With Flames Back-to-Back losses on the weekend, the Darryl Sutter Flames 2.0 era is off to a rough start. The Calgary Flames lost both games over the weekend. To be fair, Sutter hasn’t even seen the team in person yet, let alone stepped behind the bench. He has been in quarantine and will finally hit the ice with the team tuesday. Let’s recap the pair of weekend games!
Flames Back-to-Back: Saturday vs Edmonton Oilers
The last meeting between the Edmonton Oilers didn’t go so well for the Calgary Flames. The Flames were blown out 7-1 back on February 20th. You can read all about that shit-show in my review from that game. This game would be much different… kind of. Saturday’s Battle of Alberta was a much tighter game with Johnny Gaudreau opening the scoring in the first period. The first period also saw a couple scraps. Milan Lucic and Darnell Nurse squared off in a pretty good tilt. I gave the win to Looch on this one as he got a couple really good shots in. Not long after, Matthew Tkachuk and James Neal tussled a little bit. They mostly just punched each other’s helmets a few times.
Jesse Puljujarvi evened the score late in the second period. By this time last meeting, the Oilers had a 6-1 lead and were almost breaking a sweat. Connor McDavid assisted on the goal after a three game scoreless drought. Yes, for McDavid, that’s a drought.
Noah Hanifin restored the Flames lead early in the third period. But in the third period, McDavid must have realized that scoring is much better than not scoring. Connor and Leon Draisaitl assisted on a goal by Kailer Yamamoto to tie the game. Then to put a cherry on top, McDavid scored with just under four minutes left to give the Oilers a 3-2 win. Flames Goaltender Jacob Markstrom allowed three goals on 33 shots. Mike Smith allowed just two goals on 36 shots to record his seventh win of the season.
Next up for the Oilers are the Ottawa Senators Monday night. The Flames played the Senators on Sunday night. Let’s get to that recap!
Flames Back-to-Back: Sunday vs Ottawa Senators
Sunday should have been a night to shake off the third period struggle from Saturday night’s loss. But, the Flames were once again playing the Ottawa Senators. For some reason the Senators have been a thorn in the Flames’ side the last couple weeks.
The Sens would jump on the board first in this one. Connor Brown opened the scoring in period one with a shot that tipped off the skate of Chris Tanev. Not long after, Ryan Dzingel scored to stake the Sens to a 2-0 lead. Jacob Markstrom got a piece of the shot, but not enough. The Calgary Flames do not do well when chasing a lead, and they are chasing the lead often!
Flames Captain Mark Giordano scored just over three minutes into the second period to give the Flames some life. Nikita Nesterov and Matthew Tkachuk picked up the assists. Colin White scored however, to restore the Senators two goal lead. At this point, I’m sure Flames fans were ready to turn the channel. It’s like watching a rerun of a show you don’t even like.
But alas, Johnny Hockey to the rescue! Gaudreau scores just over three minutes into the third, and the Flames are right back in the game. Then just over twelve minutes in, Noah Hanafin scored his second goal in as many games to tie the game up. In the overtime period, Jacob Markstrom robbed Drake Batherson on a breakaway. Overtime would solve nothing, so they went to a shoot-out. Batherson would get revenge on Markstrom in the shootout with a game-winning shot off Markstrom’s glove. Matthew Tkachuk scored the only goal in the shoot-out for the Flames.
Flames’ Jacob Markstrom was once again brilliant in this game. He did allow three goals on just 22 shots, but a lot of his saves were big saves. Perhaps the best save of the game came from Flames’ D-man Juuso Valimaki in the third period. Markstrom gave away the puck behind the net and Valimaki robbed the Sens of an open net goal.
Next up for the Flames is a home game against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Head Coach Darryl Sutter will finally be behind the bench for this one.
I’m Jason Beisick and I’ll be covering the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers for the Belly Up Hockey team. You can follow me on Twitter as well for general sports talk and likely some trash talk as well.