Dave Rittich of Jihlava, Czech Republic recorded a notable shutout on Monday night for the Calgary Flames. In a 3-0 Flames win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, he became the first Calgary Flames goaltender to ever get a shutout in Toronto. According to Daniel Austin of the Calgary Sun, Yves Belanger of Baie Comeau, Quebec had a shutout in a 3-0 Flames win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on New Year’s Eve, 1977, but that came when the Flames were still in Atlanta.
In the shutout on Monday, the fact that the Flames even got a win, let alone a shutout, was stunning. That is because they were horrible defensively on Saturday in a 7-1 loss to the high-offensive powered Edmonton Oilers. Then on Monday, the Flames battled the almost equally offensive-skilled Toronto Maple Leafs, and were able to shut down Auston Matthews, who currently leads the NHL with 18 goals in 19 games.
Rittich made 34 saves in the Flames win at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. He made nine saves in the first period, 17 saves in the second period, and eight saves in the third period. Defenseman Mikko Lehtonen of Turku, Finland led the Maple Leafs with four shots on goal.
Offensively on Monday, the Flames had three players with a multi-point game. Matt Tkachuk of Scottsdale, AZ, and Sean Monahan of Brampton, Ontario, each had one goal and one assist for two points, while Rasmus Andersson of Malmo, Sweden had two assists. Calgary’s other goal scorer was Sam Bennett of Richmond Hill, Ontario.
This was Rittich’s fourth career shutout. The prior three came in a 1-0 Flames win over the Los Angeles Kings on November 10, 2018, in a 3-0 Flames win over the Vancouver Canucks on October 5, 2019, and in a 3-0 Flames win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on November 2, 2019.
Rittich’s win on Monday was also the first he has had this season as he has been the primary backup to Jacob Markstrom. He has a record of one win, three losses, a goals against average of 2.36, and a save percentage of .909.
With the win, the Flames improved to a record of nine wins, nine regulation losses, and one loss in extra time for 19 points. They are in fifth place in the North Division, and two points back of the Montreal Canadiens for a playoff spot.