The losing streak is over.
There’s still a long way for the Calgary Flames to go before they’re back anywhere near where they want to be, but you can only win one game at a time.
And after the frustration of losing six straight and seeing any pre-season optimism fade away in a hurry, the Flames (3-7-1) got a badly needed reprieve on Saturday night with a well-deserved 6-3 win over the Seattle Kraken (4-6-2).
Taking two points off a division rival? That’s going to be good no matter when it happens.
But playing a full 60 minutes — or close to it — after a stretch where it had often felt like the Flames just couldn’t quite put it all together? That’s even better.
This wasn’t a win that was just handed to the Flames by the Kraken, either. In net, Dan Vladar had to be at his best and he had stops on Jamie Oleksiak, Tye Kartye and Alex Wennberg that were all highlight reel-worthy.
And on the other end, the Flames are clearly feeling a boost from the injection of youth that has been introduced in recent games.
After Connor Zary scored in his NHL debut in Wednesday’s loss to the Dallas Stars, it was Martin Pospisil’s turn on Saturday night.
The 23-year-old got the Flames on the board in the first period and provided a spark throughout the game, while defenceman Nick DeSimone picked up his first NHL point with an assist on Yegor Sharangovich’s third-period tally.
With goals from Noah Hanifin, Rasmus Andersson and two from Mikael Backlund, and with Vladar standing tall in net, that was all the Flames needed to down the Kraken and pick up the desperately needed win the team had been praying for.
It wasn’t all good news for the Flames, though. Andrew Mangiapane was ejected from the game early in the first period and may very well face further discipline from the NHL for cross-checking Jared McCann in the back of the head. McCann was on his hands and knees and unable to protect himself at the time.
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