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Flames Daily: Focus on faceoffs, Panthers presidential, Habs loss a win?

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The Calgary Flames’ overtime loss to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday offered more insight into some of the details the team needs to keep focused on for a deep playoff run. For head coach Darryl Sutter, faceoff performance was the key reason for the loss in Game 81. Meanwhile, the Florida Panthers claimed a franchise first, and the Montreal Canadiens locked up the top pick in the draft, answering the riddle when a loss is really a win.

“We got taken to the cleaners in the faceoff circles. Cost us a couple of goals,” the Calgary Flames head coach said after the contest.

The special teams battle was lost, too, but Sutter said that could also be attributed to the faceoff dots.

“That’s faceoffs. A lot of (lost) faceoffs,” Sutter said. “Even starting three-on-three (overtime), lose the draw, go down, take a penalty, lose a draw, (they) score. Faceoffs, penalties — difference in the game.”

As a team, the Flames went 21-for-48 (44%) in all situations but were just 5-for-15 (33%) in the third period. Mikael Backlund finished with a 54% success rate overall but lost the draw while shorthanded in overtime that led to the Kirill Kaprizov winner. Elias Lindholm and Calle Jarnkrok were both 44%. Ryan Carpenter was an abysmal 17%.

NHL News & National Hockey Now:

Montreal: It’s not the worst thing to end the season on a losing note. The best odds to get the No. 1 overall pick and (probably) Shane Wright now belongs to the Montreal Canadiens.

Vancouver: Bruce Boudreau made quite the impression on the Vancouver Canucks. Some guys are great with lesser teams. Talented Russian rookie Vasily Podkolzin had a turnaround under Boudreau and is learning to speak English. When asked his favourite words? “Bruce, there it is!” Surprised it’s not “I hate the Calgary Flames.” Vancouver Canucks news-ish.

Vegas: Garbage bag day comes early for the Vegas Golden Knights, who for the first time in franchise history are not taking part in the NHL playoffs. Some may blame former Calgary Flames target Jack Eichel, or the trading of Marc-Andre Fleury, but Owen Krepps says there are many reasons for the failure. Vegas Golden Knights breakdown.

Boston: The Tampa Bay Lightning lost their chance to claim third and a date with the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, the Boston Bruins are peaking at the right time. Ullmark, a shutout. Pastrnak scored No. 40. And Patrice Bergeron? Hat-trick. Boston Bruins rolled the Sabres.

Washington: The Capitals blew it. They should have passed the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metro with two games in hand, but the Islanders beat them twice. Alex Ovechkin did not play. Heck, neither did the Washington Capitals.

Florida: Florida is so good. The culture, the momentum. Talent at every position. It all culminated in the President’s Trophy. Clinched. It belongs to the Florida Panthers.

Detroit: Here’s a million-dollar question–with all of that new talent, including the likely Calder Trophy winner, why were the Red Wings, so, so, so bad? Kevin Allen answers. Detroit Red Wings insight.

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