The Flames have lost five straight, the most recent a 3-2 defeat to the Colorado Avalanche at home on Tuesday. The visitors jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first on two Andre Burakovsky tallies that bookended the frame, one coming at 3:21 and the other at 18:25. The Flames had plenty of chances and held a 14-3 lead in shots at one point in the opening frame. Vladislav Kamenev tallied at 13:15 of the second to make it a 3-0. Derek Ryan - along with linesmates Milan Lucicand Dillon Dube- were the most dangerous line for Calgary in the game and they got the team on the board at 17:41 when a Lucic battle on the boards led to him feeding Ryan, who walked out and sniped one over the shoulder of Philip Grubauer. Andrew Mangiapane added another at 15:44 of the third to make it a game but the Flames were unable to score on a 6-on-4 with goalie David Rittich pulled and an Av in the bin. "Again, we can't seem to find that first goal and (are) playing from behind, catch-up hockey," said Lucic after. "But in saying all that, there are a lot of positives that you can take out of this game and carry over into a very important road trip these next four games. The effort's there. We started to push and play the way that we're supposed to play the second half of the game. Just have to fine-tune some things and bear down when we get our chances and try to play with the lead." Head coach Bill Peters said the team had to take the positives out of the game, and stick the rest behind them as they headed out on this road swing. "We've got to come out of this quick. We're going on the road for four in four tough buildings. We can't be moping around waiting."
The Blues are the class of the Western Conference, sporting a 7-1-2 record in their last 10 outings. However, there has been a slight chink in their armour of late. They won their last tilt 3-1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on Tuesday, but lost their previous three before that: 4-1 at home to Anaheim on Saturday; 3-2 in overtime to the Blue Jackets on Columbus on Nov. 15; and 3-2 to the Coyotes in a shootout at home on Nov. 12. In that most recent game, Anthony Cirelli scored in the first period for the visitors, but David Perron tallied in the second to tie things up. Oskar Sundqvist and Schwartz salted it away with third-period goals. Jordan Binnington made 17 saves in the game. "We just talked about playing a quick game in the second period with the line changes," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "Quick-up everything, get it up in the offensive zone, keep the shifts short, keep rolling (the lines). Guys did a good job of that, I thought." Binnington had a slightly different take: "I think we played a pretty solid game tonight. We're happy to come out with this win."
3. US vs. THEM
This is the second of three matchups this season between the two clubs. The Flames lost in overtime to the Blues on Nov. 9 at the Scotiabank Saddedome in a comeback effort that fell short. Down 2-0 on goals by Ivan Barbashev in the first and O'Reilly in the second, the Flames rallied in the third thanks to goals from Tkachuk at 10:59 and Ryan at 16:04. However, Perron would sink the dagger on a powerplay at 2:46 of extra time. Said Peters after the game: "It was tight - it was real tight. Both teams, I thought, they know how to check; we know how to check. There was a little bit of action, some flurries back-and-forth, 3-on-2, 4-on-3 type things early. Then they were probably trying to get it locked down in the third but we were able to find a way to get back into it. It was a hard-fought game, not a lot of free ice out there, not a lot of room, and then whoever was managing the puck properly was the team getting rewarded." Tkachuk agreed. "It's tough not to get the second point but for us to get one after going into the third period being down two against probably the best team we've played this year, just the way they're able to grind you and wear you down and play the right way, finish their hits ... they're a playoff team, they showed it last year and they're right in form this year but I thought we did a good job playing with them and taking it to them a bit in the third."