I think anytime it’s a one or two goal game you want to come out and make the third period your best. I think that was the focus tonight and guys really battled hard. - Josh Jooris
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames are becoming very comfortable slipping into the third period.
The Flames improved to an NHL-leading 24 third period tallies with a three-goal outburst in the final 20 minutes at the expense of the Ottawa Senators in Calgary’s 4-2 win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.
“I think anytime it’s a one or two goal game you want to come out and make the third period your best,” said Josh Jooris, whose power play goal at 5:37 of the final frame stood as the game-winner. “I think that was the focus tonight and guys really battled hard. We showed some character out there on those kills and had a great resiliency out there. It was just nice to get the two points here.”
The Flames have allowed just 11 goals against in third period action, the fifth lowest total in the League. Calgary also improved to an impressive 8-0-2 when tied to leading after 40 minutes.
“I think we just stuck to Calgary Flames hockey,” Jooris said. “We are hard to play against. We had commitment coming back. We shut plays down and started from the net out tonight. I think we just had good will out there. We wanted to win this one and it showed tonight.”
Tied 1-1 after two periods, Markus Granlund put Calgary ahead shortly after Lance Bouma’s expired tripping minor.
Bouma exited the penalty box and forced a turnover at the Flames blue line before streaking down the ice on a partial breakaway. He pulled up, curled and fed Granlund in the slot, who deked Senators goaltender Craig Anderson to give Calgary the lead 2:29 into the third.
It was extended to two when Jooris converted a Curtis Glencross feed.
“I think it just shows the amount of character we have as a team in the dressing room, how many injuries we’ve had and the team just keeps finding ways to win hockey games,” said Paul Byron, who added a single in the first period to record goals in back-to-back games. “Every time we come into the second [intermission], we know we have a chance to win every night. We just have to go out and score a goal to win and defensively we can lock it down.”
After Bobby Ryan pulled the Senators back to within one, Bouma added his fifth of the season to give the Flames some insurance.
And their 24th third period goal of the year, no less.
“It’s something we’ve been doing all year long is showing a lot of grit and determination and pride,” Bouma said. “It’s fun this year. Guys want to be in that situation and guys want to have the puck on their stick and help win the game. It’s been fun so far. We’ve just got to keep that going.”