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Calgary Flames Season Chatter 22/23


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Well since Milano and Eakin got cut the lines on opening night are:

 

Huberdeau/Lindholm/Toffoli

Dube/Kadri/Mangiapane

Coleman/Backlund/Lewis

Lucic/Ruzicka/Ritchie

 

Rooney healthy scratch

 

Weegar/Tanev

Andersson/Hanifin

Zadorov/Mackey

 

Meloche/Stone healthy scratches

 

Too bad Milano and Eakin didn't work out because either one of them seems to be an upgrade on Ruzicka and Ritchie...

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Game # 1

 

Flames 5 AVS 3

 

Flames open season with win against Avalanche in Kadri, Huberdeau debut

Each has assist to help Sutter get 700th NHL coaching victory

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
 2:07 AM
 

CALGARY -- Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri each had an assist in their Calgary Flames debut, a 5-3 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

 

Huberdeau was acquired with MacKenzie Weegar in a trade with the Florida Panthers in exchange for Matthew Tkachuk on July 22. Kadri, who won the Stanley Cup with Colorado last season, signed a seven-year, $49 million contract ($7 million average annual value) with Calgary on Aug. 18.

 

"We're going to try to contribute as much as possible," Kadri said. "I don't know if that's going to result on the scoreboard every single time, but we find different ways to contribute and, you know, we play as a team, and that's the most important thing."

Rasmus Andersson had a goal and an assist, and Weegar had two assists for the Flames, who won a season opener for the first time since defeating the Vancouver Canucks 5-3 on Oct. 1, 2009. Jacob Markstrom made 22 saves.

 

"All three are really good players, as we knew," Andersson said. "I think, obviously, it's nice for them to get that, the points, so they don't have to think about it too much."

 

Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and an assist, and Pavel Francouz made 22 saves for the Avalanche (1-1-0), who defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 5-2 on Wednesday.

 

"I think there's a lot to learn," Colorado defenseman Cale Makar said. "I feel like, obviously, defending champs come into a building like this, completely new team, everybody's excited. We knew it was going to be a challenge. I feel like overall at certain points in the game we rose to the occasion, but we let it get away from us. That's a learning experience for us."

 

The win was Darryl Sutter's 700th, tying him with Mike Babcock for 10th in NHL history. He is the reigning Jack Adams Award winner as NHL coach of the year.

"It means a lot," Sutter said. "Means I've coached four good teams."

 

Bowen Byram scored on the Avalanche's first shot to take a 1-0 lead 1:39 into the first period.

 

Brett Ritchie tied it 1-1 at 11:23, and Dillon Dube put Calgary up 2-1 when he shot by Francouz's blocker on a short-handed, odd-man rush at 2:31 of the second period.

 

Andersson scored five-hole on a deke on a breakaway to extend the lead to 3-1 at 14:52. He had just exited the penalty box moments before taking a pass from Weegar. Andersson was given a coincidental minor alongside MacKinnon, with Mikael Backlund also serving a minor for holding.

 

"We talked about it in the box, too, that I was going to go out and get a breakaway," Andersson said. "We did. I said I was going to fake a shot and go backhand, so he was a little mad at me [when] I went forehand. He told me if I didn't score he was going to give it to me because we talked about it for two minutes. I was kind of laughing when I got the puck, too. It was nice to see it go in."

 

Tyler Toffoli deflected Kadri's pass on the power play to make it 4-1 at 1:12 of the third period, and Elias Lindholm put Calgary up 5-1 after Huberdeau's setup on the power play at 2:47.

 

"Five-on-five, there's definitely some things to work on," Weegar said. "I think when it was 5-1 we kind of thought we were going to take it over and that was going to be the game, but we've got to never get satisfied, play hard the whole 60 minutes."

 

MacKinnon trimmed the lead to 5-2 at 3:08 when he chipped a shot over Markstrom's glove on a breakaway, and Valeri Nichushkin finished a give-and-go with Mikko Rantanen for a power-play goal to make it 5-3 at 11:01.

 

"It's their home opener so you know they're going to come out with a lot of juice, and they brought it to us," Colorado forward Evan Rodrigues said. "I think once we simplified the game and not try to be too cute with it, that's when we started to have success in the third. But it was just too little, too late."

 

NOTES: Dube has nine goals in his past 10 regular-season games dating to last season. ... Rantanen has five assists in two games to start the season. ... Weegar played 20:43, Huberdeau played 17:11 and Kadri had 17:43 of ice time. Each did not have a shot on goal. … Weegar is the fifth defenseman to have multiple points in his Flames debut, following Phil Housley (three points, Jan. 20, 1995), Mark Cundari (two, April 21, 2013), Steve Chiasson (two, Jan. 20, 1995) and Mark Rama

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Game # 2

 

Flames 4 Edm 3

 

Stone, Kadri lead Flames to 4-3 win over Oilers

 
Updated: 3 hours ago
 

EDMONTON, Alberta -- — Michael Stone had a goal and two assists and Nazem Kadri added a goal and an assist in Calgary's four-goal first period, and the Flames held on to beat the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 Saturday night.

Mikael Backlund and Andrew Mangiapane also scored for Calgary, which won its second straight to open the season for the first time since 2009-10. Dan Vladar stopped 26 shots.

 

“The first period was good, we came out with a lot of energy and did some good things,” said Stone, who recorded his first career three-point game as the Flames grabbed a 4-1 lead in the first period. “We kind of got back on our heels a little bit in the second, but we managed to turn it back around in the third and finished the game off well, which was good to see.

 

“We didn’t panic. We know what it takes to win and what little things need to be done to win in this league.”

 

Connor McDavid, Ryan McLeod and Cody Ceci had goals for the Oilers, and Leon Draisaitl had two assists. Jack Campbell started and was pulled midway through the first period after giving up four goals on 11 shots. Stuart Skinner came on and stopped all 31 shots he faced, including 26 over the final two periods.

 

“We had a couple of whacks at the end, we were hoping one of those squeaks through. It wasn’t meant to be,” Draisaitl said. “Just individual and system mistakes, they’re little mistakes that are easy to clean up. We can’t spot a team three goals in back-to-back nights. That’s something we have to address, obviously.”

 

McDavid got a cross-ice backhand pass through the crease from Evander Kane and beat Vladar from the left side with 9:14 left in the second to pull the Oilers to 4-2. It was his fourth of the season.

McLeod scored from the left side to make it a one-goal game with 5:06 remaining in the middle period.

 

Kadri said the way the Flames withstood the Oilers' comeback attempt was a positive sign.

 

“I am happy with the way we played,” Kadri said. “It shows a lot of maturity. We have a mature group in here and I don’t think anyone really hit the panic button.”

 

Backlund got the Flames on the scoreboard first, scoring on a rebound in front on a shot from the right point by Stone just 1:13 into the game.

Ceci tied it at 3:18 as he beat Campbell from the high slot.

 

Calgary then scored three times in a 5:44 to pull ahead.

Stone put the Flames ahead at 4:34 as he fired a shot from the right point through traffic and past Campbell.

Kadri got his first since signing with Calgary in the offseason as he brought the puck up the right side on a power play, skated across the front and tuck the puck through Campbells five-hole a little more than 3 minutes later.

Mangiapane made it 4-1 with 9:42 left in the period as he knocked in a loose puck from the right side. That ended Campbell's night.

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Game # 3

 

Flames 3 VGK 2

 

Backlund breaks late tie, Flames beat Golden Knights 3-2

 
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Updated: 3 hours ago
 

CALGARY, Alberta -- — Mikael Backlund broke a tie with 4:29 left in the Calgary Flames' 3-2 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday night.

 

Elias Lindholm and Tyler Toffoli also scored and Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves to help the Flames improve to 3-0 and drop Vegas to 3-1.

 

Jonathan Huberdeau, acquired in an offseason trade with Florida, assisted on Calgary’s first two goals. Kadri, signed as a free agent in August, had an assist.

 

“These guys work really hard,” Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau said. “I think they created so many opportunities and they put us on the power play three or four times in a row in the second.

 

“That creates momentum for us and that’s how we came back in the game. The first two lines weren’t going too well and then these guys came in and gets us going. That’s what we’re going to need all year.”

William Carrier and Brett Howden scored their first goals of the season for Vegas. Logan Thompson stopped 37 in his hometown.

 

“We’ll definitely respond,” Thompson said. “It’s a veteran group here, right? We know what we’ve got to do. We’ll be better, we’ll get back to practice and get back to work.”

 

After the Flames killed off a pair of hooking minors in the third period, Backlund netted the winner. Blake Coleman collected the puck off the glass and shoveled it out front to Backlund on Thompson’s doorstep.

 

Vegas newcomer Phil Kessel played his 986th consecutive NHL game, leaving him three back of Philadelphia defenseman Keith Yandle’s record set in April.

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Game # 4

 

Flames 3 Buff 6

 

Alex Tuch has 1st NHL hat trick, Sabres beat Flames 6-3

 
ss_20221021_001023006_2076955_default.jp
 
0:41
 

Alex Tuch nets goal vs. Flames

Alex Tuch nets goal vs. Flames


Updated: 3 hours ago

CALGARY, Alberta -- — Alex Tuch had his first career hat trick and the Buffalo Sabres handed Calgary its first loss of the season, beating the Flames 6-3 on Thursday night.

 

Rasmus Dahlin scored for the fourth straight game to set an NHL record for defenseman to open a season.

 

“It’s crazy,” the 22-year-old Dahlin said. “I don’t know what to say really. It’s pretty crazy to think about it. There’s 78 games left. I’ve got more job to do.”

Flames coach Darryl Sutter has taken notice.

 

“Pretty dominant player for them," Sutter said. "Probably the best player on the ice.”

 

Eric Comrie made 40 saves and Dylan Cozens and Casey Mittelstadt also scored to help Buffalo (3-1-0) complete an Alberta sweep after a 4-2 victory in Edmonton on Tuesday night.

 

“It doesn’t matter who we’re playing against, if they’re the toughest team in the league or super highly-skilled, we can play with anyone,” Tuch said.

 

Andrew Mangiapane, Trevor Lewis and Nikita Zadorov scored for Calgary (3-1-0).

 

“You can’t take any team lightly, that’s for sure,” Mangiapane said. “I don’t think we played our game at all. Maybe a few spurts here and there but it wasn’t the best game from our group.”

Jacob Markstrom stopped nine of the 12 shots he faced before making way for Dan Vladar, who made 17 saves.

 

Tuch scored his first of the night at 46 seconds of the second period. He added his second on a power play at 5:41 of the third, toe-dragging around Mangiapane and whipping a shot inside the far post.

 

Playing his 309th NHL game, Tuch wrapped up the hat trick with an empty-netter for his fifth goal of the season.

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Game # 5

 

Flames 3 Canes 2 OT

 

 
ss_20221023_004940391_2079730_default.jp
 
0:19
 

Tyler Toffoli nets game-winning goal in OT for the Flames

Tyler Toffoli scores in overtime to give Calgary the win vs. the Hurricanes.


Updated: 2 hours ago

CALGARY, Alberta -- — Tyler Toffoli scored at 4:30 of overtime and the Calgary Flames rallied to beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 on Saturday night.

 

Rasmus Andersson carried the puck up the side boards and deep into the Hurricanes’ end before zipping a pass into the slot that Toffoli one-timed inside the post for his third of the season.

 

“Ras did a really good job taking it wide and using his speed and I was just trying to find a little space and he made a great play right in the middle,” Toffoli said.

 

Andersson had two assists and led both teams in ice time at 27:47.

 

“Our penalty kill had a really good night,” Andersson said. “Still need to get a little bit better five on five, but it was a tough game to play and it was nice to see that overtime goal go in.”

 

Nazem Kadri and Brett Ritchie also scored as the Flames came back from a 2-0 deficit midway through the first period. Toffoli had an assist and Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots to help Calgary improve to 4-1-0.

 

Kadri is the fourth player to begin his Calgary career with a five-game points streak.

 

Sebastian Aho and Calvin de Haan scored for Carolina. Antti Raanta finished with 29 saves. The Hurricanes fell to 3-1-1.

 

“We had a pretty good first period, except we gave up a PK goal and didn’t cash in on our power play,” Aho said. “At the end of the day, that was the game tonight. We get a huge opportunity at the end, four minutes on the power play, and we’ve got to make them pay there. Special teams got us. That’s on us.”

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Game # 6

 

Flames 4 Pens 1

 

Kadri's 3-point game powers Flames to 4-1 win over Penguins

 
ss_20221025_215302478_2082369_default.jp
 
0:32
 

Nazem Kadri's tally gets the Flames on the board

Nazem Kadri's tally gets the Flames on the board


Updated: 3 hours ago

CALGARY, Alberta -- — Nazem Kadri had two goals and an assist to extend his points streak to six games as the Calgary Flames beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Tuesday night.

 

Jonathan Huberdeau had his first goal with Calgary and Michael Stone also scored as the Flames won for the fifth time in six games.

 

Since signing a seven-year, $49 million deal with Calgary as a free agent after helping Colorado win the Stanley Cup, Kadri jas been making a strong impact on his new team.

 

“It’s been good, for sure,” said Kadri, who leads the team with nine points (four goals, five assists). “Credit to the guys, they’ve made me feel pretty welcomed, and the staff, and everybody in the city of Calgary. It’s always nice getting wins.”

His points streak is the fourth-longest to begin a Flames career. Mel Bridgman (1980-81) holds the record at eight games, and Phil Housley (1994-95) and Sergei Makarov (1989-90) had seven-game runs.

 

“He’s been playing well,” Jonathan Huberdeau said about his fellow newcomer. “Such a good player, he works hard and it’s been working for him. He creates a lot of things on the ice defensively, offensively, and he’s gonna keep going, too.”

 

Evgeni Malkin had the lone goal for the Penguins (4-2-1), who lost consecutive games in regulation in Alberta — 6-3 to Edmonton on Monday — after starting the season with points in their first five games.

 

Sidney Crosby, who entered the night with 11 points in six games, was held pointless in his bid for his 900th career assist.

 

Calgary's Jacob Markstrom, tested twice in the first 18 minutes of the game, finished with 32 stops and improved to 4-0-0.

 

Pittsburgh's Casey DeSmith had 31 saves, falling to 0-1-1.

 

The Flames built a 2-0 lead and held a 20-2 edge in shots before the Penguins pushed back in the final two minutes of the opening period by generating four shots on goal, with Malkin sending a shot off the post.

“They obviously knew we played last night (in Edmonton)," Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. “They tried to establish that heavy forecheck that they have.”

 

With Tristan Jarry getting the night off after playing in Edmonton, Smith was spectacular in keeping the game scoreless until being beaten by Calgary’s 15th shot. Andrew Mangiapane’s centering pass was neatly redirected in by Kadri at 14:11.

Kadri added his second of the game less than four minutes later after a Penguins turnover at the Flames’ blue line. He scored into the top corner for an unassisted goal.

 

“A good start, that’s probably what did it for us,” Kadri said. “We came out hot. I’d like to see us have a better second period, but for the most part, we stayed with it, had a great start and that’s definitely a positive sign.”

Huberdeau made it 3-0 early in the second on the power play. Pittsburgh countered with a power-play goal by Malkin’s at 4:32.

 

The Penguins outshot Calgary 20-4 in the second period, but Stone scored on a slap shot at 11:20, making it 4-1.

 

“Big second period,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter about Markstrom. “We’d miss a scoring chance, they come down with a scoring chance. He probably kept it at a two-goal game.”

 

POULIN’S EVENTFUL DEBUT

 

With Jason Zucker shaken up against the Oilers and Jake Guentzel (upper body) not ready to return, 2019 first-round pick Sam Poulin, 21, made his NHL debut for the Penguins. Called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on Sunday, Poulin centered a line with Brock McGinn and Kasperi Kapanen. He found himself on the scoresheet a couple times. He was in the penalty box for slashing when Huberdeau made it 3-0. Shortly after, he helped set up Malkin’s power-play goal for his first NHL point.

“I thought Sam played well. He brought us a lot of energy,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’re just really encouraged with how far he’s come and how his game is evolving and he’s earned the opportunity to play in this game tonight. I thought he had a strong game.”

 

FAST START

 

The Flames have won five of their first six games for the first time in franchise history. The only other time the team has picked up 10 of 12 points to start the season was 1978-79, when the club was still based in Atlanta. They started that season 4-0-2.

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Game # 7

 

Flames 2 Edm 3

 

McDavid, Hyman score in 3rd, Oilers rally to beat Flames 3-2

 
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0:44
 

Connor McDavid scores goal vs. Flames

Connor McDavid scores goal vs. Flames


Updated: 2 hours ago

CALGARY, Alberta -- — Zach Hyman scored twice, Connor McDavid had a goal and two assists and the Edmonton Oilers rallied to beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 on Saturday night.

 

McDavid tied it 2-all at 9:02 of the third period with his NHL-leading ninth goal and set up Hyman's winner with 7:36 left.

 

“We’re one of the teams out there that can come from behind. We have enough skill and our ability to score goals, we’re confident in that,” Hyman said.

 

“We’re not deterred by a deficit. We don’t like to be down but when we’re down, we have a lot of belief in the locker room that we can get back to even and win the game.”

 

Stuart Skinner made 40 saves to help the Oilers improve to 6-3-0 with their third straight victory.

 

“I thought Stuart Skinner was exactly what I expected him to be — confident,” Edmonton coach Jay Woodcroft said. “I felt good about his ability to come in and help us win the game tonight.”

 

Mikael Backlund and Brett Ritchie scored for Calgary. Jacob Markstrom made 22 saves in his first loss of the season as the Flames dropped to 5-2-0.

 

“We didn’t play bad. A couple bad bounces at the end and, obviously, the best player took advantage,” Calgary left wing Jonathan Huberdeau said.

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Faaak...literally 3 bad bounces are the 3 Edmonton goals...Calgary outplayed then all way into the 3rd...man this loss hurts but still Calgary looks like a good defensively sound Sutter team and improving...no way we lose too Seattle on Tuesday feeling big bounce back game...

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Game # 8

 

Flames 4 Kraken 5

 

Kraken score 3 goals in 3rd period for 1st win over Flames

 

Updated: 2 hours ago

CALGARY, Alberta -- — Daniel Sprong, Yanni Gourde and Matt Beniers scored in a five-minute span of the third period and the Seattle Kraken beat the Calgary Flames 5-4 on Tuesday night.

 

Carson Soucy and Morgan Geekie also scored as the Kraken beat the Flames for the first time. Oliver Bjorkstrand had a pair of assists and Joey Daccord stopped 36 of 40 shots for the win in his first start of the season.

“We’ve got so much more confidence in this group,” Gourde said. “Last year was last year. We know we can rally back and we know we have the skills to do it.”

 

Tyler Toffoli had a goal and an assist for Calgary to reach 400 career points. Nazem Kadri, Nikita Zadorov and Trevor Lewis also scored for the Flames, who led 4-2 early in the third.

 

Elias Lindholm added a pair of assists. Dan Vladar stopped 21 of 26 shots in the loss.

 

“We kept turning the puck over and eventually it was going to bite us,” Toffoli said. “That’s what happened.”

 

Calgary was up 2-1 against Edmonton on Saturday but lost 3-2.

“We’re not happy. We’re an older group and we know good teams don’t do that,” Toffoli said.

 

Calgary scored twice in a 17-second span starting at 1:34 of the third period for a 4-2 lead, but Seattle responded with power-play, short-handed and even-strength goals to pull ahead.

 

“Just finding timely plays and sticking with things, that’s how you come out of these types of games with two points,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said.

 

Beniers scored on an odd-man rush off a feed from Jordan Eberle at 13:26. Gourde stripped Kadri of the puck in the neutral zone for a short-handed breakaway at 11:26. And with Calgary’s Brett Ritchie serving an interference minor, Alex Wennberg at the side of the net fed Sprong for a one-timer at 8:31.

 

“A couple tough breaks that were kind of self-inflicted,” Kadri said. “Having a two-goal lead in the third period, you should be able to close it out, but give them credit. They pushed back.”

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Game # 9

 

Flames 1 NSH 4

 

Forsberg, Duchene lead Predators to 4-1 win over Flames

 

Updated: 2 hours ago

CALGARY, Alberta -- — Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene each had a goal and an assist to lead the Nashville Predators to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

 

Mark Jankowski and Roman Josi also scored for Nashville, which had lost seven of eight (1-6-1) after opening the season with back-to-back wins against San Jose in Prague. Kevin Lankinen made 29 saves.

 

“We played the way we wanted to play,” Forsberg said. “We played with poise with the puck, we were attacking the game and breaking out really well.”

 

Blake Coleman scored his first of the season for Calgary, which has lost three straight after winning five of its first six games. Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves.

 

The Flames last lost three straight in regulation at home from March 29 to April 5, 2021.

 

“We weren’t ready to play, obviously,” Calgary center Elias Lindholm said. “We talked about it and had a couple meetings and practice and stuff like that and still came out flat, no energy, and pretty much did that to ourselves tonight.”

Nashville took control in the opening period, outshooting the Flames 12-3 and carrying the play.

 

Janikowski got the Predators on the scoreboard with 29 seconds left as he took the rebound from a shot by Michael McCarron and snapped it into the back of the net to open the scoring.

 

After Calgary forward Jonathan Huberdeau coughed up the puck, the Flames got caught on a line change as Duchene and Forsberg both ended up behind their defense and Forsberg beat Markstrom over the goalie's shoulder at 59 seconds of the second to make it 2-0.

 

“(Duchene) made a great little tap play to me. I just came off the bench and typical long change that I took advantage of,” Forsberg said.

 

The Predators went on the power play shortly after and only needed 29 seconds to extend their led as Josi scored on a wrist shot from the blue line with Forsberg providing a screen in front.

“Fil had an amazing screen,” Josi said. “Obviously that shot is not going to go in if Fil isn’t screening the goalie. There wasn’t much going on.”

 

Forsberg, who signed a $68 million, eight-year extension in July, has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in the last five games.

 

“Filip’s a great player. He’s one of the drivers of our team on and off the ice,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “Guys didn’t want him to go anywhere. He’s a driver. When he plays the way he played tonight, he gives us a great chance to win.”

 

Calgary eventually spoiled Lankinen’s shutout bid 1:43 into the third when Coleman converted Mikael Backlund’s pass.

 

Duchene's empty-netter with 14 seconds left capped the scoring.

 

“Not good enough. Not enough energy,” Backlund said. “We just didn’t have the jump that I expected and it was all of us and we all know we all have to be better.”

Edited by Brewin Flames
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