It certainly wasn’t due to a lack of effort by the Flames, but the Canucks sealed their fate with a 5-4 overtime win, spoiling Calgary’s home opener Sunday night.
With the same old song and dance Flames’ fans are used to, the Calgary club gave up a two-goal lead in the third period, and after that it was a game of catch-up. Though it’s a frustrating sentiment for fans that the Flames can’t seem to hold onto a lead, aside from two bad mistakes, Calgary actually had a lot to be happy about following the Vancouver match-up.
The Flames are nothing if not entertaining thus far, and with a 1-0-2 record to kick off the season, they remain undefeated in regulation. Not to mention the fact that five Flames players are boasting three-game point streaks after tonight: Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler, Mark Giordano and Lee Stempniak.
The veteran Canucks gave the Flames a hard-fought battle, and Eddie Lack put on a clinic for Vancouver in his first NHL game. David Booth opened up the scoring for the Vancouver squad with a nice tip to beat Joey MacDonald in the first.
Giordano tied up the game for the Flames to finish off the first period 1-1, after putting in a bullet over the glove of Lack. That gave Giordano his 4th point of the season, leading the Flames.
Hometown player TJ Galiardi gave a nice tip pass to Backlund in the second period, which led to a beautiful breakaway goal, edging the Flames up 2-1 going into the third.
Rookie Monahan made it 3-1 Calgary to kick-off the third period, and that was right around the time the game took a turn.
Two costly mistakes by Calgary veterans (who should really know better), led to a very quick comeback for Vancouver. First Glencross gave up a turnover to Jannik Hansen, and Brian McGrattan made a defensive error to give Mike Santorelli the opportunity to tie up the game for Vancouver, 3-3.
Although Joey MacDonald made the biggest save of the game, absolutely robbing Chris Higgins, Dale Weise responded with a hard driven goal that landed Vancouver with the 4-3 lead they needed.
But arguably the hardest fought part of the game for Calgary came in the dying seconds of the third period, where shot after shot was hammered at Lack, and finally David Jones tied up the game for the Flames with a mere 19 seconds on the clock.
The Flames found themselves in a familiar spot, battling back to earn a spot in overtime, but a picture perfect give-and-go play by Kevin Bieksa and Santorelli gave Vancouver the win.
WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO
The Flames have several players showing strength, and that differs greatly from recent seasons where a few veteran players have been relied on.
Up front, the Backlund, Galiardi and Hudler line-up is performing very well together, and is the only line-up to not be split since season’s start. Calgarian Galiardi is getting the playing time he needs to perform where he needs to be, and is thus far.
Monahan is only 18-years-old and the rookie has already put up points in all three games this season; he’s one to watch for sure.
On the defensive end of things, clearly Giordano has stepped up his game and is filling the role of captain already, leading the squad in points. Giordano is a very underrated player outside of Calgary, and will surely draw more attention this season.