The Calgary Flames should be better.
With a two-goal lead going into the third period against a team both decimated by injuries and owner of an awful goal differential, the Flames should have won the game.
But after a second straight overtime loss against a Central Division team that should not be given the opportunity to score three straight in a span of just over 20 minutes, the Flames should be looking in the mirror.
They’ve got about 48 hours before another contest in those same St. Louis Blues on Thursday night to decide how they’re going to prepare their response.
They’ll need to be better across the board to avenge Tuesday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Blues, which came 48 hours after another OT fiasco against the Blackhawks in Chicago.
Calgary Flames head coach said after that one that it’s hard to score four goals to win.
Well, the Blackhawks and Blues just did it.
“Obviously, it sucks,” Flames centre Nazem Kadri summarized to reporters after the game. “That’s not the way we wanted to end the game.
“To be honest, felt like we played a pretty solid road game and had a lapse of five minutes and the good players don’t need many chances to score and they made us play.”
Good players don’t need many chances to score.
The Flames need theirs to start doing the same. Especially in overtime.
With an abysmal record of 2-6 in the extra frame, the Flames can’t be satisfied with collecting singles. Not when the Seattle Kraken are on a heater, stretching the gap from third place in the Pacific Division over the Flames and Edmonton Oilers.
With the two points, the Blues are now nipping at their heels.
It’s a dogfight for the Flames — but they don’t seem all that aware of it.
“It’s just tough the way we let this one slip,” said Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane, who scored early in the second period to give the Flames their 3-1 lead. “Going up two goals in the third period on the road is kind of a good spot to be in. The way we kind of let that slip is not very good.”
Pavel Buchnevich opened the scoring for the Blues in the first few minutes with a powerplay goal. The Flames answered back with three. Milan Lucic earned his fourth, Mikael Backlund scored his ninth and Mangiapane’s was his eighth of the year.
Things were looking pretty good.
But the Blues scored twice in a span of 28 seconds in the third, with Nikita Alexandrov (2) and Jordan Kyrou (20) tying things up.
They scored again, but a review on a successful challenge erased what would have been a disastrous finish for the Flames if they had let the comeback end in regulation without collecting the bittersweet loser point.
“We sat back in the third there and they came at us in waves there,” Mangiapane said of the lapse. “We didn’t do much.
“They kind of took it over from there.”
Jonathan Huberdeau turned the puck over going to the net in overtime and linemate Nazem Kadri was caught deep, too. That left Rasmus Andersson defending a two-on-one against Kyrou and Robert Thomas — a tandem that had those particular Flames flailing most of the night in head-to-head situations.
Thomas scored just 28 seconds into the extra frame to end it.
One spot that’s almost certain to change is the goaltending. Jacob Markstrom was pedestrian overall, allowing three goals against on 26 shots. Some wondered if he’d be starting at all after getting the hook on Sunday.
Sutter was clearly unhappy about the rebound on the Blues’ second goal so don’t be surprised if Dan Vladar is in there for the rematch.