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GOTTA LOVE IT

Flames put on a show for dads and mentors along on this two-game road trip, beating the Wild in high-scoring 5-4 shootout

by TY PILSON @typilson / CalgaryFlames.com

When your dads and mentors come on a road trip, you want to impress.

You want them to spend the game on the edge of their seats.

You want to entertain them.

You want to give them plenty of goals to cheer about.

And, most importantly, you want to win.

The Flames checked off all those boxes in a thrilling 5-4 shootout win Sunday night in Minnesota against the Wild to open this quick two-game road swing.

 

Video: Alanna Nolan wraps up the win

 

 

 

 

Dillon Dube scored the winner - he was the 14th shooter in the seventh round - to give the Flames their second straight victory.

Ryan Donato and Derek Ryan had both scored in the fourth round.

It was - please excuse the pun - a wild game, with back-and-forth action and the teams trading goals like amped up elementary kids with Pokemon cards.

David Rittich, playing in his 100th game, was especially sharp in overtime and the shootout, denying three one-timers when Minny was given a powerplay early in extra time.

He stopped all seven shooters, of course, in the one-on-one battle at the end, playing aggressive and denying a few of them with well-placed stick checks. He finished the night with 30 saves.

With the aforementioned dads and mentors settled into a box to cheer on their favourite players, it didn't take long to get things going. 

Sam Bennett had jump in his step early in the contest, creating the first grade-A scoring chance of the tilt.

The Flames winger drove out of the corner with authority, passing the puck to Ryan in the slot, but Wild sgoaltender Alex Stalock was able to come across and make the stop.

With TJ Brodie in the bin for tripping, the Wild opened the scoring at 5:02, when Kevin Fiala snapped a shot on net that Rittich got a piece of with his glove, but it found its way through him.

The Flames answered back at 9:32 on a powerplay of their own after Minnesota was whistled for too many men.

Mikael Backlund took a sharp angle shot as he skated behind the net and then Rasmus Andersson took a whack at the rebound to the right of the net along the ice, before Wild forward Jordan Greenway tried to clear the puck out of danger and put it off the skate of Milan Lucic and into the cage.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Looch on the power play 🙌 pic.twitter.com/mFUUYAWqcI

 

The tie game was shortlived, however.

Just 34 seconds, to be exact.

A neutral zone turnover off a Johnny Gaudreau pass attempt led to a Wild rush, Marcus Foligno firing the puck far-side to put the homeside back in the lead. 

The back-and-forth first period continued when Travis Hamonic scored at 15:40.

The Flames defenceman one-timed a pass from the right faceoff dot that went bar down for his third tally of the campaign.

Gaudreau and Backlund picked up the helpers.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Bar down 😘 pic.twitter.com/kw5zKv9iFU

 

Foligno scored his second of the period with 46 seconds left to play in the opening stanza, jamming at the puck in the blue paint through traffic with four Flames around him and knocking it home.

The shots were 14-9 for the Flames in the high-flying first.

The second period featured plenty of chances (22 shots total, 10 for Calgary and 12 for Minny) but no goals. 

Early in the third period, it was back to the familiar script.

Michael Stone tied the game up 1:55 in the period, finishing off an around-the-horn, three-way-passing play from Brodie and Ryan, letting a long-distance wrister go that found its way past Stalock through traffic. 

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Short side. pic.twitter.com/MGxeQtlZm2

 

It, too, didn't last.

Greenway would answer back 42 ticks later, parking his big body in front of the net and tipping a point offering by Jared Spurgeon that made it 4-3 for Minny.

The two teams kept exchanging chances until Mark Giordano put a puck in the net off Wild defenceman Ryan Suter, deadlocking the teams again at 14:32.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Captain Clutch. pic.twitter.com/7faJiFzrDM

 

The Wild came flying down the ice a few shifts later and put one off the far post, the loud clang a welcome sound to Flames fans.

Gaudreau got spung on a breakaway with 2:52 left and tried to slide the puck five-hole with a backhand but Stalock was able to get his pads shut, although he wasn't sure if he made the stop, looking around in a panic right after.

 

THEY SAID IT:

DUBE ON WHAT WENT THROUGH HIS HEAD BEFORE HIS S/O TURN:

"At first, I was just taking a deep breath and relaxing. I was really happy that Ritter made that save, it calmed me down a lot going because the game's not over if you miss - that relaxes you a lot."

 

Video: "I was really happy that Ritter made that save"

 

DUBE ON HIS MOVE:

"You watch it - you don't really know 100% what you're going to do but you see him, yuo see what he does on most guys coming straight on. So I just kind of watched it and reacted to it." 

 

RITTICH ON THE TILT:

"That was a crazy game for a goalie, for sure ... when we scored, they scored right away." 

 

Video: "That was a crazy game for a goalie for sure"

 

GIORDANO ON IMPORTANT WIN:

"It wasn't our best game by any means. I think we were grinding there through the first two. I thought we generated a ton in the third and got rewarded obviously, bit of a lucky bounce on the powerplay but we'll take that. I thought we had a good night. We were committed to winning and guys battled when we needed to to get the extra point."

 

Video: "Good win, big win"

 

INTERIM COACH GEOFF WARD ON THE OUTING:

"That's an important lesson for us to learn. Coming in here we knew there wasn't going to be a lot of room. They do an excellent job in terms of what they do away from the puck and that was the case tonight. And, when you find yourselves in games like that, it's important you do things to keep the puck moving forward and not get yourself in trouble and wait for your chances. I thought we did a good job staying with it and finding a way at the end."

 

Video: "That's an important lesson for us to learn"

 

ONE-TIMERS:

This is the second of three matchups this season between these two clubs. They played the first game of the season-series just two weeks ago where the Wild won 3-0 in Minnesota. They meet again this Thursday. Click here for tickets ... The Flames have a record of 11-12-3 against Western Conference, and are 5-6-2 against the Central Division ... Sean Monahan (397 pts) is just one point away from tying Paul Reinhart (398 pts) for the 14th most points in Flames franchise history ... Flames legends Lanny McDonald and Colin Patterson are on this trip with the team. They talked with Flames TV about what an incredible experience it is for the dads and mentors - and them - to travel for this two-game roadie.

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Intermission Viewing: Lanny and Colin Patterson are on this road trip, getting to know the team's fathers, brothers, uncles, grandpas, and mentors! pic.twitter.com/TIQhefSiXo

 

THE LINEUP:

 

Tweet from @NHLFlames: Your @Schneiders starters on this fine Sunday evening! pic.twitter.com/DNqKoADcfk

 

The trios and D-pairings to start the game:

FORWARDS

Matthew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Mikael Backlund

Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Dillon Dube

Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Tobias Rieder

DEFENCE

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic

Michael Stone - Rasmus Andersson

GOALTENDER

David Rittich

 

UP NEXT:

The Flames finish up this trip in Chicago Tuesday. As mentioned above, they return to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Jan. 9 to host the Wild (click here for tickets). Then, it's a Hockey Night in Canada matchup with the Oilers at the 'Dome on Jan. 11 (click here for tickets).

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