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Calgary Flames

Comeback Hopes Fall Short as Flames Fail to Force Overtime

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Yegor Sharangovich

Expectations of yet another comeback win fell short on Saturday night as the Vancouver Canucks held on for a 4-3 win over the now-10-11-3 Calgary Flames. A quick blow-by-blow. 

Early in the first period, Quinn Hughes snuck a shot under Markstrom’s glove on a low pinch down the left side of the offensive zone. For the 12th time in their last 14 games, Calgary surrendered the first goal of the game. While the Canucks came out swinging, the Flames’ first shot came at 16:04. A wrist shot by Yegor Sharangovich. 

Calgary sparked momentum three minutes and twenty seconds later when, on the power play, Connor Zary held the blueline with absolute determination to start a sequence that resulted in Adam Ruzicka feeding Mikael Backlund a back door goal.  

After failing to score a powerplay of their own to start the second period, Chris Tanev and Blake Coleman found themselves sharing a penalty box after receiving minor penalties within 61 seconds of each other. The Flames managed to survive the three minutes without allowing a goal primarily due to the exceptional play of Jacob Markstrom. 

The second stanza appeared that it was going to be goalless until a late-period net crash resulted in Canucks forward Ilya Mikheyev swatting a top right corner goal.   

Down three to one entering the third period, the Flames found themselves in a familiar position. The team had been trailing at the end of the second period ten times over the month of November. A 4-4-2 record in those situations served as proof that no lead is safe from the 2023-2024 Calgary Flames. 

Things got worse for the home team six minutes later when Vancouver forward Sam Lafferty put away a point shot rebound for his sixth goal of the season. 

Hope was sparked once again when, with 4:21 remaining on the clock, Elias Lindholm out-waited Thatcher Demko after receiving a cross-slot pass from Yegor Sharangovich. The potential July 1, 2024, UFA put a low shot through a pivoting Thatcher Demko and the Flames found themselves within one with little time to spare. 

The comeback received a devastating blow when former Flame Nikita Zadorov launched a puck towards a vacant net with 1:18 left to play. Elias Pettersen tipped the shot on course and the Canucks seemingly put the game out of reach.  

Hope was once again spurred when, with the goalie pulled and Canucks defenceman Noah Juulsen in the box for delay of game, Elias Lindholm caught a wild rebound off the boards. Lindholm’s quick shot struck true, and the game was once again within one.  

Ambitions of yet another unlikely comeback were officially sent to bed when, after a wild sequence in front of the Canucks net, the puck found itself over the Vancouver blue line. Three Flames were stuck offside as the final five seconds slipped away. 

Despite the poor result, the 2023-2024 have been a team of unbreakable resilience. Even in losses, Ryan Huska’s crew are providing an exciting product and a reason to tune in to the next game. The next step is planning for a visit from 29th-place, 7-10-4 the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.  

 

Three Stars of the Game 

Ilya Mikheyev: one goal, one Assist 

Filip Hronek: two assists 

Elias Lindholm: two goals