The Tyler Toffoli trade was the hot topic coming into the night. The Calgary Flames winger was set to play against his former team for the first time since he was traded to Calgary on February 14.
But it was the one that got away in that NHL trade who stole the spotlight.
Defenceman Ben Chiraot was linked to the Calgary Flames in what would have been a bigger package deal with the Montreal Canadiens, but the price was too high for GM Brad Treliving. The Habs blueliner upped his value ahead of the NHL trade deadline with a two-goal, three-point night.
“Tough game,” said a sombre Darryl Sutter after the 5-4 overtime loss to the Canadiens.
A lack of discipline led to too many penalties. Their lack of focus led to too many turnovers. In the end, the Calgary Flames were lucky to get a single point with a good play by Andrew Mangiapane and Elias Lindholm.
Down 4-3 in the dying minute of regulation, Matthew Tkachuk tried another between-the-legs shot from the side of the net, then Lindholm hit Mangiapane with the puck before it was circled along the boards to Rasmus Andersson.
Andersson lofted the puck at the net. Mangiapane settled it quickly and made a great pass through a defender’s legs. That found a wide-open Lindholm for his 25th of the season.
It was one of the few high points of a night during which most things went awry for the hosts as they chased a franchise record 13th straight win on home ice.
Mangiapane, Flames turn puck over too often
The Flames got off to a decent start with Blake Coleman scoring the game’s first goal. But Jeff Petry – another defenceman on the NHL trade block – tied things up in the final 30 seconds of the opening frame.
Johnny Gaudreau got the lead back and Mangiapane added to the lead with a shorthanded snipe in the second period but they saw the Habs answer back with three unanswered goals (Nick Suzuki, Chiarot and Mike Hoffman) to force the late comeback for the loser point.
Despite setting up the single, and scoring his 29th goal of the season, Mangiapane couldn’t escape the disappointment displayed by Sutter.
“We were lucky to get out of both periods tied,” Sutter said. There was a parade of penalties for his players.
Asked what he thought about Magniapane’s three-point game, Sutter focused on the turnovers that led to goals the other way.
“Turned the puck over too many times,” Sutter said, spreading the responsibility among the other key players. “Our top players did it a lot.
“This is a lately league. Not last year or next game. This is right now – lately. Penalties, turnovers, cost you hockey games. This team’s famous for that. I tried to break that out of them.”