NASHVILLE – Full marks for the local country artist who may one day be able to summarize the heartache associated with such a loss.
At least someone should try because the Calgary Flames found it difficult to describe the kind of pain that Nashville artists generally equate to a breakup, a dog running away, or a scratch on their truck.
A tenth of a second before beating a Predators team that was on their heels left the Flames Music City on Thursday with Achy Breaky hearts.
"It's hard to swallow," said Mikael Backlund, who had ruined one of the better games of his season by Mikael Granlund's game-winning goal by 0.1 seconds, followed by his overtime winner 80 seconds later.
"We were so close to victory and they came back. We let the last one in frustratingly. But we will take the point and go forward. Five out of six points on this trip are pretty good – we & # 39; I have played some good teams so far. "
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Taub was the best way to describe the flames afterwards, after another excellent roadshow, albeit with an ending appropriate to an injured tune.
Despite the biggest kick in the teeth that can be imagined at this time of the year, nobody kicked trash cans or laced their comments after playing with swear words.
They did their best to accept the dramatic setback.
It couldn't have been easy since Andrew Mangiapane scored the game winner by 43 seconds and completed a Gretzky-like pass from Backlund to 3-2.
Unfortunately, a fierce battle with the maw in the last seconds somehow found its way with a tenth of a second to frenzy the crowd at the Bridgestone Arena.
"We are a little bit angry right now," said Mangiapane.
"We have to close that. But overall I think we played a pretty solid game. We have to learn from it and continue. We are a little sad about it. We still have five out of six points on this road trip, so we have to let’s look at it as a whole. We’re playing good hockey right now and we just have to keep going. ”
Indeed, let the record show that the Calgary Flames deserved a better fate on Thursday.
You had every reason to be satisfied with everything except the result.
"Well, absolutely," said interim coach Geoff Ward, whose club overtook, blocked, shot down and overtook an aspiring Predators club that came into play for a wild card just two points behind the Flames.
"You have 42 seconds left and you have the lead. You obviously came back with a good push. You are also playing for your life. You are the same as us – you fight for these last two places. And your players found ways to make games to work overtime and then win them overtime. But for us we were right there. One second. We needed one second. But we didn't get it tonight. "
Backlund's ninth goal in as many games gave Flames a 2-1 lead at the start of the second round, thanks to a random rebound from Mattias Ekholm's shin.
With the help of David Rittich and a solid preliminary test, the flames prevented the predators for a full time until a shot by Roman Josi pressed under Rittich's arm to tie him five minutes before the end.
An intense game with lots of playoff scrums, physicality, and exertion seemed to be over when Backlund pulled himself through two defenders before returning it to Mangiapane for a last-minute snipe.
Cue Granlund with an answer that someone in town has to call the Music City Miracle, as tired as it may sound.
It was only the fourth time in NHL history that the same player played a game in the last ten seconds before winning it in extra time.
"There were a lot of good things, but it just stings and loses," said captain Mark Giordano, who returned to the lineup with a thigh injury after 10 missed games.
"Throughout the game there were some ways to get even more ahead. But they stayed with it and found a way to tie it in. It was a whole lot of emotions. It was a difficult way to lose, there is no. " Doubt about it. The puck ended up looking like it was bouncing all over our network, and they knocked it home – I think there was one on the clock or whatever. It's a tough, hard point to lose, but we did a lot of good things. We will proceed to the next one. "
The Flames end their road trip against the Lightning and Panthers this weekend and may have to do without Noah Hanifin, who missed the last 15 minutes of the first period with an obvious lower body injury. He returned in the second and ended the game, but will be evaluated on Friday when the team is training in Tampa.
Until then, the coach admitted that the pain of her last setback would continue.
"It stays with us and then it is over," said Ward.
"So think about it tonight and then we'll put it to bed tomorrow at training and then we'll go to Tampa. We can't go into that anymore. We need to make sure we prepare for the next couple of hockey games because they're growing up. We did a good job – we've got five out of six points on the trip so far. We have to be happy about it. We played a lot of good hockey. We have to incorporate that into the game against Tampa and only that get what we have to learn from the centimeters we are talking about. "