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'WE NEVER GAVE UP'

Come-from-behind win over stingy defensive Blue Jackets team gives Flames a boost ahead of tilt with Coyotes

by ALEX MEDINA @alex_medina5 / calgaryflames.com

They all can't be pretty. 

But then again, that's to be expected this late in the season.

With playoffs slowly creeping up, every game is huge and despite a slow start against the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Flames pulled it out in the end with a 3-2 OT victory.  

Down 2-0 in the third, no problem. 

 

Video: "We're going to see lots of the same things tomorrow"

 

 

"We never gave up," said Flames interim head coach Geoff Ward. "We were up against one of the best teams in terms of a stingy defence and arguably the best defensive team we've seen in a long time and managed to get the job done.  

"It was a disjointed game that wasn't pretty to watch or pretty to play in. Somethings we tried doing in the neutral zone early on caused the game to get disjointed for us and contributed to us falling behind.

"You just have to keep playing the game and wait for your opportunities. We stayed at it after a slow first period and were more patient with our approach instead of forcing the game. 

"It's one thing to say you have to be patient and another thing to do it."

All the proof needed to show how tight the Blue Jackets played in their own zone was the amount of blocked shots, as they ended the night with 22.

Space was hard to come by in the neutral zone and nothing easy was given. 

The Flames knew if they wanted to comeback, they were going to have to earn it. 

 

Video: "Important for us (to) keep it simple at times"

 

"We knew that we could make a comeback," said Andrew Mangiapane. "It was just a matter of sticking with our system and never giving up. That's a great mindset to have, to believe we can always claw our way back.

"It was on us to do the simple things in chipping in the puck down low, instead of forcing passes through the neutral zone, and going to work.

That's how we broke them down. 

"It sends a message to never count us out."

More of the same can be expected Friday night when the Arizona Coyotes and their stingy defence roll into town.

The 'Yotes have allowed just 176 goals through 68 games, which has them tied for third in the league for fewest tallies against.

"They play well away from the puck and take pride in it," Ward said. "We're going to need more of the same from our third period last night to be successful and get more time in the offensive zone. 

"They are hard to team to play against," Rasmus Andersson added. "We can't think that we're going to win the game in just one period again. We have to outwork them, be patient in our approach and keep it simple.

"That's how most if not all games are going to be headed down the stretch. There won't be a lot of space to maneuver against well-structured teams and we're going to have to earn everything. 

"We believe in each other. The situation we're in right now is different compared to last year with how tight our division is. Every game matters and will until the end of the year." 

 

Video: "They are hard to play against"

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