When you get a late goal like that, you want to try and carry that over to the next period, but that wasn't the case. They ended up getting that quick goal and put us back on our heels a bit. That's unfortunate. - Josh Jooris
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames held momentum. Briefly.
Sparked by a late goal in the first period off the stick of Dennis Wideman, the Flames erased a 1-0 deficit but couldn’t keep pace with the Washington Capitals in a 3-1 loss at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.
“We had some momentum,” Flames forward Josh Jooris said. “When you get a late goal like that, you want to try and carry that over to the next period, but that wasn't the case. They ended up getting that quick goal and put us back on our heels a bit. That's unfortunate.”
It took Joel Ward, his second of the game, just 5:41 into the second period to restore Washington’s lead. Nicklas Backstrom added his second of the season 41 seconds into the third period to pace the Capitals to the win.
“We weren't as clean of breakouts and we weren't getting the puck in deep and getting the cycle game going,” Wideman said. “We didn't have a whole lot of sustained pressure in their zone. We just couldn't get our game going.”
But it comes back to Calgary failing to capitalize on their momentum late in the first on Wideman’s power play marker -- his fourth in as many games -- coming with 9.9 seconds remaining in the opening frame.
“Those are big goals when you score them late like that, a power play goal, and for whatever reason, some chances came in the second but we didn't score and we gave them the lead,” captain Mark Giordano said.
“It was a hard-fought game but we're definitely not happy with the way we played.”
Calgary managed to keep Alexander Ovechkin at bay. That in itself gave the Flames an opportunity to win despite Ward’s most productive outing of the young season.
But harnessing the tide wasn’t something coach Bob Hartley’s Flames were able to grab.
“I don't think that we gave ourselves a chance to win. It seems that we had the momentum of the game for just small parts of the game,” Hartley said. “Even though I don't think we had our best game, I think we still had some chances in the third to come back and make a game out of it. The effort was there, but our execution was not as good as I think it could have been. Unfortunately, you get some nights like this.”
“Tonight, the Caps were better than us.”