The hockey game on Tuesday night between the Calgary Flames and Arizona Coyotes initially felt like a slog for the first two periods. The match lacked flow, opportunities, and overall energy and emotion. However, the Flames came alive midway through the third period, injecting excitement into both the game and the crowd, ultimately leading to an entertaining finish.
Despite facing a 2-0 deficit in the third period, the Flames mounted a spirited comeback, eventually triumphing over the Coyotes in overtime with a final score of 3-2. The turnaround injected newfound energy into the contest, providing an unexpected twist and delivering an engaging conclusion for both the players and the spectators.
The initial 20 minutes of the game featured relatively low event, low-scoring, and somewhat sluggish hockey. In fairness to both teams, it was the first game for either side since Saturday, and neither managed to score during this opening period.
The most noteworthy incident in the first period involved Coyotes defender Michael Kesselring. He cross-checked Connor Zary into Coyotes netminder Connor Ingram and, subsequently, cross-checked Zary again while he was down on the ice. Despite this, the first period concluded without either team finding the back of the net. The shots at the end of the period were 7-3 in favor of the Flames (2-2 at five-on-five). According to Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 3-2 in favor of the Flames, with high-danger chances tied at 1-1.
The deadlock was broken midway through the second period when, amidst a bit of chaos in the Flames’ zone, the Coyotes capitalized on a broken play. Sean Durzi decided to launch the puck towards the net, and as it wobbled in, it deflected off Noah Hanifin, who was engaged with a Coyotes attacker in front of the net. This goal gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead over the Flames.
The Flames encountered a few near misses, with one of their strongest even-strength scoring opportunities coming from A.J. Greer’s shot during an odd-man rush, easily gloved by Ingram. However, their offensive efforts were not particularly formidable.
In the second period, shots were even at 10-10 (5-5 at five-on-five), but the Coyotes took control of the scoring chances at 7-3 (with a 3-0 lead in high-danger chances).
While the Coyotes failed to capitalize on an early third-period power play, they found success immediately after the expiration of the Flames’ penalty, extending their lead to 2-0 with Logan Cooley redirecting a feed from Durzi.
The Flames, however, mounted a rapid comeback with two goals just 63 seconds apart. Rasmus Andersson initiated a cycle play in the Coyotes zone, leading to Blake Coleman redirecting a crisp pass past Ingram to narrow the lead to 2-1. On the subsequent shift, Pospisil maneuvered past a Coyotes defender, delivering a one-handed pass to the net-front where Nazem Kadri chipped it past Ingram, tying the game at 2-2.
In the third period, shots favored the Coyotes at 12-9 (11-9 at five-on-five), and the scoring chances were 10-6 in their favor (with a 6-3 lead in high-danger chances). The game progressed to overtime, with the Coyotes eventually taking a too many men bench minor penalty with 1:57 left. Yegor Sharangovich fired a wrist shot under the crossbar and just over Ingram’s shoulder, securing a 3-2 victory for the Flames.
Why the Flames won?
Both teams struggled in the first two periods, with neither showcasing exceptional performance. It was a game marked by both sides grappling with their gameplay. However, the Flames found their footing in the third period, turning things around and rescuing the match. Whatever hindered their precision in passing and overall energy seemed to dissipate 47 minutes into the game, allowing them to overcome the challenges and regain control.