NHL: Flames attempt to keep heating up, clash with Kraken


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When the Calgary Flames last traveled to Seattle, they were mired in a six-game losing streak.

But a 6-3 victory on Nov. 4 at Climate Pledge Arena — when Mikael Backlund scored his only two goals of the season for the Flames — ignited a 4-1-2 run.

Calgary returns to Seattle on Monday for a meeting with the Kraken, with both teams riding some momentum.

Even a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday hasn’t dampened the Flames’ spirit, as they tied the score twice in the third period.

“I think we’re in a good place,” Calgary forward Blake Coleman said. “One more guy scores in the shootout, one more save, whatever it is, and we’re sitting here with two points and everybody’s talking about what a great comeback it is.

“You’ve got to focus on the game itself, not that extra piece of it, but I think the confidence is really growing in this group. A lot of guys … are stepping on the ice expecting to make differences in the game — that wasn’t necessarily the case three or four weeks ago.”

Flames coach Ryan Huska said he was pleased by his team’s effort.

“No quit. I thought as the game went on, we continued to get better and better,” Huska said. “If you give us a little bit more time, I think we probably end up winning in regulation, but that’s the way it goes.”

The Flames dropped to 0-3 in shootouts this season. They led the NHL in overtime and shootout losses with 17 last season — when they missed the playoffs by two points.

“We’ve got to find a way to win these shootouts and OT games because they’re going to be valuable points down the road,” said Coleman, who tallied his team-leading fifth goal of the season against the Islanders.

The Kraken won 4-3 Saturday at Vancouver as Jordan Eberle had a goal and two assists and Matty Beniers added one of each.

Seattle improved to 2-0-1 over its past three games and has won back-to-back contests for just the second time this season.

“More than not we’ve found ways to lose games in third periods rather than find a win, so it was nice to find a way to win here against a really good team that has obviously been pretty good at home,” Eberle said. “So hopefully this kick-starts us in the right direction.”

Beniers, the reigning Calder Trophy winner for rookie of the year, scored in his second straight game after tallying just once over his first 17 contests. He had 24 goals last season.

“He’s been playing hard,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said of Beniers. “Obviously, the offensive side is starting to come. There’s still another notch or two there, but he’s looking more and more comfortable. He’s always worked hard, so now part of it is the confidence that you build as you have a little bit of success, and hopefully that’ll continue coming in his game.”

The Kraken will open a three-game homestand on Monday, while the Flames will play the first of four straight games on the road.

–Field Level Media


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