Game Takes: Stars 6 Flames 5 (OT)

March 18th, 2023 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

You know when the Flames and Stars play it will be a tight, low scoring game featuring all world goaltending.

Last year.

This year it’s 31 goals in three games between the two clubs including tonight’s 11 goal, 6-5 Dallas overtime victory in Calgary.

The Flames were down 2-0 just two minutes into the game, and 3-1 after 20 minutes but fought back to take two leads before falling in overtime.

In a regular hockey game, the point would have been a good story, but the Flames need the points badly and gaining one, while better than none, is a tough pill to swallow.

Next up back to back games in the LA area against the Kings and Ducks.

Tick … tick … tick.

The Lineup

If you like change, this is your night!

Both the game in Vegas on Thursday night and tonight’s lineup against the Stars is chalk full of upheaval; at least up front.

Elias Lindholm centers the first line with Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane, Mikael Backlund with Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman, Nazem Kadri with Dillon Dube and Walker Duehr, and finally Adam Ruzicka with Nick Ritchie and Trevor Lewis. Essentially four new lines.

On the blueline it’s status quo; Noah Hanifin with Chris Tanev, Mackenzie Weegar with Rasmus Andersson, and Nikita Zadorov with Troy Stecher.

In goal it’s back to Jacob Markstrom for his 5th straight start.

Line Metrics Coming In

Mangiapane – Lindholm – Toffoli 97.4% (10 min)
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman 54.2% (65 min)
Dube – Kadri – Duehr NA
Ritchie – Ruzicka – Lewis NA

Hanifin – Tanev 66.6%
Weegar – Andersson 61.0%
Zadorov – Stecher 48.3%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +2.6
Vladar -7.8

Trend Tracker:

Some five on five team updates.

Flames are ranked 7th in xGF%, 7th in xGF60, 3rd in xGA60.

They’re improving in high danger, now sitting 13th in HD%. 17th in HD for and 4th in HD against.

They sit 27th in team shooting percentage and 28th in team save percentage for a five on five PDO of 30th.

Terrible Start

So one team is on game six of a six game road trip, the other team simply needs the points.

Yet it’s the latter team that comes out completely unprepared and spots the visitors a quick 2-0 lead in a game they must have.

The second goal was off the skate of the referee setting up a down low two on one, which is unfortunate luck. But they were honestly lucky to only be down 3-1 after 20 with all the turnovers, lousy line changes and break downs.

Calgary gives up eight high danger chances in the first period in all situations.

Simply not good enough.

Points for Bouncing Back!

Much better second period for the Flames as they erase the Dallas two goal lead, and even take a lead of their own before the Stars tie it up late in the period 4-4-4.

Calgary’s three second period goals come from Mackenzie Weegar, Blake Coleman and Nick Ritchie.

Calgary answers the eight Dallas first period high danger chances with six of their own in the second.

Expected goals in all situations were essentially tied up through 40.


Four more goal posts in the game for Calgary (Dallas had one as well), with two of them being the very inside of the post.

Lots of discussion about luck and how much you can use luck as an excuse for a hockey season, but there’s little doubt that the posts have been a story this year.

Lewis in the first period has a puck go post then cross bar and out.

Mikael Backlund in the second very inside and across the crease.

Then Rasmus Andersson in the overtime period.

Quite the story.

Markstrom Start

Well six against … but he got a point.

The Flames were sloppy, especially early, stabled things down a bit towards the middle of the game.

He made a lot of solid saves, but giving up six in a hockey game it’s pretty hard to call it a solid night for either goaltender.

Final, all situations expected goals finished 3.45 to 3.15 for the Flames.

At least they solved Oettinger!

Odds and Sods

What a pass by Rasmus Andersson to Nick Ritchie in the second period. A bit of a turnover, puck in his feet, but he looks up and puts it on the tape of Ritchie behind coverage. Great pass. … Pretty energetic overtime period with some interesting hockey. Of late the Flames have sort of bumbled their way to overtime losses, but tonight they had their looks. …. The Flames, and certainly Jacob Markstrom, was looking for a goalie interference call in the overtime period. Didn’t go their way, and honestly think that was the right call. Didn’t see much. … Amazing how goal support changes the narrative. If Jacob Markstrom gave up five goals on 20 some shots and the Flames lose 5-2 he’d be the story. Calgary scores five and it’s not even being discussed on the telecast.

Special Teams

A total of four powerplay opportunities between the two teams, and no powerplay goals.

The Stars are blanked on three chances, the Flames one, so pretty easy to say Calgary gets the edge in special teams on the night.

Digging deeper, there was only one high danger chance in the game on the powerplay, that chance from the Stars.

Standings and Record

Not a great day for the Flames.

The Predators/Jets game goes to overtime giving both clubs points with the Jets winning in extra time. The Flames of course only getting the one point in an overtime loss.

Keep pace with the Predators, lose a point to Winnipeg and gain a point on the Krakken who were beaten by the Oilers.

Still four points back of the Jets, as the primary target with even games played.

Keeping pace, but not gaining.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 38 Stars 26
Face Offs: Flames 58% / Stars 42%
Powerplay: Flames 0-1 / Stars 0-3

Fancy Stats

The Flames had a terrible start to the game, with the first ten minutes all Dallas and the Flames very luck to have a game left worth playing. They stabilized the rest of the first period, and then pretty much took the game over, coming back and taking two late leads, but falling short. The numbers reflect that. Five on five the Flames had 57% of the shot attempts with period splits of 43%/71% and 53% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 55%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 48%, with a 11-12 split.

In all situations the Flames had 57x% of the shot attempts, 52% of the expected goals, and 48% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 3.45 to 3.15.

Individually the Flames were led by Mackenzie Weegar, posting an xGF% of 86% on the night five on five. Tyler Toffoli was next up in the 70s, Chris Tanev, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane were all in the 60s. Walker Duehr was at the bottom of the pile under 30%.

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