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Breaking down how the Flames 3M Line scored a beautiful goal against the Penguins

Up 1-0 in their game against the Penguins, the Calgary Flames’ 3M Line just scored a pretty, pretty goal.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Pittsburgh Penguins Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Flames fans these days seem pretty high on what they have dubbed the ‘3M Line’ — Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund, and Matthew Tkachuk...and it’s easy to see why, after seeing how quickly they moved through the zone and scored a gorgeous goal against the Penguins.

Phewwwwww. Let’s take a look at that again.

As Justin Schultz leaned into a puck at the blue line trying to keep it in, he ended up turning the puck over to Mikael Backlund. You can see the numbers advantage from the get-go that Calgary have three skaters compared to the Penguins two.

As Backlund crosses the red line, his two linemates stay a little spaced between each other keep the Penguins defensemen honest. Chris Kunitz is trailing and trying his best to get back into the play.

Backlund still holding the puck, starts assessing his options. Frolik is about to use the center-lane drive to open up the play for Tkachuk. Chris Kunitz sees he is behind and uses his stick to try and close the passing lane.

While Ian Cole is tracking Michael Frolik through the center-lane (which, in my opinion, is the right call — not a mistake), Backlund taps the brakes to give himself some space away from Justin Schultz to pass through traffic to Matthew Tkachuk.

Chris Kunitz was so close to breaking up this play and ending it all...........but he didn’t. Given where he started the play out and being able to get back this close is a hell of an effort in it’s own right. You can see the ‘OH SHIT’ thought going through Ian Cole’s mind, where he’s kinda caught in no-man’s land between staying with Frolik or covering Tkachuk.

Matthew Tkachuk makes a REMARKABLE play, quickly pushing the puck to Michael Frolik in the slot. By the time Chris Kunitz got over and Ian Cole switched his focus from Frolik to Tkachuk, the puck was already back to Frolik. Man, oh man, what a pass. Incredible play from the young rookie, and a nice finish from Frolik to cap off this goal.

Sometimes, you just have to stop and applaud a beautiful sequence like this from the Flames without condemning or ripping someone to death on the Penguins end of things. You can criticize Schultz for the way he turned it over, or Kunitz for being so close to breaking it up, or even Cole for his switch to Tkachuk, but that was just perfect execution of a 3-on-2. Well done, Calgary.