Four days earlier Calgary fans were quite enjoying the contrast between the booted-out-of-their-own-bubble Oilers and the surprisingly fabulous Flames being led by former Edmonton goaltender Cam Talbot.
Calgary was 15 seconds away from taking a three-games-to-one series lead over the Dallas Stars when they ended up in overtime and lost the game.
Thursday, the Flames became the first team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs to be ahead by three goals and then behind by four in the same game.
From Calgary’s trip to the final in 2004 to defeating Vancouver in the opening round in 2015, it was a steady stream of one-and-done for the Flameouts. In 2016, the Flames missed the playoffs. They were swept by Anaheim in 2017, missed again in 2018 and were out in five to Colorado last year.
On what the team learns from playing against Dallas:
I think what we learned is you’re playing against a team that knows how to make it hard on you defensively. You can’t spot them a lead just because you make it even harder. That’s a real tough team to play against when you’re chasing a game. It was the opposite when we were down in Dallas, we played with the lead virtually the whole game, all the way through and they had to open up, so we had lots of chances, lots of good things happening for us. It was a much different hockey game. We spot them the lead here really at the start of every period, spot them goals like, and it’s going to make it real tough.
On his level of concern with the team taking four minor penalties tonight:
Concerned about it. The Marner call, if we were to go back and pull out the video, I think we would could call that penalty 30 times in the game both ways. For some reason, that one was selected. Funny things that happened, I thought we could have been on the power play more than we were, but that’s not the difference in the game.
On Johnsson’s status:
We’ll know more tomorrow, but it’s a knee injury and it’s not going to be short term.
On if the goals against early in periods is a focus issue or the way the game played out:
I think it’s the kind of the way the game went. I thought we started the game pretty well in terms of our ability to have the puck and be in control. We were a little bit casual on the one, don’t get a stick on it and they get in behind us and then it’s in the net. Is it a focus thing? An execution thing? We’ve got to be a lot sharper. We had all the numbers; we were in full control of it. We just need to take care of it.
On how to prevent mixups when the team wants to play fast vs. focus on building up possession:
I think part of it is a symptom of what’s happening in the game. You give a team like them a lead and after that point they’re really not trying to score much. They’re going to be in their structure the entire time. When that’s the case, it’s a real balance. Sometimes you want to go real fast, but you’re going real fast into a wall. So, you want to make sure you’re organized and then you get impatient. To me it’s just a symptom of the way the game goes and it’s going to happen. That’s how they’re trying to play as a team, it’s going to be an issue for us, at times. It’s even harder when a team is going to sit back and play in its structure like they do.
On if he expects to see more defensive play like Dallas as the team gets closer to the postseason:
I think it will depend on who we play. I don’t think it’s the kind of thing you flip a switch and do overnight. That team has been committed to it all season, they’re doing that as good or better than anybody in the League. Like I said, it’s a much different hockey game down in Dallas when we get the lead and the game is way different. We spot them a lead here, they’re on the road, that makes it a real hard game. Obviously, I thought Clifford got his fight and the emotion and energy level of the game changed significantly, players responded very well, and we started to come. That didn’t last long enough for us, we didn’t get an even-strength goal. It was a bail bond power play goal we got and then we’re coming, trying to push to start the third and now you’re shorthanded before you know it. They win a faceoff, don’t get an exit and it’s in your net. That’s it. You can’t spot a team like that goals.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (16 SAVES)
On facing Dallas and getting back into game action:
They came pretty hard on those turnovers, but that’s their game. I felt good. I would have liked to come up with a couple of saves early on in those two periods, especially, even in the third. Obviously, would have been nice to come out with a win.
On the challenge of the Stars’ style of play:
They have their structure and they stick to it through the game. Them getting a lead is huge for their style of play and they just try to shut ‘er down and make the best of their opportunities. That’s really what happened today.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL)
On tonight’s loss:
Yeah, they came out really fast. Just a couple of careless plays in both periods and they got behind us there with their speed and their skill and they were able to capitalize. Obviously, that’s an area of concern and something we’d like to clean up because everything is starting to amp up, it’s something that’s extremely important and we’ve been struggling with throughout the year.
On what makes it difficult to score against Dallas:
They just play a really structured game; they don’t really give you much. They’re a patient team, they wait on their chances. They just all kind of fall inside, they’ve got a good neutral zone and obviously, I think they give up the least amount of chances in the NHL. I think that’s something that you expect, especially if you watch the pre-scout. If you look at all those stats and everything coming into it, it’s tough generate offence and they obviously do a really good job.
JAKE MUZZIN (21:10 TOI)
On what the difference in tonight’s game:
They capitalized on a few turnovers and odd man rushes. Once they get the lead, they’re tough to crack. I thought we did a good job of coming back and we had really good spurts, but a few kind of lapses where they capitalized. Overall, I thought we did a pretty good job.
On what the team can take away from playing a team like Dallas:
Yeah, just we’ve got to stay patient, stay with it. We can’t start changing our game plan because we’re getting frustrated or things aren’t working. We’ve got to stick with it and eventually we’ll break through and get our chance.
JOHN TAVARES (1 ASSIST)
On playing against one of the League’s best defensive teams when down a goal:
Yeah, they’re very well structured and don’t mind if it’s a sleepy type of night. They’ve got good depth through all four lines that play extremely hard, very good mobile D that handle pressure really well and have really good sticks whether it’s just closing time and space or closing off shooting lanes. We just tried to stay with it. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get it done today.
On if the team got energy from Clifford’s fight in the second period:
Yeah, absolutely, it was a great job by Cliff that provided some good life for us and we got a big goal from Matty. Certainly was a really good spark, got the building into it and we seemed to have a better jump after that.
Auston Matthews put the Maple Leafs on the board with a power play goal at 11:21 of the second period. Matthews’ goal is his 41st of 2019-20, which establishes a new single-season career-high for goals, surpassing his previous high of 40 set in 2016-17. He has seven points (4-3-7) over his last five games played. Thirty of his 41 goals have come on home ice. In two games against the Stars, Matthews has recorded two goals and an assist.
Zach Hyman scored the second Toronto goal of the night at 18:41 of the third period. Hyman has goals (3) in two consecutive games and points (3-2-5) in four consecutive games. He has registered 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists) in 18 games on home ice this season. Hyman has scored seven of his 17 goals in 10 games against Central Division opponents.
Tyson Barrie registered the primary assist on Matthews’ second period goal. Barrie has assists (2) in two consecutive games. He has a goal and two assists in two games against the Stars this season. His 24 points (7 goals, 17 assists) in 27 career games against the Stars stand as his second-highest point total against a single opponent.
William Nylander collected the secondary assist on Matthews’ second period goal. Nylander has four points (1-3-4) in five games during the month of February. In 13 games against Central Division opposition, he has recorded 15 points (9 goals, 6 assists).
John Tavares registered the primary assist on Hyman’s third period goal. Tavares has assists (2) in two consecutive games and points (5-4-9) in six consecutive games. He has 19 points (8 goals, 11 assists) in 18 career games against Dallas.
Mitch Marner collected the secondary assist on Hyman’s third period goal. Marner is tied for eighth in the NHL with 44 assists. He has recorded 33 of his 44 assists in 28 games on home ice this season. In two games against Dallas this season, Marner recorded three assists.
Frederik Andersen stopped 16 of the 19 shots he faced in the loss.
First NHL game (Oct. 20, 2013 (ANA) vs. DAL) First NHL win (Oct. 20, 2013 (ANA) vs. DAL)
300th NHL point (Mar. 21, 2019 (COL) at DAL)
Selected by Dallas in the first round (11th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.
First NHL game (March 14, 2018 vs. DAL)
Skated in 379 games for Dallas from 2014-19, recording 228 points (81 goals, 147 assists)
MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
POWER PLAY POINTS
21 (Marner, Matthews)
2 (Engvall, Kapanen)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT %
TOI PER GAME
PP TOI PER GAME
SH TOI PER GAME
MAPLE LEAFS PLAYER NOTES
– Tied for second among NHL goaltenders in wins (24).- Has a 10-5-6 record on home ice with a .900 save percentage and a 3.16 goals-against average.- Is 13-5-2 in 21 games against Western Conference opponents with a .929 save percentage and a 2.31 goals-against average this season.- Has a save percentage over .900 in 57.1 percent of his starts this season, which is the sixth-highest percentage among goaltenders who have appeared in 40 games.
– Has five multi-assist games, which is tied for 11th-most among NHL defencemen.- Tied for ninth among NHL defencemen in multi-point games (9). – Leads the Maple Leafs in slap shots taken (49).- Has 23 points (7 goals, 16 assists) in 26 career games against the Stars, which is his second-highest career point total against a single opponent.
– Was drafted by Dallas in the first round (11th overall) in the 2010 NHL Draft. Appeared in one game for the Stars during the 2013-14 season.- Has made one start against the Stars (January 17, 2019) and stopped 29 of the 30 shots he faced to earn a victory.
– Ranks sixth among NHL left wingers who have appeared in 50 games in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (54.9%). – Ranks 25th among NHLers who have appeared in at least 50 games played in hits per 60 minutes (9.04).
– Signed a two-year contract extension on February 12.- Has played 30. 7 percent of Toronto’s shorthanded ice time since joining the team, which is the second-highest shorthanded time on ice percentage among the League’s rookie forwards.- Has an on-ice goals-for percentage of 57.1 percent at 5-on-5, which is the third highest among NHL rookie forwards who have appeared in 30 games.
– Ranks first in 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage (52.5%) among right-handed defencemen who have started less than 45 percent of their 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone (44.3%).- Has the highest unblocked shot attempt percentage at 5-on-5 (53.0%) among right-handed defencemen to have started fewer than 45 percent (44.3%) of their shifts in the offensive zone.
– Had made the second-most saves (373) among NHL goaltenders who have appeared in 15 or fewer games.
– Third among Toronto skaters and tied for 32nd among NHLers in points since January 1 (7-8-15; 16 GP).- Has 16 points (7-9-16) in 17 games on home ice this season. – Ranks fifth among Maple Leafs skaters in points per game (0.79).
– Has drawn 11 penalties this season, which is fifth-most among Toronto skaters.- Has 46 points (22 goals, 24 assists) in 65 career games on home ice.
– Has drawn 12 penalties this season and taken four, which gives him the highest net penalties among Toronto skaters (+8) and ranks tied for 29th among NHL forwards.- Ranks second among Maple Leafs and 12th among NHL right wingers who have appeared in 50 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.28) at 5-on-5.- Has recorded 11 points (2 goals, 9 assists) in 15 games since January 1.
– Ranks third among Toronto skaters who have appeared in 40 games in assists per 60 minutes of ice time (1.23) at 5-on-5.- Ninth among Maple Leafs in even-strength points (7-14-21).- Has four points (1-3-4) in nine career games against Dallas.
– Tied for ninth among NHL skaters in assists (43). Has the most assists among NHLers who have appeared in fewer than 50 games.- Has 12 multi-assist games, which is tied for the second-most among NHL skaters.- Averaging 1.24 points per game, which is the ninth-highest average in the NHL.- Averaging 1.93 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks third among NHLers who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Ninth in the NHL in primary assists (28). His 28 primary assists are the most among NHLers who have appeared in 50 or fewer games.
– Tied for second among NHL skaters in goals (40).- Leads the NHL with 30 even-strength goals.- Leads the NHL in goals scored at 5-on-5 (25).- Leads the NHL in wrist shot goals (24).- Second in the NHL in multi-goal games (10).- Tied for 10th among NHL skaters in points (40-28-68).- Fourth in the NHL with 231 shots on goal.
– Tied for the Maple Leaf lead in game-winning goals (4).- One of 10 NHLers to average at least 14:00 minutes per game at 5-on-5 (14:36) while maintaining a goal per 60-minute rate of at least 1.20 (1.27).- Averages 2.16 takeaways per 60 minutes of ice time, which ranks third among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Averaging 13.68 shot attempts per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, which ranks eighth among right wingers who average 14:00 per game at 5-on-5 (14:35).
– Ranks third among rookie defencemen who have appeared in at least 10 games in points per 60 minutes of ice time (1.40) at 5-on-5. – Has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 55.3 percent, which ranks third among rookie defencemen who have skated in at least 10 games.
– Averaging 1.99 points per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is the fourth-highest average among Toronto skaters who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Averaging 1.00 goals per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which ranks third among Maple Leafs who have appeared in at least 40 games.- Averaging 1.00 assists per 60 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5 this season, which is seventh among Maple Leafs who have appeared in at least 40 games.
– Tied for 22nd among NHL skaters in multi-point games (15).- Has eight points (5-3-8) in six games during the month of February.- Has an on-ice shot attempt percentage of 54.3 percent at 5-on-5 when the Maple Leafs are leading in games, which is the highest percentage when leading among NHL forwards who have appeared in at least 40 games and average 15 minutes per game in 5-on-5 ice time (15:43).- Has drawn a team-high 15 penalties this season. – Has won 55 percent of his offensive zone faceoffs this seasons, which is the 11th-highest percentage among NHLers who have taken 900 draws in all situations.
CURRENT POINT STREAKS
Has points (2-2-4) in three consecutive games.
Has assists (3) in two consecutive games.
Has points (5-3-8) in five consecutive games.
Five assists from 600 assists
First game as a Maple Leaf (February 7 vs. ANA) First win as a Maple Leaf (February 7 vs. ANA)
First game as a Maple Leaf (February 7 vs. ANA)
200th NHL assist (February 7 vs. ANA)
800th NHL game (February 8 at Montreal)
Frederik Andersen (Neck)
On injured reserve.
Cody Ceci (Ankle)
On injured reserve.
Ilya Mikheyev (Wrist Laceration)
On injured reserve.
Morgan Rielly (Foot)
On injured reserve.
Man Games Lost: 145
Signed forward Pierre Engvall to a two-year contract extension.
Recalled forward Pontus Aberg from the Toronto Marlies (AHL). Placed goaltender Frederik Andersen on injured reserve.
Recalled defenceman Timothy Liljegren from the Toronto Marlies (AHL). Placed defenceman Cody Ceci on injured reserve.
On the team improving to 20-1-2 when leading after two periods tonight:
I thought we had a real good period there, a good process. Obviously, wouldn’t like to give them a goal back like we did but I thought we started really well, we generated a number of really good scoring chances ourselves and maybe we could have had even more goals, especially early there. And then I just liked how we battled. Getting wins like this on the road, late penalty kill, goalie’s out for a long period of time there like this. Those are tough, tough sequences. You’re relying on a small number of guys to get that done. The guys just found a way.
On the team improving at defending late leads with more experience doing it:
Well, I think that’s part of it, for sure. We’d rather not be in that position. We had a two-goal lead and that’s where we would rather be. You score the first goal in the third period and that puts you in an even better spot. But certainly, if you give it back, then you’ve got to just battle and find a way and limit what you give up on the inside and know that they’re going to have a push, but try to keep it from stuff on the outside that you can block or Freddie can see.
On what he has seen from Matthews of late:
I don’t need to tell you that Auston is a very talented player. He puts himself in good spots. Obviously, today Mitch gave him a puck in a great spot and that’s a world class finish. We’ve become accustomed to seeing that and that’s what he’s capable of doing. When he’s really playing and really skating and when he’s engaged in the game he’s hard to stop.
FREDERIK ANDERSEN (31 SAVES)
On how it feels to put two wins together coming out of the All-Star break:
It’s nice. It’s always fun to win. I think we’ve been doing a lot of good things. We’ll look to continue to build on that and keep working at it and, like I said, build off of it.
On what exactly the team has done well these past two games:
Just playing as a group and playing smarter hockey. I think we’ve been good at not giving up too much and controlling the play a lot, going to the net hard and getting some good goals there at big times.
ZACH HYMAN (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On tonight’s game and the importance of each remaining game:
It was good. We knew we need to start getting on the right side of games. Especially coming off of the break, this was a hard-fought win. We really had to earn this one so it’s big.
On their success getting the first goal of the game on the road:
I think it just happens sometimes like that. We’ve definitely been starting strong on the road these past couple games. It’s important when you start a period you want to start ahead. Usually when you score the first goal more often than not you win the game, so the first goal is big.
AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)
On picking up an important two points:
All these games matter. It doesn’t really matter if it’s Western Conference, our conference or our division, all these points matter. They all add up, so we’ve got to make sure we’re taking advantage of these games.
On what he attributes his consistent scoring to:
My linemates. I think we’re just trying to stay consistent each night, just compete out there. We work off each other, make plays and obviously play as much offense as we can. We just want to continue that.
WILLIAM NYLANDER (1 GOAL)
On the team’s staying aggressive on offence against a tough defensive team:
Yeah, for sure. We need to keep doing it. We’re chasing in the standings here so we kind of have a playoff push right now. We’ve got to be sharp every game.
On how they generated five goals against the team with the fewest goals against:
I think we play that kind of game where we’re kind of unpredictable. We were able to create a lot of good, solid quality scoring chances, which eventually lead to goals.
On the play that led to Hyman’s goal:
Yeah, that was just a beautiful hockey goal. We were just smiling on the bench when we saw that goal, it was beautiful.
DALLAS — Rick Bowness brought out some old Toronto bling for some reverse luck against the high-scoring Maple Leafs. The interim coach of the Dallas Stars showed off the 1938 gold NHL all-star ring that belonged to Gordie Drillon, the Leafs’ last scoring champion in 1937-38, a gift to Bowness’s father Bob from when the […]