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DOGGED DETERMINATION

Matthew Tkachuk scores twice - including the game-winner - as Flames rally from 3-1 deficit in third to beat Coyotes in overtime

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

The old saying goes that if you're not the lead dog, the view never changes.

That is, unless you make it change.

But that's often easier said than done.

 

 Video: Brendan Parker wraps up the OT victory

 

Trailing the Desert Dogs in the standings and the game - 3-1 late in the third period - the Flames brought back visions of last season's Comeback Kids, rallying for a 4-3 overtime victory against the Arizona Coyotes Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The visitors came into the game fresh off a 3-2 overtime victory against the Oilers in Edmonton on Monday.

They were one of the hottest teams in the league, compiling an 8-2-0 mark in their last 10 tilts.

Stingy defence and great goaltending have been their hallmarks so far this campaign.

With time ticking away, they looked poised to grab another two points and sweep their way through Alberta ...

But then came the rally.

And who led the charge?

None other than Matthew Tkachuk, of course.

No. 19 came into the game riding a three-game point streak in which he had racked up three goals and five points to pace the Flames attack of late.

Trailing by two goals, he ignited the comeback.

First, he set up in his office in front of the net on the powerplay, tipping home a shot by Elias Lindholm past Antti Raanta at 16:30 of the final frame.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Thank you hands. Nothing else in the universe can do what you do.#ARIvsCGY | #Flames pic.twitter.com/DPz6cYENC8

 

Then it was Mark Giordano - who got the other helper on Chucky's tally - scoring his fourth of the year at 17:19 with a wrister through traffic that went off of Arizona defenceman Jason Demers and past Raanta.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: The goal that has us heading into OT 🥰#ARIvsCGY | #Flames pic.twitter.com/kDEKLBAm3D

 

Cue extra time.

As per usual, there were plenty of top-flight chances with the best players skating 3-on-3.

But it was Tkachuk who would seal the deal with just 34 seconds left to go in OT, caught out on the ice for a long shift but keeping enough in the tank to snap one past Raanta and bring the C of Red to its feet.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Mr. Overtime.#ARIvsCGY | #Flames pic.twitter.com/vQuhHIey0e

 

David Rittich also had a massive night, earning first-star accolades for his 34-save performance, including many clutch stops in the third and overtime.

Big Save Dave continues to be a wall for the Flames. His teammates, to a man, were quick to credit his play in the win.

The opening frame was back-and-forth, with Arizona getting the majority of early shots but the Flames eventually catching up, the visitors leading 10-9 in that category after 20 minutes.

Johnny Gaudreau had a golden chance to get his side on the board first, taking a pass in the high slot all alone and stepping into a slapshot but Raanta slammed his pads shut on the five-hole attempt.

Clayton Keller broke the goose egg at the 8:29 mark. Andrew Mangiapane lost the puck near the Calgary blueline and Nick Schmaltz ended up firing a cross-ice pass to Keller, who wired a one-timer from the right face-off circle as he faded backwards, beating Rittich short-side.

The Coyotes found themselves with a 2-on-0 while killing a powerplay later in the period and looking to double up their lead, but Michael Grabner's attempt was turned aside by Rittich.

The Flames started the second on the powerplay but no doing when it came to solving Raanta.

Mark Jankowski - one of two Flames forwards yet to bulge the twine this season - was sprung on a breakway while short-handed a few minutes later but fired the puck up and over the net trying to go short-side.

Christian Dvorak made it 2-0 with a fantastic tip right on the doorstep 4:09 into the period, redirecting a long pass from Phil Kessel who was up near the blueline.

With less than four minutes to go in the period, Tkachuk was hooked and pulled down as he tried to walk out from behind the net and wrap a puck around Raanta.

On the ensuing powerplay, Sean Monahan gained the zone and a few steps inside the blueline, slung a pass cross-ice to Tkachuk who one-timed it back across to Gaudreau on the doorstep to the left of Raanta for an easy redirect at 17:09.

It was Gaudreau's fourth goal of the season and first since Oct. 12.

 

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Chucky with the 🔥 pass.#ARIvsCGY | #Flames pic.twitter.com/VB0A48sE3o

 

Pressing for the equalizer in the third, Gaudreau worked some of his magic with a spinning pass from behind the net to set up frequent goal-scoring partner Monahan, but No. 23 wasn't able to get off a clean shot.

Just past the midway point, Vinnie Hinostroza tallied to increase the lead before the frenzied comeback began.

 

ONE-TIMERS:

The Flames were proud to host the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night, supporting the league wide initiative with proceeds from both the Calgary Flames Foundation 50-50 raffle sales and Hockey Fights Cancer apparel available in FanAttic stores during November, to Hockey Fights Cancer. The team wore special lavendar jerseys in warm-up which are now available for auction by clicking here to bid ... Milan Lucic missed the matchup with the Coyotes seving the second tilt of his two-game suspension. See what he had to say about the situation earlier Tuesday by clicking here ... This is a divisional matchup; this season the Flames have a record of 3-3-1 against Pacific Division opponents and a record of 5-4-2 against the Western Conference.

 

Video: CGY@ARI: Courageous kids celebrated on HFC Night

 

THE LINEUP:

The lines, D-pairings and 'tender to begin Tuesday's game (starters in bold).

FORWARDS

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Elias Lindholm

Andrew Mangiapane - Mikael Backlund - Matthew Tkachuk

Sam Bennett - Derek Ryan - Alan Quine

Tobias Rieder - Mark Jankowski - Michael Frolik

DEFENCE

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic

Oliver Kylington - Rasmus Andersson

GOALTENDER

David Rittich

 

UP NEXT:

The Flames continue this four-game homestand when they host Taylor Hall and the New Jersey Devils Thursday (click for tickets). They follow that up by welcoming the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues in a Hockey Night in Canada tilt (click for tickets).

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