Game Takes: Flames 4 Kraken 3 (OT)

November 20th, 2023 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The just keep rolling.

A stinky second period looked like a death knell to the team after 40 with the Kraken up and the Flames looking almost disinterested.

But then they throw everything but the kitchen sink at the Kraken in the third period, tying it up late on an Andrew Mangiapane milestone goal, and then winning it when Rasmus Andersson scored the game winner to complete a three point night.

The win keeps the Flames perfect in Seattle, and gives them a 5-1-2 record in their last eight.

And don’t look now … they’re getting pretty close to a playoff spot and Thanksgiving is still a few days away.

The Lineup

Another solid game for Calgary against the Islanders, but we some change after the overtime loss.

Up front it’s Walker Duehr in for Adam Ruzicka, who had a miserable game against the Islanders. The changes effect two lines; Elias Lindholm with Andrew Mangiapane and Yegor Sharangovich. No change to the second line; Mikael Backlund with Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman, or third line Nazem Kadri with Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil and then a tweak to the fourth line Dillon Dube between with AJ Greer and Walker Duehr.

On the blueline its Mackenzie Weegar with Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin with Chris Tanev, and Nikita Zadorov with Nick DeSimone.

A change in the nets as well as Dan Vladar gets the start over Jacob Markstrom.

Line Metrics Coming In

Mangiapane – Lindholm – Sharangovich NA
Huberdeau – Backlund – Coleman 46.3%
Zary – Kadri – Pospisil 78.3%
Greer – Dube – Duehr NA

Weegar – Andersson 53.5%
Hanifin – Tanev 62.6%
Zadorov – DeSimone 58.8%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +2.9
Vladar -4.9
Wolf -1.1

Trend Tracker

With Jonathan Huberdeau showing signs of improvement, here’s an interesting dive into his stats this season vs the run of four point per game seasons in Florida.

First five on five …

Florida 2.62
This Year 1.62

Florida 7.4
This Year 5.4

But when it comes to individual expected goals (0.69 to 0.86), individual scoring chances (7.3 vs 7.0) and individual high danger (3.35 vs 3.25) he’s actually pretty close.

He really made hay in Florida on the powerplay.

Florida 7.1
This Year 2.3

Florida 10.1
This Year 6.8

Individual Expected Goals /60
Florida 1.26
This Year 0.71

Individual scoring chances /60
Florida 9.75
This Year 7.90

Individual high danger /60
Florida 3.17
This Year 1.12

Have to wonder if Calgary had a more effective powerplay this year if we wouldn’t be having the same discussion.

Vladar’s Start

Overall I thought Dan Vladar had a solid start in Seattle.

I didn’t like his first goal, but he was unlucky on the two he gave up in the second, and it could have been much worse if not for his strong play. Seattle had seven high danger chances in the second period alone. It could have been over.

Huberdeau Coming

Did Jonathan Huberdeau dominate the game?

Not even close.

But it’s coming.

Passes were on the tape, he scored a goal on a second period powerplay, and he threw his weight around. With some luck he could have had a three or four point night with the number of times he put teammates into shooting situations.

You can see the ice melting and confidence growing.

Mangiapane Goal 100

Andrew Mangiapane has been milestone hunting for two weeks now, but finally broke through tonight.

And it was a big one.

Mangiapane takes a puck off the mid section late in the third period and steers it into the empty net to tie the hockey game and score his 100th NHL goal.

Not bad for a tiny 6th rounder!

Game Flow

Calgary scores early, essentially on the first shift with the Backlund line gaining the zone and getting the Kraken running around, before facilitating a change while the cycle was in place. The second line over the boards hits the twine when Elias Lindholm takes a pass from Rasmus Andersson and beats Grubaurer. The Kraken tie it up a few minutes later when Dunn beats Vladar from the point, one that Vladar would likely wish to have back. Calgary goes back up again on a powerplay when Jonathan Huberdeau beats Grubaurer through a screen. First period ends 2-1 Calgary, the Kraken with the lion’s share of the zone time, but Calgary with the better chances.

The second period starts well for Calgary with a few chances, but then the Kraken steal the game away when it comes territorial pressure with Vladar holding fort or the game could easily have flipped. His best save early a point blank rob job on Beniers as a powerplay expires. Then Vladar gets unlucky with back to back Seattle goals that were more fortunate than high skill. First a weak back hander from Eberle gets through his pads, then a deft tip from McCann floats over the Calgary goaltender. He stopped all the tough ones, but had little luck on the dribblers. Seattle up 3-2 after two.

Calgary with a pride push in the third period, playing a much better twenty minutes than the debacle that was the second. Neither team did much to create clear cut scoring chances though as it was more a chip in and chip out period overall. Calgary continues to push through the middle of the period, generating a late powerplay that does everything but score the game tying goal. Soon after the Flames do find that comeback tally when Andrew Mangiapane hits the twine for his 100th career goal.

Calgary’s overtime was pretty clunky with the Kadri line getting stuck on the ice for almost two minutes at one point. But they win it with a late chance, Rasmus Andersson doing most of the work on his goal.

Odds and Sods

Not sure any of those first period goals would be ones the goaltenders would be happy with. Three first period goals none on blue chip chances, the last one through a screen however. … Not sure if the Kraken changed goaltenders because of injury or because of Grubaurer looking less than sharp in the first period. Either way Daccord came in to start the second. Grubaurer was on the bench. … Not a good second period for the Flames, they spent way too much time in their own zone and gave up too much by way of ten bell chances.  … Walker Duehr may have been back in the lineup after sitting out five straight, but he didn’t see a lot of ice with only six minutes of ice time. … What a crazy rink for bounces off the stanchions. We saw about a half dozen plays greatly affected by board/glass rims. … Nice to see so much youth on the Calgary powerplay these days as we saw shifts from Zary, Pospisil and Sharangovich with the game on the line. Sharangovich with his left shot oppositie side one timer could be a weapon going forward. He was stoned by Daccord late in the third for a game tying attempt. … Didn’t look likely but the Flames keep their perfect record in Seattle in tact, winning their sixth of six games in Seattle all time.

Special Teams

Flames finally score a powerplay goal, so there’s that!

The Flames win the special team battle scoring once on their two chances and killing off both the Kraken opportunities, at least officially. The Kraken scored as a second period powerplay expired.

Step in the right direction I suppose.

Standings and Record

Big win for the Flames, especially with being down a goal heading to the third.

That now makes them 5-1-2 in their last eight as they continue to zero in on a playoff spot.

Calgary now sits 7-8-3 for 17 games and are only two points behind the Kraken for the final playoff spot in the West with two games in hand. The more likely target is Anaheim who is .500 and a point up with even games played.

And Edmonton loses again. Forget making the playoffs, Edmonton could soon have the Flames out of reach for the season as they are now seven points behind the Flames with a game in hand.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 31 Kraken 31
Face Offs: Flames 44% / Kraken 56%
Powerplay: Flames 1-2 / Kraken 0-2

Fancy Stats

Seattle had the territorial advantage for most of the night, but seemingly sat on their lead in the third period and were made to pay with a dominant third period from the Flames. Five on five the Flames had 42% of the shot attempts with period splits of 37%/27% and 63% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 48%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 50%, with a 8-8 split.

In all situations the Flames had 46% of the shot attempts, 53% of the expected goals, and 52% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.73 to 2.42.

Individually the Flames were led by Connor Zary posting a xGF% of 64% on the night five on five. He was joined above 60% by Andrew Mangiapane at 63%. Martin Pospisil was a hair under 60%. Walker Duehr and AJ Greer were at the bottom of the pile with 20% and 25% respectively.

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