Well, you can only do so much when you hand the opposing team six chances on the power play.
The Minnesota Wild found that out in a painful way, as the Calgary Flames come storming back from a two-goal deficit and score three goals in short order thanks to some dumb penalties taken by the Wild, and claim the eventual 5-3 victory.
For the Wild, Mason Shaw, Connor Dewar, and Jon Merrill led the way in scoring with two points each — you can tell it was one of those kind of games when the depth players lead the team in scoring. In between the pipes, Marc-Andre Fleury did as much as he could, but still doesn’t look too good after saving 22 of the 26 shots he faced.
Well, it was a journey.
On the road, you always want to get some statement scoring chances out of the way and only some teams could even dream of start a game like the Wild managed to tonight in Calgary. Just 87 seconds into the game, Kirill Kaprizov scored his 17th goal of his season on a stick-breaking deflection.
What a way to establish some new Wild franchise records. With his seventh consecutive game with a goal and 13th consecutive game with a point, Kaprizov is now the franchise leader in both point and goal streaks. Wowza!
And the dream continued. Mason Shaw teamed up with best buddy Connor Dewar on a 2-on-1 and converted it for the second goal of the game, just two minutes and 25 seconds into the entire game.
It’s always good to see a partnership blossom on the big stage. Dewar and Shaw have been motoring all along since the latter made the team with a full-time role and it’s nice that they’re slowly getting more and more rewarded with numbers on the stat sheet.
As the first period rolled on, the Wild kept on trying to pepper away and put this game to rest within the first several minutes, but unfortunately, some special team foreshadowing had to take place.
In the final half of the first period, the Wild took some unfortunate penalties and the Flames had a whole lot of opportunities to get back into this game, and all thanks to their opposition. Minnesota kept on shooting itself in the foot, finding players in the box and that almost completely halted any momentum that scoring two goals in the first three minutes of the game could have created.
Thanks to a third penalty taken (without getting any power plays themselves) in the first period that carried over to the start of the second, the Flames started an onslaught of scoring.
Nazem Kadri scored just 16 seconds into the middle frame, and then with that confidence, the Flames tied the game just 81 seconds later thanks to Blake Coleman. And then they took another damn penalty. So, of course, Tyler Toffoli made the Wild pay and start losing the game.
Siri, play Holding Out For A Hero!! pic.twitter.com/EF5xGhqYh7— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) December 8, 2022
Three minutes and 11 seconds into the second period, the Wild went from leading 2-0 to losing 3-2; and mostly by their own accord.
Thanks to that bombardment of goals, it threw the Wild completely off and the home team took over. Minnesota even got its own slate of power play opportunities in the second period, but they looked disengaged and in shambles for most of that time.
They started to gain some advantage in the raw number of scoring chances through the rest of the second period and into the beginning of the third period, but just nothing would budge and the Wild could certainly feel how badly they fumbled it in those three minutes prior.
After a long drought without a clear-cut scoring chance, and just poking at the Flames — oh my goodness, they tied it up! The Wild scored a tying goal thanks to Jon Merrill getting his first of the season.
And before the celebration around Minnesota had time to relax once more and not stop praising this team for not giving up; well, the Flames scored and lead once again.
Rasmus Andersson scores with just over four minutes left and that kills the entire game. An empty-net goal just further quiets the Wild as they take their first lost of the four-game road trip. Next, they head up a little north and face the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Maybe they can squash them like they did in St. Paul and make us feel better.
Sorry for the repeated softball, but Kirill Kaprizov point streak watch: where we at?
Oh, you know he got there. With Kaprizov’s game-opening goal made it seven in a row with a goal and 13 in a row with a point. Both of those are new Wild franchise records, so of course Kirill managed to get it and put his name in the record books once again.
Oh Boldy, wherefore art thou, Matt Boldy?
Boldy had another night with zero points. Was a minus-1, took four shots on goal and had below-average underlying 5-on-5 numbers in 18:59 TOI. Not a whole lot going on there right now and we feel fine blaming it on him playing with Frederick Gaudreau and Nic Petan. But I’ll not be so, so negative.
Can Minnesota play a consistent 60 minutes of hockey?
Hell no! They started out so well that we thought this could just be a game we watch passively and enjoy a nice and clean victory. But going up so early gave the Flames the fire (sorry) to come back and eventually claim the two points. A very bad and inconsistent game that was basically ruined by bad play in front of the net and taking really untimely penalties.