The Calgary Flames marched into Tampa Bay looking to rebound from a disappointing loss to the Nashville Predators a few nights ago. A game in which while they weren’t awful, they weren’t good enough to win. They had some good looks, but with .1 seconds left let the Predators tied up the game. Overtime they went, and the Flames dropped the game. Perhaps they deserved a better fate, but that’s no longer a relevant point. They need to find ways to win and they haven’t been particularly good at doing that this season.
Tampa opened up the scoring in the first period on the power play. Shortly after Backlund lost the draw, Sergachev fired it from the point and it was tipped in by Tyler Johnson. Hard to blame Rittich on a tip shot, especially with no one covering Johnson in front. After the lighting goal, it looked as though the Flames tied it up with a goal from Backlund! Unfortunately for Backlund and the Flames, it was ruled a kick in. After watching the replay, I’d say that was the appropriate call. It was quite clear Backlund made a kicking motion with his skate. Heading into the 2nd the Lightning had the shot advantage of 13-6 and had the lead as a result of their dominant play.
Tampa continued their domination in the second. With an early power play, they pushed and pushed and Palat scored to put the lightning up 2-0. The Flames were held without a shot for almost 7 straight minutes of play as the Lightning continued to dominate. Calgary had a chance to get themselves back into the game, however they blew it and the Lightning scored a short-handed goal from Gourde. What can you say about that power play? They gave the lighting several short-handed chances and finally the lightning sealed it.
Down 3-0 it looked like the flames were out of it, BUT they pushed and scored two goals in 52 seconds. Mangiapane scored as did Lindholm. It looked like the Flames may just make a game of it, but let’s be real, they aren’t that lucky. After a poor defensive play, Killorn walked in a beat Rittich to make it 4-2 for the lightning heading into the 3rd.
Despite being down 4-2, there still looked to be hope for the Flames. Despite going down 3-0 they stormed back. Even with a two-goal deficit, they still seemed to have some hope. Once again, they weren’t sound defensively, but Rittich bailed them out and made some great saves. Late in the period, Monahan was able to make it 4-3, but unfortunately that would be all the Flames had. The Tampa Bay Lighting would win by a score of 4-3 over the Calgary Flames.
1. Gaudreau REALLY needs to start shooting. He had a wonderful opportunity to fire the puck on net, but instead sent out a foolish pass, which resulted in the lightning clearing the puck and scoring on the empty net shortly after. He has a lethal shot, and on a play like that he should have just fired it at the net. At worst, it gets stopped by the goalie. But that seemed to be the story for him this whole game. He had several opportunities to just fire the puck, but instead opted for a pass.
2. I thought Rittch played really well for the most part. I didn’t love the Gourde goal, but other than that, he stood on his head. The Flames hardly shot the puck and the lighting took advantage of it, and were it not for Big Save Dave this game likely would have been UGLY. Calgary looked BAD against Tampa and David made them look a lot less so. Hmph, reminds me of the Kiprusoff days. Anyways…
3. Calgary’s special teams were pretty bad. Their PK was awful and they allowed a short-handed goal. Their first powerplay was a MESS and they looked like they had no idea what they were doing. Tampa had several chances to score short handed and eventually of course they did. Their special teams along with some poor overall play, cost them this game.
Calgary once again drops a must win game and continues their inconsistent play. As I and many others have said, this team posses the skill and talent to do damage. Unfortunately, they have a very bad mix of inconsistency and almost no mental fortitude. Calgary is losing track and it’s getting to the point where them missing the playoffs is a VERY real possibility.
Thanks for reading!