With the NHL squad playing a game to forget in Calgary, the Flames sent a roster of mostly AHL talent to Victoria to battle with a weakened (no Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes, or Brock Boeser) NHL Canucks team.

The scripts were flipped in both contests, as the weaker Flames roster managed to sneak away with a 4-3 victory, despite nearly blowing a 4-0 lead in the third peiod

The rundown

It didn’t take long for the Flames to score, with Dillon Dube putting together a hell of a shift five minutes in, knocking Adam Gaudette off the puck with a heavy hit and then burying the puck just seconds later.

After that, it was a bit of back and forth from both clubs, but a late-ish Jordie Benn penalty gave the Flames a powerplay opportunity, which preseason hero Austin Czarnik capitalized on.

The Flames left the first leading 2-0 in goals and 14-8 in shots.

The second was a bit more quiet, with the exception of Czarnik ripping off another wicked shot for a goal.

But they weren’t done yet. Early on in the third, a Rasmus Andersson blast from the blue line found its way into the net via J.T. Miller’s visor. A bit of a weird one, but it got from point A to point B, so no one was really complaining (besides the Canucks, obviously).

The Canucks added a goal from Loui Eriksson in the middle of the frame, and added two more late ones from Josh Teves and Bo Horvat to make it interesting, but they ran out of time. The Flames would take the game 4-3.

Why the Flames won

Aside from some pinpoint shooting, the Flames were just a more eager, opportunistic squad and rose to the occasion of playing a semi-NHL team. The (relatively speaking) senior players of the squad were as sharp as they needed to be, pouncing on mistakes from a Canucks team that was pretty disorganized until the final five minutes of the game.

Red warrior

Czarnik’s the easy choice for a sharpshooting performance, but it’s really a split honour tonight. Zagidulin, Andersson, Dube, and Phillips all had great games.

This and that

The team ran a powerplay unit of Andersson at the point, Dube-Buddy Robinson-Dmitry Zavgorodniy, and Adam Ruzicka in front of the net which was interesting even if it wasn’t the unit that scored.

I liked Tobias Rieder’s game. Had some footspeed and was effective on the penalty kill. If the Flames had cap room, I wouldn’t mind seeing him suit up for a few games.

Up next

The Flames will be back in action on Wednesday night, taking on the Sharks at home. Until then, there will probably be some roster trimming happening.