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As the old saying goes, they were up 3-1… until they weren’t.

The Calgary Flames got off to a great start in their simulated Game 5 against the virtual Vegas Golden Knights. But the Flames’ lead slipped away and they lost 7-4 in the Saddledome, pushing them to the brink of elimination in their best-of-seven first round series.

The rundown

The Flames got on the board early and often in the opening period. TJ Brodie scored off the rush a few minutes in to give the locals a 1-0 lead. Jonathan Marchessault scored midway through the period with a dandy one-timer to tie things up, but almost immediately afterward the Flames made it 2-1 via a Derek Ryan goal off his own rebound.

Johnny Gaudreau made it 3-1 Flames early in the second period, scoring off the rush just after the opening face-off. But just when it seemed like the Flames were going to coast to victory, Vegas woke up. Mark Stone buried a one-timer chance to cut the lead to 3-2. Then on a Golden Knights power play, Max Pacioretty tied things up at 3-3 with a quick wrist shot. Vegas briefly took a 4-3 lead via a Reilly Smith wrist shot, but Gaudreau made the most of a late power play and beat Marc-Andre Fleury to tie things up at 4-4 heading into the third.

But the final 20 minutes of regulation was all Vegas. Stone scored his second of the game, redirecting a pass to the slot past David Rittich off the opening draw to make it 5-4. The Flames tried to generate offense, but Vegas clogged up the middle of the ice for the rest of the period. Alex Tuch and Nate Schmidt added empty netters to make it a 7-4 final.

Vegas led 30-23 in shots. They lead the best-of-seven series 3-2.

Three Stars

  1. Nate Schmidt (Vegas)
  2. Mark Stone (Vegas)
  3. Johnny Gaudreau (Calgary)

Up Next

Game 6’s simulation goes Saturday night in Calgary.