7 5 – Panthers 2
The first period looked a little shaky. Florida seem to control most of the play and got on board first. in fact, both goals by Trochek were spitting images of each other going top glove side on Chad Johnson. Calgary has had significant problems generating offence even strength, relying too heavily on their power-play unit. That didn’t seem to be changing through one period; the only lineup change was on the fourth with Hathaway out for Hamilton.
But then the second period came and special teams stood tall
The second powerplay unit was doing all the damage (as Gaudreau and Monahan struggle to find their scoring touch.) Giordano scored to tie the game on their first man advantage. Then it was the so-called ‘third line’ that struck on the power-play, Mikael Backlund continuing his team leading ways with 13th goal of the year. 13 seconds later, Backlund again, with his 14th. Assisting on both goals Matthew Tkachuck (who drew two penalties and now sits 8 points behind Matthews for the rookie scoring race.)
That essentially sealed the deal for the Flames who dominated the rest of the game as the Panthers fell off the map.
Some additional thoughts. Two successful coaching challenges for Florida that took two goals away from the Flames, both scored by the 4th line. That line looked strong with Lance Bouma playing perhaps his best game of the season. Sam Bennett on the other hand continues to struggle, taking cue from Monahan. He was in the box yet again for two minors, and is having a tough time generating offence with Gaudreau and ‘Stone Hands’ Chiasson.
Next up Nashville at home Thursday and then Oilers Saturday.