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Sutter Takes Heat Off Flames Stars By Bashing The Refs

Calgary Flames lose 5-4 in overtime but coach Sutter says Toronto Maple Leafs got assist from the officials.



Darryl Sutter called it earlier. He needed the Calgary Flames stars to be better than those wearing the Maple Leaf on Saturday night. 

And as hard as they fought, the Flames came up short in Toronto.  

You can blame the lack of discipline, or the officiating, or the goaltending in what was likely the end of the extended run for Dan Vladar. But in the end, the Leafs stars were just more dominant.  

William Nylander, fellow sharpshooter Auston Matthews, and the NHL’s hottest player Mitch Marner overshadowed a two-goal night for Noah Hanifin and what was a pretty good overall effort from the Flames in their 5-4 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs.  

All three of those Leafs stars scored to pace the hosts. Nylander scored twice and finished with five points. In total, those three Leafs players finished with 10 points combined. But the Flames head coach gave an extra assist to the refs on the night, subtly criticizing the officiating crew after a lopsided evening in which the Flames took six penalties, with the Leafs scoring on half of them.  

When asked about it by Sportsnet’s Eric Francis, Sutter suggested not all the penalties taken were deserved.  

“Well that’s one thing I learned a long time ago, Eric. When you’re in Chicago all those years. When you play and you come into Toronto, you know what goes on. I won’t say nothing more,” Sutter said before Francis pointed out the team took a lot of penalties in Columbus the previous night, too.  

“So then write about it. Do you think they were all penalties tonight? I don’t.” 

Whether or not they were all deserved, it’s tough to avoid calling the one that ended up hurting the most. Jonathan Huberdeau took a high-sticking penalty seconds into the overtime, when he bumped Rasmus Sandin’s visor off the draw.  

It wasn’t long before Marner made them pay with his first goal and second point of the night. His franchise record point streak now sits at 22 games.  

Former Leafs first-rounder Nazem Kadri scored one to help get them to the extra frame, giving the Flames their first lead of the game in the opening period. Trevor Lewis scored the other one as the score pinballed.  

Huberdeau, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Dillon Dube, Adam Ruzicka and Andrew Mangiapane all got helpers on the night.  

If the accidental OT infraction doesn’t happen, who knows, the Flames might have stolen a second point, even if it wasn’t deserved. But of all the calls made, that might have been the easiest.

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