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Carolina goalie stymies Flames as they fall to visiting Hurricanes

by TY PILSON @typilson /

All good things must come to an end.

Unfortunately, that fact rings true.

Such was the case Saturday afternoon with the Flames seven-game winning streak.

The Carolina Hurricanes scored twice 1:05 apart in the second period to break open a scoreless game en route to a 4-0 victory at the Scotiabank Saddledome, handing the Flames their first regulation loss in 10 games.

Calgary had came into the matinee affair as the hottest team in the NHL, an impressive 8-1-1 in their last 10 tilts.


Video: Brendan Parker wraps up matinee with 'Canes


It also marked the first defeat under interim bench boss Geoff Ward.

The game was much closer than the final score indicated.

David Rittich made 27 saves in the outing, while Calgary fired 32 shots at Carolina starter James Reimer, who stood tall all game, especially in the first period when the Flames came at him in waves.

No surprise, he was named the game's first star.

Calgary's offence had been red hot coming into the contest, scoring 22 goals in their last five games.

Reimer, though, proved tougher to solve than a five-star Sudoku.

The 'Canes are one of the fastest teams in the league, coming into every tilt looking to put the opposition on their heels right off the opening faceoff.

Everyone knows their gameplan.

Doesn't mean it's easy to counter.

However, Saturday afternoon, it was the Flames who dictated the pace out of the gate, controlling play and puck possession by using their skill and speed.

With that came some great chances.

The rebound of a TJ Brodie point shot almost ended up right on the stick of Sean Monahan beside the cage with an open net before him, but he had to reach to corral it and lost the handle while trying to make a pass.

Then it was Noah Hanifin barging in from the point into the slot and getting a point-blank chance that Reimer got his right pad on to deflect wide.

Martin Necas was tagged with hooking as he tried to chase Brodie behind the Calgary net and then keep up with the fleet-footed Flames defenceman as he skated the puck out of the zone.

The Flames No.-1 powerplay unit got three quality shots in the first minute of the man-up situation but couldn't solve Reimer.

Monahan was denied on the doorstep in the slot, then just missed a rebound again parked beside the net.

When Necas stepped out of the box, the shotclock read 9-1 for the homeside. 

The pressure continued, Milan Lucic nearly tipping home a cross-crease pass from Dillon Dube with a 'Cane drapped on him.

Near the end of the period, Calgary got another golden chance when Matthew Tkachuk feathered a pass underneath a diving Dougie Hamilton onto the tape of Derek Ryan, but Reimer came across to deny him.

Rittich's best stop of the period came when he made a left-pad save on a shot by Teuvo Teravainen from a tough angle through a partial screen.

Oh ya, as for that shotclock - it read 12-4 after 20 minutes.

The ice tilted the other way in the second, the 'Canes spending more time in Calgary's zone.

They eventually made good after a broken play at the the Flames blueline led to a turnover and a 2-on-1 for Carolina, Brock McGinn converting a one-timer from Jordan Martinook at 12:35, snapping it into the yawning cage as Rittich dove airborne across the crease.

The goal came on Carolina's 17th shot to tie up that count.

The Flames challenged that the play was offside but after review, the officials upheld the call on the ice.

Just 1:05 later - with Carolina on a 4-on-3 powerplay - former Flame Hamilton scored on a wrist-shot far-side that went in off Rittich's glove.

The visitors led 22-19 in shots after 40 minutes. 

The Flames pushed in the final frame but couldn't get one into the net despite three straight powerplay opportunities around the midway point of the period.

On the second extra-man up, Tkachuk was active, first tipping a Giordano point shot off the mask of Reimer, then setting Monahan up in the slot, who dropped to one knee as he fired it but Reimer again making the stop.

Then Tkachuk got a chance, jamming away at the rebound of a Lindholm shot, befire being dumped as the whistle went.

During the third PP, Warren Foegele scored short-handed before later adding an empty-netter to round out the scoring.




"I thought the first period we were really good, and they had a great push in the second. They were able to score on their chances. We had a ton, too, but they're a great team over there. You've got to give them credit. In the third period, we had a lot of powerplays, we were getting some chances, we got a post, I think, and if you don't score, that's how it always goes. The other team - on the road - found a way to get some big kills, and obviously that short-handed one late was the
one that sealed it."


"Obviously we're playing better and, today, our first period was probably our best period of the whole season. It's tough when you don't get rewarded, obviously, but that's something we can learn from and keep pushing and keep playing the way we did in the first. … We were all over them. We had a lot of o-zone time, a lot of chances, and we were skating. We were fast and they had a tough time keeping up with us."


"(Geoff Ward) had a good speech between periods, told us to calm down a little bit and re-group, but obviously it was tough to go down that way."


"It was a little deflating, for sure, especially when everyone on the bench thought it was offside and we were pretty sure that it was. ... But that's the adversity that a good team can get over in the midst of a game."


"The right call was made. 100%. We just felt like maybe the guy hadn't tagged up. When we looked at it, the overhead seemed to look like that, but when we took a look at it after, it looked like the right call. … There's a lot going on there. If (Gauthier) would have touched the puck a fraction of a second earlier - there was a little bit of time in between the time that the puck got knocked back in, and the time that he actually got his stick on it to allow (McGinn) to tag up again. If he gets it on his stick quicker, we probably have the offside call. We felt it was worth challenging at that point. We lost the challenge. But it was the right call. 100%."


"Sure, you talk about it, but that shouldn't cause us to sag. If anything, if the call doesn't go the way you want, you should actually bump up and generate some energy, make sure your next shifts are good to get some momentum back. I don't think it affected the bench a whole lot. At least, I didn't see it, visibly, anyway. And at that point, we had plenty of time left to get back in the hockey game."





Brodie played in his 600th career NHL game. Brodie was drafted by the Flames in the fourth round of the 2008 draft ... The Flames are now 9-4-1 against Eastern Conference opponents, with a record of 5-1-0 against the Atlantic Division ... Sean Monahan had his eight-game point-streak snapped Saturday. The 25-year-old, who leads the Flames in scoring with 28 points (10G, 18A), had five goals and 10 points in that recent run coming into the game with the 'Canes.  


 Tweet from @NHLFlames: Congrats to TJ Brodie, who is playing in game 6���0���0��� this afternoon!#CARvsCGY | #Flames | @Sportsnet




Tweet from @NHLFlames: This afternoon's starters!#CARvsCGY | #Flames | @Schneiders


The trios and d-pairings to start last night's game:


Matthew Tkachuk - Elias Lindholm - Andrew Mangiapane

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - Mikael Backlund

Milan Lucic - Derek Ryan - Dillon Dube

Tobias Rieder - Mark Jankowski - Michael Frolik



Mark Giordano - Rasmus Andersson

Noah Hanifin - Travis Hamonic

TJ Brodie - Oliver Kylington



David Rittich

Cam Talbot



The Penguins come callin' on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (click here for tickets), followed by a visit from the Canadiens Thursday at 7 p.m. (click here for tickets). Then it's off for a quick back-to-back road trip with stops in Dallas on Dec. 22 and Minnesota on Dec. 23, before the Christmas break.

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