Rasmus Andersson played the hero on Nov. 20th in the last Calgary Flames overtime game. Monday, MacKenzie Weegar took his turn with the game-winner. Weegar’s coast-to-coast goal earned another comeback victory for the Flames over the Vegas Golden Knights, 2-1 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Weegar waited until the last possible moment to win it.
The smooth skating defenseman corralled the puck behind his own net, and carried it through all three zones en route to firing the puck far side past Golden Knights goalie Adin Hill with only 4.8 seconds remaining in OT.
It was only fair that the night ended in dramatics.
The drama began two hours before game time. Calgary announced that starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom would not dress due to a bout with the flu. Daniel Vladar took the start with Emergency Backup Dustin “Dusty” Nickel watching tentatively on the bench in case the worst should happen.
Happen it almost did.
William Carrier received a goaltender interference penalty 2:35 into the first period after crashing backwards into Vladar. The 26-year-old tender was clearly feeling tender as he took his time getting back to his feet.
Coach Ryan Huska said, “That should have been more than a two-minute minor, I felt.”
Despite relentless adversity, Vladar proceeded to make ten-bell save after ten-bell save to close out the first stanza. William Karlsson scored for Vegas, but that was the only goal of the period.
The tension spiked once again in the second when Weegar barrelled into Vladar. Again, the goalie took his time getting back up. Minutes later, the beleaguered keeper stood on his head with a toe-save to keep the game 1-0 Vegas.
Calgary started the third period in a familiar fashion: Down a goal.
The Flames have trailed after 40 minutes an astounding 10 times in their last 13 games. Once again, the Find-A-Way Flames 2.0, well, found their way. A.J. Greer picked up a puck deflected off of a Vegas defenceman on a three-on-three early in the third.
The Joliette, Quebec-born forward blasted the puck past Hill for his fourth goal in 21 games.
With hostilities forgotten and the tempo turned up to MAX, the Flames and Golden Knights traded rushes as the third period carried on. For every high-danger chance either team could muster, there was a goaltender on the other end, keeping the game tied.
The Flames started overtime on a power play off of a Nicolas Roy tripping call, and what ensued was a whistle-free 4:55.6 of action before Weegar’s dramatic tally.
A few more notes on the game.
Chris Tanev went down the tunnel numerous occasions. First, he left after what looked like William Carrier’s skate grazing him on the goaltender interference call. Last, he blocked a shot with the square-center of his face in the late third. Huska had little information to provide.
“He’s moving around. He’s fine in that regard, but we don’t have anything in regards to timeline.”
Yegor Sharangovich took up a trigger position during the 4-on-3 overtime power play. It appears that his shot was the planned go-to to end the game in overtime.
Vladar was awarded the first star of the game after keeping the Golden Knights to one goal on 28 shots for a .964 save percentage. His performance over 64:31 of TOI was his most statistically dominant appearance in 2023-2024.
The Flames play on Thursday in what will likely be a grudge match against the Dallas Stars after a 7-4 loss last Friday.