Game Takes: Senators 4 Flames 1

November 12th, 2023 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Just not the Flame’s night.

When they had some legs they couldn’t convert on their chances, and as the game rolled on the simply ran out of gas.

Close through two periods, a third period gaff pretty much put the game away, and with it the will of the Flames to push back into it.

A 4-1 loss that makes the trip 0-1-1 with the final game on this trip Tuesday in Montreal.

The Lineup

The Flames are getting healthier again, and with that some decisions up front.

Up front no change to the top three lines; a top line has Elias Lindholm with Johnathan Huberdeau and Andrew Mangiapane fresh off his suspension, no change to the second line with Nazem Kadri with Yegor Sharangovich and Connor Zary, the third line in tact with Mikael Backlund between Martin Pospisil and Blake Coleman, and then a new fourth line with Dillon Dube between Adam Ruzicka and AJ Greer. Walker Duehr with the healthy scratch.

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

Dan Vladar gets the start in goal.

Line Metrics Coming In

Huberdeau – Lindholm – Mangiapane 60.5%
Pospisil – Backlund – Coleman 72.7%
Sharangovich – Kadri – Zary 75.0%
Greer – Dube – Ruzicka NA

Weegar – Andersson 50.0%
Hanifin – Tanev 75.5%
Zadorov – DeSimone 72.4%

Goals Saved + Avg
Markstrom +0.6
Vladar -4.0

Wolf’s Start

Wolf played well.

The team in front of him was gassed making it difficult, but he hung in and little chance on the first three goals that got by him.

If you want to hang a goal on him, it would be the Hamonic goal.

Expected goals against were 3.01 and he gave up four.

Not dominant, but certainly not terrible for his second career start.

Game Flow

Senators get the jump early, spending the first few shifts in the Calgary zone, but the Flames able to keep things to the outside. Wolf gets some early touches to settle in. The middle ten minutes of the period were mostly all Calgary as they forced the issue in the Senator’s zone and were somewhat unlucky not to find the game’s first goal. The Sens go up 1-0 when Joseph tips a shot from the point past Wolf, Wolf with no chance.

The Senators were full money for the first five minutes of the second as they pressed Calgary and had the lion’s share of puck possession. Weegar takes a penalty and the Sens double their lead when a fluky goal gets converted by Bastherson. Calgary digs in and is the better team once again for the middle ten minutes of the period. They’re rewarded when Pospisil makes a great play to chip the puck down the boards, and an even better play to set up Coleman for Calgary’s first goal of the game. Then Calgary gets in penalty trouble and are lucky to escape the period down 2-1.

Calgary with little left in the tank for the third and it showed. The game essentially over on a Nikita Zadorov turn over behind his net, resulting in a tic tac toe goal that once again Wolf had zero chance on. Then Adam Ruzicka loses his stick, and while he’s fetching it former Flame Travis Hamonic wires one home and that’s the ball game.

Odds and Sods

Thought this was Martin Pospisil’s best game of the four he’s played in the show. He was in the right place at the right time to convert two chances for goals in his first three games, but tonight I thought he did more with the puck and created the Coleman goal in the second period. Solid game for Pospisil. … The other rookie, Connor Zary had his points streak halted at four games. Had his chances, but like many of his teammates he wasn’t as good as we’ve seen. … So strange to see Nikita Zadorov doing what he does but after asking for a trade. Just a different feel when you know a player wants out. … Nick DeSimone is growing on me. Nothing flashy about the defenseman, but he gets the job done in a straight forward way. Nothing wrong with that from a third pairing defenseman.

Special Teams

The Flames were the undisciplined of the two teams giving the Senators five powerplay chances, they scored on once.

Calgary comes up empty on all three of their chances.

Edge on special teams to the Senators.

Standings and Record

Just like that a points in three straight streak becomes a two game losing streak as the Flames fail to pick up any points.

The loss drops them a spot in the overall standings as they now sit 30th with a .357 win percentage (tied with the Nashville Predators).

Edmonton finally won tonight, and sit three points back of the Flames.

Counting Stats

Shots: Flames 25 Senators 38
Face Offs: Flames 42% / Senators 58%
Powerplay: Flames 0-3 / Senators 1-5

Fancy Stats

The underlying stats support the notion that Korpisalo was very good early when the Flames had their legs, and probably the difference between a Calgary lead and a one goal Ottawa margin heading to the third. Five on five the Flames had 52% of the shot attempts with period splits of 56%/58% and 38% respectively. In terms of five on five expected goals, the Flames had 61%, and for high danger scoring chances the Flames had 69%, with a 9.4 split.

In all situations the Flames had 48% of the shot attempts, 49% of the expected goals, and 55% of the high danger splits. The all situations expected goal totals came out at 2.86 to 3.01.

Individually the Flames were led by AJ Greer with a xGF% of 84% on the night five on five. He was joined by Blake Coleman and Adam Ruzicka in the 80s. Dillon Dube, Martin Pospisil and Mikael Backlund were all in the 70s. The second line got absolutely owned, with all three of Nazem Kadri, Yegor Sharangovich and Connor Zary putting up 5%. Ouch.

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