The virtual Calgary Flames headed to Las Vegas on Sunday night for Game 3 of the simulated first round series with the Vegas Golden Knights. For the first time, the house didn’t win: the Flames were full marks en route to a 4-2 victory. They lead the best-of-seven series 2-1.
The Flames got an early lead after Sean Monahan redirected a slick pass from Elias Lindholm off the rush after the opening draw to go up 1-0. But Vegas tied things up before the end of the period, as Paul Stastny took advantage of a rebound on a Golden Knights power play to tie things up at 1-1.
The visitors took control in the second period. Marc-Andre Fleury made a big save off an initial scoring chance, but Mikael Backlund grabbed the loose puck and beat Fleury to the far post on a wrap-around to make it 2-1 Flames. A little while later, Lindholm jumped on a rebound off the rush and put the loose puck behind Fleury to give the Flames a 3-1 lead. William Karlsson scored on another Vegas power play, taking advantage of another loose rebound, to cut the Calgary lead to 3-2 before the second intermission.
But the Flames managed to hold Vegas off in the third period. Monahan scored off the rush off another opening face-off win to make it 4-2. The Flames held on for the victory.
Like in Game 2, the Flames never trailed. Vegas out-shot them 31-12, but the Flames picked up their first victory ever at T-Mobile Arena.
- Sean Monahan (Calgary)
- Elias Lindholm (Calgary)
- David Rittich (Calgary)
(Spookily, the exact same three stars as in Calgary for Game 2.)
Game 4’s simulation goes Tuesday night in Vegas.