DRA­MATIC OT WIN

Flames come from be­hind

Calgary Herald - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS­TEN AN­DER­SON kan­der­[email protected]­media.com www.twit­ter.com/KDotAn­der­son

FLAMES 6, FLY­ERS 5 (OT)

The Cal­gary Flames have a flair for dra­mat­ics.

Just when it looked like Wednes­day’s clash against the Philadel­phia Fly­ers was over, that the lo­cals would lose this one by a 5-3 count, they came alive.

First came Ras­mus An­der­s­son’s first Na­tional Hockey League goal with 1:08 left in reg­u­la­tion time — a su­perb slap­per that ig­nited the Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome crowd. That nar­rowed the Fly­ers’ lead to a sin­gle goal.

Then, with 7.0 sec­onds left on the clock, Sean Mon­a­han pot­ted his 20th marker of the sea­son to tie it at 5-5 and send the game into over­time.

At that point, you knew what was com­ing.

All it took was David Rit­tich’s mas­sive back­hand save on Ivan Provorov fol­lowed by Johnny Gau­dreau’s game win­ner with only 35 sec­onds elapsed in the ex­tra frame.

Just the way Bill Peters drew it up?

“I don’t think I’ve been part of some­thing like that,” said the Flames head coach, shak­ing his head. “Not that I re­mem­ber, any­ways. Ex­cit­ing game. Good for the fans. The fans were great. The fans in the build­ing gave us a lit­tle bit of juice. I didn’t think we had a lot early.

“Then, once we got go­ing a lit­tle bit and the place got loud, it helped us.”

It was an in­ter­est­ing turn of events, con­sid­er­ing the talk un­til that point had been how Flames start­ing goalie Mike Smith had strug­gled, al­low­ing four goals on five shots in the sec­ond pe­riod. The 36-year-old didn’t re­turn for the third pe­riod and Rit­tich re­lieved him.

Smith wasn’t on the bench for the third pe­riod af­ter Peters re­ceived word that “he wasn’t right.”

“Rit­ter went in and did a good job,” said Peters.

In the end, the Flames im­proved to 20-10-2, bounc­ing back from Sun­day’s 1-0 loss to the Oil­ers to move back into the West­ern Con­fer­ence lead.

Af­ter two pe­ri­ods, the Flames trailed 4-2 and things weren’t go­ing well. That con­tin­ued in the third pe­riod when Sean Cou­turier beat Rit­tich glove side to make it 5-2 on a short-handed break­away.

Mean­while, the Flames were blanked on four power plays. But things change quickly. “We were all around the net in the third pe­riod there, in­clud­ing the power plays, couldn’t find the net there but we found a way,” Gau­dreau said. “Nice point shot from Ras­mus, great screen in front from Chucky and a cou­ple other guys. Then a huge play by Chucky on the wall to Monny in front to tie the game up.

“It took all 60 min­utes, but it was a good ef­fort in the third. We didn’t play our best hockey in the first and sec­ond, but we stuck with it and found a way to play a lit­tle bit harder in the third and get the two points.” Let’s rewind the tape.

The sec­ond pe­riod saw Philly’s Claude Giroux cap­i­tal­ize on a turnover, head­ing up ice and spot­ting Travis San­heim on the rush. The for­mer Cal­gary Hit­men blue­liner beat a sprawl­ing Smith on his back­hand with 52 sec­onds elapsed.

The Flames re­sponded when Mark Gior­dano, play­ing his first game back af­ter a two-game sus­pen­sion, ripped a short-handed blast past Fly­ers goalie An­thony Sto­larz to put Cal­gary ahead 2-1.

But just as they were an­nounc­ing the cap­tain’s goal, James van Riems­dyk bat­ted in a rebound to tie it again at 2-2.

Thirty-two sec­onds later, Cou­turier put the Fly­ers ahead 3-2 with a back­hand tip.

Then, 1:16 af­ter that, Dale Weise pot­ted Philadel­phia’s fourth marker.

“They had way too many odd­man rushes for our lik­ing,” Peters said. “We knew that as a team. For some rea­son, we couldn’t put an end to it. We knew what the prob­lem was and didn’t quite get it ad­dressed the way we would have liked.”

Mon­a­han made it a one-goal game on a power play at the 10:13 mark of the sec­ond pe­riod.

But goal­tend­ing some­what de­railed the Flames when Smith al­lowed four goals on 14 shots.

But, by pum­melling Philly’s Sto­larz with 41 shot at­tempts in the end, the Flames got the job done.

Now the Flames head out on a road trip to Min­nesota, St. Louis and Dal­las.

CLOSE CALL

The Flames got a scare late in the first pe­riod when Gau­dreau left the ice af­ter tum­bling to the ice, try­ing to avoid Radko Gu­das. Gau­dreau headed to the dress­ing room im­me­di­ately while Tkachuk took his spot on the top line with Mon­a­han and Lind­holm on the next shift.

Mean­while, call-up Alan Quine filled in for Gau­dreau briefly on Cal­gary’s first unit power play at the end of the pe­riod.

“I’m not sure if a stick caught my skate or I lost an edge,” said Gau­dreau, who re­turned to start the sec­ond pe­riod. “I went down as he was hit­ting me. It’s just the way it hap­pened . ... I thought I cut my eye at first. That’s why I was hold­ing my face … I was kind of for­tu­nate there.”

GAVIN YOUNG

Johnny Gau­dreau whoops it up af­ter scor­ing in over­time to give the Flames a 6-5 win over the Philadel­phia Fly­ers on Wednes­day night at the Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome.

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