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Ullmark Stole The Show But Markstrom’s Performance For Flames Offers Hope

The Calgary Flames were dealt a blow by the Boston Bruins with a 4-3 overtime loss thanks to the heroics of Linus Ullmark. But one of the Flames’ goalies was pretty good, too — which could be key down the stretch.



There have been many occasions this season where the Calgary Flames made the opposing goaltender look good with a high volume of shots that were low on quality. 

But so many of the 57 shots the Flames got through on Boston Bruins netminder Linus Ullmark on Tuesday night were from the doorstep, only to be turned aside by the NHL’s most impressive backstop this season. 

“It’s happened quite a lot this year,” Flames winger Jonathan Huberdeau lamented after a 4-3 overtime loss to the Bruins at the Saddledome. “We dominated. 

“Why do we have so many goalies come here and play well against us? I feel it happened a lot of times, so is it us that can’t find the back of the net or the goalie that’s too good? It’s a question we’ve got to ask ourselves.”

Everyone will be talking about the goalie that stole the game on Wednesday, but if there’s a single silver lining to take from the devastating loss that could determine what Flames GM Brad Treliving does at Friday's NHL trade deadline, it’s how one of the other goalies played

Not the guy who started, either. Dan Vladar was tapped against his former team, but things didn’t go so well for him. Dmitry Orlov scored on the Bruins’ first shot of the game, then added his second with his new team before the 14-minute mark. 

Vladar could see them both. 

That silver lining was Jacob Markstrom. He became a dad on Monday. And he almost — almost — backstopped the Flames to their first third-period comeback of the season after taking over for Vladar to start the second period. He didn’t have much work in the second period as the shot clock heavily favoured the Flames. Blake Coleman scored his 100th NHL goal to cut into the Bruins lead, offering some hope for the third frame. 

And near the midway mark, the Flames scored two quick goals to take the lead. Dillon Dube made a perfect shot off the post and in to beat Ullmark. Huberdeau’s dazzling pass to Jakob Pelletier a little over a minute later was booted in by Bruins defenceman Derek Forbort. 

Would the Flames finally get off the list of one as the only team yet to win a game they trailed during the final intermission? 

Markstrom gave them the opportunity, especially in overtime. 

He only faced a dozen shots in regulation, but looked more positionally sound and confident than we’ve seen in a while. The lone goal he let in was a tough one to defend after rearguard Nikita Zadorov blasted Jake DeBrusk with a heavy bodycheck that also took out Andrew Mangiapane and left an awkward three-on-two finish in favour of the Bruins. Pavel Zacha received a tap-in pass from Orlov to tie it. 

Markstrom was pretty magnificent in overtime, making a highlight-reel stop on Patrice Bergeron, who looked like he’d have a wide-open side after a feed from Charlie McAvoy with both Noah Hanifin and Nazem Kadri chasing the defenceman. But Markstrom read it and got his right pad on the puck to allow the Flames another chance to end it themselves and grab the important second point. He even got a piece of his paddle on McAvoy’s late OT winner, which could have been the save of the season had it bounced over the net instead of into it. 

But the Flames couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity, losing 13 games in overtime this season. With even half of those extra points, they’d be in third spot in the division instead of five points out of a playoff spot. 

If they are going to pull off the improbable and make the post-season with 21 games left, they’ll need Markstrom to be at his best. 

For the first time in a while, there were some signs of that on Tuesday. 

Even if everyone is still talking about Ullmark, the only Bruin who didn’t play in Edmonton on Monday. 

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter included

“Their freshest goalie played a great game for them.”

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