Flames Losing Crucial Points Due to Overtime Struggles

Tuesday night’s loss to the St. Louis Blues was a very frustrating one for the Calgary Flames. Heading into the third period with a two-goal lead, they appeared to be heading toward their 20th win of the season. Instead, goals from Nikita Alexandrov and Jordan Kyrou less than 30 seconds apart early in the third period tied the game up, and eventually, the Blues were able to walk away with a 4-3 win thanks to an overtime tally from Robert Thomas.

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With the loss, the Flames have lost three of their past four outings. One of those losses included an overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks, a team who currently sits dead last in league standings. While losing both of their past games are frustrating enough on its own, one thing that has become particularly alarming with this club has been their inability to come up with wins in extra time, something head coach Darryl Sutter has become extremely frustrated with.

Sutter Irritated By Overtime Struggles

Tuesday’s loss to the Blues marked the sixth time the Flames have fallen in overtime this season. That number is relatively high for an entire 82-game schedule, let alone the 42 the Flames have played so far. To no surprise, those six overtime losses lead the entire NHL and are rather shocking, given the talent on this roster.

Jonathan Huberdeau Calgary Flames
Jonathan Huberdeau, Calgary Flames (Photo by Brett Holmes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The culprit in the extra frame loss to the Blues was Jonathan Huberdeau, who has had his fair share of head-scratching moments during three-on-three play this season. In this particular instance, he lost the puck while cutting to the Blues’ net, which sent Kyrou and Thomas in alone on a two-on-one, and they made no mistake.

“Huberdeau turned the puck over cutting to the net,” Sutter said when asked postgame what happened on the overtime winner. “Ras (Rasmus Andersson) would probably prefer to be in the middle of the ice.”

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It was clear that the Flames’ bench boss was in a testy mood afterward, and one can’t blame him. Even with the single point, his club remains five points behind the Seattle Kraken for third in the Pacific Division, proving just how crucial losing six points so far in overtime, along with another three in the shootout, has been. After Tuesday’s defeat, Sutter offered up a simple explanation as to why his team has struggled in overtime in 2022-23.

“To score, you’ve got to have possession, and you can’t turn pucks over,” Sutter said when asked about those struggles. “Yeah, there is a pattern. We’ve scored one, won one and lost eight. That’s the pattern.”

That said, Sutter’s frustration was with plenty more than just Huberdeau. He made it clear he wasn’t a fan of Jacob Markstrom’s rebound that gave the Blues their second goal of the evening early into the final frame. He also voiced his displeasure with Nazem Kadri’s line, who happened to be on the ice for all three goals against in regulation.

Darryl Sutter Calgary Flames
Darryl Sutter, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But despite some moments of frustration, the Flames did play a relatively good game on Tuesday night and deserved a better fate. That said, they shot themselves in the foot, blowing a two-goal lead and, for whatever reason, continuing their overtime struggles. In order to get themselves back into a top-three spot in the Pacific Division, they will need to find a way to improve their overtime play.

Revenge Game Upcoming

Given the fact they had two points stolen from them on Tuesday night, you can bet each and every member of this Flames team is extremely frustrated. The good news for them in that regard is that they have a chance to exact revenge, as they play the Blues once again today. It is a huge game as far as the standings are concerned, as the Blues currently sit just two points shy of the Flames for a wild card position. This time around, Sutter’s squad will need to be sure not to let their foot off the gas if they are again able to jump out to an early lead.

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