Holy Toffoli! Flames Catch A Break, Beat Minny In Wild Ending
The Calgary Flames beat the Minnesota Wild 1-0 in a shootout victory that was much more exciting than the score indicated on Tuesday. An overturned OT followed by a shootout winner fro Tyler Toffoli.
It was one of the most surreal moments of a Calgary Flames season that has been full of drama, but little luck.
The Minnesota Wild had just scored in overtime, with defenceman Jared Spurgeon at the bottom of a celebratory pile on the ice after a two-on-one rush that finished with a tap-in past Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom — who certainly deserved better after making 40 saves on the night.
Nearly a dozen members of the Flames had already hit the locker-room before they were informed the OT goal didn’t count. The review determined that Spurgeon had put himself offside while backing into the Flames zone.
Chaos ensued, with the Calgary Flames filtering back to the bench, followed by their sticks and trainers. They finished the last minute and a half of overtime, then went to the shootout.
Markstrom made a couple more saves, beat only by Freddie Gaudreau.
A goal by Tyler Toffoli, who scored the game-winner 24 hours earlier with 4.7 seconds left in regulation against the Dallas Stars, would seal their second straight win for just the first time since late January.
Known as a shooter, Toffoli mixed things up and slid the puck five-hole. Game over — again.
“I think there were 10 of us in the room and we thought the game was over. We heard everybody screaming to get back out there,” Toffoli told reporters in Minny after the game. “Darryl told us to get our heads back into it. Found a way (to win).
“There was some gear (off), I’m not going to name names, but there was some gear. Not mine. My jersey might have been off, but it was on my lap still. But there was some gear off.”
There was some gear backward on the bench, too, during the shootout.
Looking to keep the luck on their side after the overturned overtime goal, defencemen MacKenzie Weegar and Noah Hanifin were seen wearing their helmets reversed on the bench during the shootout.
The mojo move might have worked some magic. Toffoli certainly made his. As did Markstrom, earning his first shutout of the season.
Of all the words you could describe the Calgary Flames this season, ‘lucky’ hasn’t been one of them.
The combination of their save percentage and shooting percentage has been abysmal this year. They’ve hit more iron than old-school railway workers this season, and all of those elements seem to have been magnified when Markstrom has been in net this year.
But with their playoff lives on the line, and every loss inching them closer to mathematical elimination, it’s like a switch has gone off.
Markstrom is looking like his old Vezina-worthy self the last week, and Toffoli has fired a couple of clutch goals to capitalize on it.
“It goes back to yesterday (in Dallas) as well, getting some puck luck,” said Toffoli, who looked like he was having fun again. “We got a fortunate call, and Marky was outstanding all night, kept us in it and gave us a chance in the shootout.”