Flames comeback bid comes up short in loss to Kraken

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The thing about third-period comebacks is they’re great when they happen.

When they don’t, though, they mostly just serve as reminders that you generally don’t want to fall behind in the first place.

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And on Monday night against the Seattle Kraken, the Flames started slow – extremely slow – and then threw everything they have at their opponent’s net.

It was to no avail, though, as the third period magic that has saved the Flames so many times this season fell short and they wound up on the losing end of a 4-2 scoreline.

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The loss brought a five-game winning streak to an end and while a defeat at the hands of the Kraken (27-23-11) is not, in-and-of-itself, the end of the world. But for a Flames (30-26-5) team that’s trying to chase down the red-hot Nashville Predators, there’s just no room for error.Monday’s loss means the Kraken draw even with the Flames with 65 points, and both are seven back of the Preds.

And the Flames won’t be happy with the way they played, either. They got better throughout the game – until Martin Pospisil was tossed from the game for a hit-from-behind on Vince Dunn with six minutes to go, at least – but if it hadn’t been for Jacob Markstrom in net, the Kraken would have put the game out of reach a lot earlier.

The Flames managed only two shots in the first period. They rarely threatened Kraken goaltender Philipp Grubauer, and lacked the intensity you’d expect from a team fighting for its spot in the wild card race.

Yanni Gourde put the Kraken up 1-0 heading into the first intermission, and while the Flames responded better in the second with Andrei Kuzmenko scoring his first of two goals on the night, Oliver Bjorkstrand kept the Kraken ahead and then Adam Larsson put them up 3-1 early in the third.

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Kuzmenko’s second pulled the Flames to within one, and for a moment, it felt like maybe another comeback was on tap. It’s what they do, right?Well, no. Not on this night.   

Instead of the Flames mounting a furious comeback, Jared McCann put the game to bed with a shorthanded goal that restored the Kraken’s lead to two.

When Pospisil got tossed a few minutes later, the Flames were down a man for most of the rest of the game. No way they were overturning a two-goal deficit in that situation, and Pospisil may very well be getting a call from the folks in the NHL’s disciplinary office on Tuesday.

So that was that. The Flames lost for the first time in six games. The road to the post-season gets just a little bit more difficult and the focus again shift to GM Craig Conroy and what he’ll do with the trade deadline set for Friday.

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