The Calgary Flames will not be part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2023.
A win by the Winnipeg Jets over the San Jose Sharks earlier tonight made the Flames’ game against the Nashville Predators at the Saddledome a must-win.
And well, they did not win.
Nashville took the lead twice, on goals from Egor Afanasyev in the first period, and Zach Sanford in the third period. The Flames battled back to tie the game on both occasions, first on a goal from Troy Stecher in the second period.
Mikael Backlund tied the game with under 12 minutes left in the third period, pushing the game to overtime, and eventually a shootout.
Jonathan Huberdeau scored on the first shot of the shootout, and Calgary was one save away from victory, after Jacob Markstrom stopped the first two shots he faced. But Cody Glass scored on Nashville’s last chance, and Tommy Novak potted another to seal the victory for the Predators.
TOMMY NOVAK FOLKS pic.twitter.com/dn3OBA9O9t
— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) April 11, 2023
With just one game left, the Flames are now mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.
“It’s too bad,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter told reporters after the game. “We deserved better. We had some really good chances in overtime.”
The Preds remain mathematically alive, but need to win their remaining two games, coupled with two straight Winnipeg regulation losses, to make the playoffs.
The Flames, meanwhile, will miss the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
It’ll be interesting to see what comes next in Calgary. Head coach Darryl Sutter appeared to be at odds with many of his star players this season, while GM Brad Treliving is without a contract for next season.
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