3 Takeaways from Flames’ 2-1 Shootout Loss to Canadiens – 12/13/22

While not true for all, the majority of hockey fans tend to find high-scoring affairs more entertaining. That would have left many that saw the box score of the 2-1 shootout affair between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens thinking it may have been a bit of a snooze fest, but anyone who tuned in knows that was far from the case.

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Monday night’s game between these two had a bit of everything, from a fight to some massive hits as well as big saves. In the end, the Canadiens were able to walk away with the shootout victory, but this was one that could have gone either way, as both teams battled all night long. With that said, here are three takeaways from the Flames’ loss.

Flames Forced to Go Without Weegar & Lindholm

Not long before puck drop, the Flames confirmed that both MacKenzie Weegar and Elias Lindholm would be held out of the game due to non-COVID-related illnesses. It goes without saying that it was a massive blow for coach Darryl Sutter’s club, as Weegar logs a ton of minutes on the back end and Lindholm is arguably their best all-around player.

MacKenzie Weegar Calgary Flames
MacKenzie Weegar, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Several stepped up in their absence, as Mikael Backlund took over first-line centerman duties and logged nearly 23 minutes of ice time, while Rasmus Andersson played a ridiculous 31:30 on the back end. Weegar and Lindholm’s absences also allowed both Connor Mackey (who fought Michael Pezzetta in the first) to draw back into the lineup.

Allen Shuts the Door Once Again

This game marked both the second time this season as well as the second time this month that these two teams met, with the Habs also winning the first contest by a 2-1 final. In that game, Jake Allen was spectacular between the pipes, kicking aside 45 of the 46 shots he faced. While he wasn’t tested to that degree on Monday, he was once again fantastic for his team.

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By the time the horn sounded to end overtime, Allen had stopped 34 of the 35 shots fired his way. It wasn’t as if these were all routine saves, either, as he had to be sharp on a number of great Flames opportunities.

While Allen was able to pick up the win, it should be noted that Jacob Markstrom was superb as well, controlling nearly every shot fired his way and making a number of great stops. He stopped 37 of the 38 shots he faced, marking his second solid start in a row. Perhaps this is a sign of him turning things around after a slow start to the season, something his team could certainly use.

Tanev Forced to Leave with Injury

Back when the Flames signed Chris Tanev to a four-year, $18 million deal, the one concern was his ability to stay healthy. While he was able to suit up in every regular season game in his first two seasons in Calgary, he was limited to just eight playoff games last spring, and came into Monday night’s contest having played in just 24 of the Flames’ 29 games. Of course, this is to no fault of his own but is a true testament to the fearless and warrior-like mentality he brings each and every shift.

Chris Tanev Calgary Flames
Chris Tanev, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Unfortunately, that style resulted in an injury once again in this game, this one being very scary. The veteran defenseman, as he has done so many times throughout his career, put his body down in front of a shot on the penalty kill from Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki, which appeared to hit him in the neck. He remained down on the ice for some time before being assisted back to the bench by the training staff. He immediately went down the tunnel and did not return.

As scary as the injury looked at the time, there was some positive news after the game. As per the Flames’ official Twitter account, all tests at the local hospital came back negative, and Tanev was cleared to travel back home with his teammates.

Up Next for the Flames

While the single point on Monday (Dec. 12) did move the Flames back into the second and final wild card position in the Western Conference for a brief moment, the Minnesota Wild were able to defeat the Edmonton Oilers later in the evening to pull back ahead. As a result, the Flames, who own a 13-11-5 record on the year, now sit one point shy of both the Wild and their provincial rival for that final spot. They will have a chance to put themselves back into the mix on Wednesday night in a home tilt against the Vancouver Canucks.

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