Fresh off a dramatic comeback victory at Nashville, the Calgary Flames continue their four-game road trip on Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, to face the Blue Jackets.
The trip, which started with a 2-1 loss at Carolina on Tuesday and concludes on Sunday at Washington, no doubt will be remembered in Flames’ lore for Thursday night’s 6-5 overtime victory over the Nashville Predators that featured a had-to-see-it-to-believe-it, between-the-legs, game-winning goal by Matthew Tkachuk with 1.3 seconds left in overtime.
Tkachuk, who tied the game with 39 seconds left in regulation, pounced on a rolling puck in the high slot, and while going at full speed, reached back between his own legs and somehow fired a shot over the right shoulder of Pekka Rinne.
“What can you say about that,” Flames coach Bill Peters told NHL.com afterward. “I don’t think I’ve seen a shot like that, from that far out, with that much on it.”
“To be able to pull the between-the-legs from that far out? I’ve never seen that done,” veteran defenseman Mark Giordano added. “I think what was more impressive was the situation — the time left on the clock and what it meant for the game.
“It was a pretty special play. I’m sure it’s going to be right up there with anyone’s goal of the year candidate. It was a real important moment for us to try and get on a roll here.”
Calgary trailed 4-1 entering the third period before rallying to tie it. Nashville regained the lead on a goal by Austin Watson with 1:22 left but Tkachuk put in a rebound of a Sean Monahan shot with 39 seconds to go to force overtime.
“It’s games like those, where you come back, you try to carry it over to the next game from an emotional standpoint and get things rolling,” Flames left winger Milan Lucic said. “As a team, through 15 games, we’ve done a good job of staying in the mix as far as points and the standings go, but also, I don’t think we’ve brought our best game other than that third period last game. You want to build off that moving forward and get on a roll.”
Columbus will be playing the second half of a back-to-back that began with a 4-3 loss at St. Louis on Friday. David Perron scored a power play goal just eight seconds into overtime to win it for the Blues, who rallied from a 3-1 deficit midway through the second period to pull out the victory.
It was the third consecutive loss for the Blue Jackets.
“We took a step in the right direction, for sure,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “We played a good hockey game. Third period, I thought we were on our heels just a little bit and at certain times at the end, but it’s a step in the right direction. To lose that way, it’s a tough one.”
This is the first of two meetings between the teams this season. The Flames won both games during the 2018-19 campaign, 9-6 in Columbus and 4-2 in Calgary.
–Field Level Media