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NHL20 Playoffs Sim Round 1, Game 3: Flames score 5 unanswered to win Round 1

Huge second period helped Calgary erase a 2-0 start



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Calgary wins best of 3 series 2-1



ARZ: Kessel (3)

CGY: Mangiapane/Gaudreau (3)


ARZ: Stepan (3)

CGY: Monahan (4)


ARZ: Crouse/Kessel/Stepan (3)

CGY: Gaudreau/Monahan (5)


ARZ: Kuemper (1-2-0) 4.00 GAA .860 Sv%

CGY: Rittich (2-0-0) 1.50 GAA .967 Sv%

Calgary Flames 6 – Arizona Coyotes 3


Calgary Flames

1st: 17:08- Bennett (1) (Hanifin [1], Hamonic [1])

2nd: 2:10- Mangiapane (3) (N/A), 8:40- Gaudreau (3) (Lindholm [2], Monahan [3]), 9:34- Lindholm (1) (Monahan [4], Hamonic [2]), 17:40- Dube (2) (Gustafsson [3], Ryan [2])

3rd: 19:31 EN- Tkachuk (1) (Gaudreau [2], Andersson [3])

Arizona Coyotes

1st: 10:06- Kessel (3) (Stepan [2]), 13:03 PPG- Hall (1) (Garland [1], Oesterle [1])

2nd: None`

3rd: 13:39- Ekman-Larsson (1) (Stepan [3])


David Rittich is here to stay. The Flames netminder came up huge for the Flames yet again in the elimination Game 3. With 25 saves through 2 periods, Rittich faced an absolute onslaught of Coyotes pressure in the third period, and had to make 23 more saves. On the night, Ritter finished with 48 saves on 51 shots, and finishes the series with 90 saves on 93 shots.

It didn’t always look so good for Calgary. Midway through the first and the home team had already found themselves down 2-0 thanks to yet another goal from Phil Kessel, and Taylor Hall’s first of the series on the powerplay.

The ghosts of first round exits past seemed to jolt the Flames to life, and playoff god Sam Bennett got the Flames on the board before the period ended. Darcy Kuemper had trouble seeing through traffic, and Bennett whipped a nice pass from Noah Hanifin through the Coyotes netminder.

Would you believe that the Flames dominated a second period? An oft-sore spot for the club was the middle period in the regular season, where they gave up way more goals than they scored. You’d hardly believe your eyes when Andrew Mangiapane intercepted a poor pass from Alex Goligoski from the corner, and ripped his third of the series past Kuemper to even the game.

Johnny Gaudreau and Elias Lindholm scored barely a minute apart to give the Flames their first lead of the game, and then some insurance. Gaudreau found himself with just a pocket of space in the slot, and Lindholm found him for the quick wrist shot just under the crossbar.

After his initial slapshot was blocked, Elias Liondholm capitalized on an identical attempt just a few seconds later thanks to Travis Hamonic and Sean Monahan. The blocked shot found it’s way back to Hamonic, who bounced it off the boards perfectly to Sean Monahan, who teed up Lindholm for the eventual game winner.

Dillon Dube capped off the 5 unanswered run, as his long range wrist shot from the side wall made it through everybody and pinged off the post to send the game into intermission at 5-2.

Domination is an understatement for how the Coyotes ran the third period, nearly equaling their output in shots from the first two periods. Only Oliver Ekman-Larsson managed to sneak a shot through Rittich. He’d stop the remaining 23 attempts of the period, including a powerplay with under 3 minutes remaining. Matthew Tkachuk buried the empty-netter, and the Flames won their first series since 2015.

The Flames advance to the 2nd round and will face the Vegas Golden Knights beginning on Tuesday night.

Flame of the Game

David Rittich (G): Cam Talbot certainly didn’t play a bad Game 1, but the Flames have played a vastly different game in front of Rittich. He essentially won the game for the Flames by squashing an onslaught of offense by a desperate team. Big Save Dave carries a sparkling 2-0 record with a 1.50 GAA and .967 Sv% with a shutout into Round 2 of our simulated playoffs.

Other Playoff Games Tonight

(12) Chicago Blackhawks 1 @ (5) Edmonton Oilers 3 (Oilers win series 2-1)

by Gordie Taylor