Halfway through their season, the Calgary Flames found another ‘first.’ With a three-goal third period, they got their first victory of the season when trailing after 40 minutes.
“That’s our first time getting a comeback victory,” Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane said after a 4-3 win over the Stars in Dallas. “It felt good.”
It should feel good. It took a while, but the resiliency shown by the Calgary Flames players in this game is another stepping stone to what they want their identity to be for the playoffs. Not the first 40 minutes, but the final 20.
The Flames were down 3-1 going into the second period. Trevor Lewis got them off to a good start with his fourth of the season less than two minutes into the game, but Joel Hanley and Jason Robertson gave the Stars the lead in the first, and Jamie Benn added another midway through the second period.
Coming out with a new goaltender and a new attitude, the visitors dominated the third period. Dan Vladar relieved Jacob Markstrom for the final frame, making his first appearance in what seemed like forever. The team barely let him see any pucks, however, outshooting the Stars 18-5 over the final 20 minutes.
“We said it going into the third – we have a good group of guys, we believe in each other. I think we showed a lot in the third. We dominated the game,” said Calgary Flames defenceman Oliver Kylington, who scored the winning goal with less than two minutes in regulation. “We just have to do that over 60 in a game.”
Kylington goes from goat horns to GOAT in minutes
Kylington was in the penalty box for a couple of minutes before joining an odd-man rush and potting his fifth of the year after a handful of back-and-forth passes between Kylington, Elias Lindholm and Rasmus Andersson before the one-timer into the empty net.
A couple of minutes earlier, Kylington was hoping he wasn’t going to be the Flames goat (not the GOAT) as he nervously watched his teammates kill his holding penalty.
“I was praying there in the penalty box. My heart rate was pretty high out there,” Kylington said afterward. “I was just hoping we got the kill. Everyone was battling – I was thankful we managed that.
“It shows good character that we came back and battled back.”
The comeback started with two goals in 37 seconds with little more than five minutes left on the clock. Andrew Mangiapane hit the 20-goal mark in the NHL for the first time, then Johnny Gaudreau got the tying goal on another rebound in the slot.
Kylington’s dagger, though, will be the one on all the highlight reels. Stars goalie Jake Oettinger got dizzy watching the quick passes. Kylington might have blacked out.
“I wasn’t thinking much. I think everyone that was touching the puck made a great play. I was just happy to see the puck in the net,” he said with a laugh, adding he thought Andersson would take the shot.
On the bench, Mangiapane shared what the rest of the guys were thinking as they watched it unfold.
“Somebody shoot the puck,” he deadpanned. “I think there were six passes going back and forth. Pretty play, but on the bench we all just wanted somebody to finally shoot the puck.
“Great play, great goal. Glad it worked out.”