Johnny Gaudreau had a two point night and Sean Monahan had a three point night as well. These are all good signs for the Flames as they were able to find the back of the net six times tonight, as opposed to the two goals they scored in their last two games.
It’s hard to pin much of any of this on David Rittich as the Flames didn’t play well around him for most of the night. There’s probably a goal or two he’d like back, but he had another game where he faced a ton of shots (35) and the Flames turned the puck over a lot (8 times).
Flame Of The Game
Matthew Tkachuk (F): Tkachuk was quiet for a good chuck of this game, but his late third period goal and goal of the year candidate marker in OT were MASSIVE lifts for the Flames.
11/2: Calgary Flames @ Columbus Blue Jackets, 5 PM MT
by Mark Parkinson