timberland earthkeepers uk Calgary Flames win fourth straight and start road trip on right foot
When the Calgary Flames head coach launched into an f bomb laden tongue lashing of his squad last week and, for good measure, sent his twig into the stands to further his point at practice the message was for his club to avoid complacency.
Turns out, his club still needs to tweak a few things before they can replicate what they did in the second half of the 2016 17 NHL campaign (which included a 10 game win streak en route to the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs).
But the Flames (22 16 4) won their fourth straight, grinding out a 3 2 overtime victory on Tuesday at Excel Energy Center over a flailing Minnesota Wild squad that capitalized on the visiting team third period mistakes to nearly complete a third period comeback.
last 40 some games are extremely important, and we put ourselves in a good spot to push to make playoffs here, said Flames star Johnny Gaudreau, who set up on Tuesday OT winner by Dougie Hamilton. we keep playing the way we been playing the last few games here, we can go into the road trip and into the (upcoming) break feeling pretty good about ourselves. after an inconsistent first half of the season.
This, after a come from behind 4 3 win last Thursday over the Los Angeles Kings which sparked the crack down on complacency.
This, after the ol heave ho.
This, after a gutsy 3 2 effort over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.
Who the heck are these guys?
One thing is for sure they a team with a goalie that can help steal them games.
Mike Smith earned his 18th win of the season and made 33 saves through overtime, including a timely save on Jason Zucker right before Hamilton scored his second straight game winner with 2:21 remaining in the extra frame. He also been between the pipes for all four consecutive dub yas for the Flames.
don think we in these games if it not for him, said Hamilton of Smith post game. played great again today. I thought they had some really good chances, and that a good team in this rink.
just have to keep rolling. Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland continued their goal scoring ways while set up man Gaudreau made two perfect plays to tee them up, scoring the two lone markers of regulation.
Smith needed to be solid on this night, too, as his team in front were playing with the puck like it was a hot potato in their own end.
Case in point?
After some sub par puck management, Mikael Granlund snapped up a loose puck and roofed one over Smith shoulder with 7:16 elapsed in the third period. Then, with 7:47 remaining, Jared Spurgeon slapped one off Smith right post to knot the score 2 2.
The good news?
The Flames earned an extra point thanks to their penalty kill which has burned off the last 12 straight penalties over the past four games, including a crucial Mark Jankowski holding penalty with 2:24 remaining in the third period.
The Flames also killed off Michael Stone suspect hooking call with 6:35 left, which gave them some life. But failing to score on their fourth powerplay opportunity of the game did not.
be honest, I don think it was one of our better games we played, especially lately, Smith said. played a lot better games lately. Saying that, you never complain too much about getting a win. The main thing is we got the two points and found a way to do that, and we did that.
The Flames jumped to a 2 0 lead with 51 seconds left in the second period thanks to Gaudreau hold up of the puck along the boards, Ferland feed to Monahan and the 23 year old sniper finish.
But, despite the late game let down, the Calgary club hit the scoresheet first as it tried to set the tone for a four game road swing which stops in Tampa Bay (Thursday), Florida (Friday) and Carolina (Sunday).
Right after the Flames killed off a Mark Giordano interference penalty (take a bow, Smith, who denied a quality chance by Mikko Koivu) at 3:33, they took a 1 0 lead when Gaudreau made a slick move to send a pass over to Monahan, who fooled Alex Stalock. That left the Wild net wide open for Micheal Ferland, giving him his 18th goal in 41 games this season as he continues his career campaign.
At that point, the game was just six minutes old.
So what to do? Grind, grind, grind that what.
Their power play, however, still needs work. On their first chance of the night midway into the first period, the Flames started their second unit on the ice, but it didn matter. Neither group could get it done, and, before it was over, they actually gave up a short handed partial breakaway. But Smith made a dandy save on Eric Staal.
The 35 year old Flames netminder, in a groove all game, also flashed his glove on Matt Cullen and continued to stand tall all game.
Calgary powerplay had another chance just five minutes into the second when Tyler Ennis clipped Matthew Tkachuk in the face with his stick. Again, Smith came up with a glove save during a short handed chance, this time on Charlie Coyle, as his team in front couldn manage to generate anything.
He was also forced to come up with a big save with just under seven minutes left in the second period when he tried to clear the puck, sent it right to the opposition, and denied Granlund in front.