Thursday night’s game was one that the Calgary Flames hoped would result in them being just one more win closer to The Cup. In true Game 5 fashion, though, the Vancouver Canucks were able to hold onto a lead they built early in the third period.
Going into Thursday night, the Flames had a 3-1 lead in the series. Of course, because it is the playoffs, one should never guarantee a win, no matter how great the lead or advantage they have is. Now, in order for Vancouver to win the series, they would have to win two more games, while Calgary only has to win one. Stranger things have happened than Vancouver coming from behind, but if Calgary can produce offensively for one more game, they can move on to the next round of playoffs which would place them against the Anaheim Ducks.
Ryan Miller started in goal for the Vancouver Canucks for the first time this series. The 21 shots that he faced paled in comparison to the 43 Jonas Hiller was bombarded with. Hiller’s first star of the game nomination was well earned with a .953 save percentage.
“Hills played unbelievable. He’s been playing like this since the LA game… He’s dialed in,” said Bob Hartley on Jonas Hiller via Twitter.
Hiller’s offense did not produce to its best ability in last night’s game. Vancouver had double the shots on goal that Calgary had, and they were offensively out-powered. Vancouver also came out on top 66-40 on shot attempts. Such a large deficit understandably didn’t help Calgary in any way. They allowed Vancouver too many chances, and left their goaltender vulnerable to too many shots. If they want to prosper next game, they must all-around play better offensively.
Mikael Backlund of the Flames addressed the issue of the shot count per the Flames saying, “We didn’t shoot enough. It wasn’t a terrible game. It was a tight game.”
Michael Ferland was, once again, a big presence on the ice. His 7 hits in game five just added to the team’s total of 25 hits on Vancouver. Those are some big numbers, right there. Sixteen blocked shots was just shy of Vancouver’s 17, but Calgary players such as Kris Russell and Dennis Wideman are huge factors in this defensive part of the game.
“We didn’t execute the way wanted to,” said Kris Russell via Twitter. “We didn’t get enough traffic to the net.”
Game 6 is to be held in Vancouver on Saturday night.