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Thread: Calgary Flames 2018/19 Season Chatter

  1. #51
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    Game # 50

    5 2

    Flames stay hot with 5-2 victory over Oilers

    Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano both score in Calgary's 5-2 win over the Oilers.

    EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Calgary Flames are getting some offense from just about everyone right now.

    Mark Giordano, Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist in a 5-2 victory over the rival Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

    "It was a big win, for sure," Backlund said. "It means a lot to the team. We're showing strength in the third again. We found another way to win. It's great to see the character in this room and everybody digs in and we're finding ways to win."

    Oliver Kylington also scored for the Flames, who are 7-0-1 in their last eight games and 10-1-2 in their last 13.

    "It's about the two points each and every night," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "We're hungry for points. We want to win and we know how to play. Sometimes we deviate a little bit, but we do know how to play and when we play the right way, we're a good team."

    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Milan Lucic scored for the Oilers, who had won back-to-back games before facing Calgary.

    "They capitalized on their chances and we didn't," Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl said. "We didn't generate too much. We didn't really create too many chances for ourselves. We hung in there for a while, but you aren't going to beat a team like that by playing half a game."

    With Calgary leading 3-1, Edmonton pulled within one with a power-play goal 4:16 into the third period when Lucic tipped Jesse Puljujarvi's shot past David Rittich.

    But the Flames regained their two-goal lead with 5:45 remaining when Backlund picked off a pass and scored his 11th.

    Monahan added a power-play goal at the 16:03 mark to put the game away with his 27th of the season.

    There was no scoring in the first period, although the Flames came close on the power play with 1:10 remaining. A shot by Gaudreau hit the post and then Mikko Koskinen's back and was headed into the net before the Oilers goalie made an acrobatic behind-the-back save with his glove, a play that stood a video review.

    Gaudreau broke the scoreless deadlock just 44 seconds into the second period as he swung wide before putting the puck through Koskinen's legs for his 29th goal of the season and his 17th in his last 19 games.

    Calgary took a 2-0 lead with a power-play goal in the middle of the period when Giordano smacked in a shot in during a scramble out front.

    The Flames added to their lead late in the period on a one-timer by Kylington.

    Edmonton finally got on the board with 18 seconds left in the second when Nugent-Hopkins scored his 16th while the teams were playing four aside.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  2. #52
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    Game # 51

    3 :canes 2 OT

    Backlund scores in OT to give Flames 3-2 win over Hurricanes

    Mikael Backlund makes a swift move on his game-winning goal to give the Flames a 3-2 overtime win vs. Carolina.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- After fading down the stretch last season, the Calgary Flames are determined not to let it happen again.

    Mikael Backlund scored 15 seconds into overtime Tuesday night to give the Flames a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. Calgary (33-13-5) heads into the All-Star break as the No. 1 team in the Western Conference, six points up on San Jose.

    "It's good that we take the time early on to completely shut hockey off and just relax and then the closer we get to coming back, we've got to get the minds ready," Backlund said.

    "Most guys were here last year and we learned a lesson from last year when we weren't as good after the break. We know what to do this time and what not to."

    Calgary went 12-18-2 after Feb. 1 last season and missed the playoffs.

    Oliver Kylington and Mark Jankowski also scored Tuesday for the Flames, who finished 9-1-1 in January. David Rittich made 33 saves to improve to 8-0-2 in his last 10 starts.

    All-Star representative Sebastian Aho tied it for Carolina with 44 seconds left in regulation. Dougie Hamilton also scored for the Hurricanes (23-20-6), who are trying to work their way into the wild-card race in the East.

    Peter Mrazek stopped 22 shots and denied the Flames on several prime chances.

    "He enabled us to at least hang in there and get a point out of this game," Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said.

    "The positive is you came in here against one of the best teams and in my opinion, we could have had that game."

    It was the first game between the teams since Bill Peters resigned as coach of the Hurricanes after four seasons and was hired by the Flames in April 2018.

    Carolina led 26-11 in shots on goal after two periods but trailed 2-1.

    Jankowski scored 4-on-4 at 6:40 of the second. Backlund dished T.J. Brodie's cross-ice pass to Jankowski lurking at the corner of the Hurricanes net, where he batted the puck over Mrazek.

    Hamilton drew the Hurricanes even at 15:48 of the first when he wristed a drop pass from Brock McGinn by Rittich.

    Kylington darted out of the corner and beat Mrazek's glove with a backhand at 1:58 of the opening period. The Hurricanes challenged for goaltender interference, but were denied.

    After scoring 12 power-play goals in 10 games this month, Calgary was blanked on four chances thanks in large part to Mrazek's acrobatics.

    The Flames didn't get a lot of sustained pressure in Carolina's zone until the third period.

    "I don't think we played our best game, but again, we found a way to win and I think that's a big key," Backlund said

    "That was one of our weaknesses last year. We couldn't find ways to win and this year, it's the opposite. Good teams, they find ways to win."

    The All-Star break and bye week will provide an eight-day breather for the Flames, with the exception of All-Star participants Johnny Gaudreau and Peters.

    "Going into the break it's important to go in with a good taste in your mouth," Peters said. "I like the direction which we are trending and the contributions throughout the lineup.

    "We played the best when the game was on the line in the third and I thought we had some great looks that made Mrazek make some big saves for them. ... We'll take the two points heading into the break and we'll come back refreshed and ready to go."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  3. #53
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    Game #52

    3 4

    Capitals beat Flames 4-3 without Ovechkin to end 7-game skid


    Mikael Backlund flips the puck over multiple Capitals defenders and schools Braden Holtby for the wild goal.

    WASHINGTON -- No one man can possibly replace Alex Ovechkin for the Washington Capitals. So, forced to play without their captain and leading scorer, the defending Stanley Cup champions used contributions from just about everyone to make up the difference.

    Evgeny Kuznetsov scored a power-play goal with 57 seconds left, and Washington shook off the absence of its finest player to end a seven-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.

    Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 37 goals, received a one-game suspension from the league for skipping the All-Star Game. He had played in 214 consecutive games, a streak that began in October 2016.

    Facing the best team in the Western Conference, the Capitals also had to overcome a lower-body injury to center Lars Eller, who played only six minutes. Undaunted, Washington got goals from unheralded role players Nic Dowd and Dmitrij Jaskin, along with Tom Wilson, before Kuznetsov notched the game winner.

    Without Ovechkin, the NHL's 10th-ranked power play unit was 0 for 3 until Kuznetsov connected.

    "We knew that there was going to be an opportunity for some guys with Ovechkin out of the lineup," coach Todd Reirden said. "It was a big team effort from top to bottom."

    With Calgary's Mikael Backlund off for holding, Kuznetsov weaved his way into the Flames' zone before firing a wrist shot past goaltender Mike Smith.

    "I was just in a bad position to pass the puck," Kuznetsov said. "So I decided to shoot."

    An instant after the final horn sounded, several players traded punches before finally skating off the ice.

    "There was a lot of emotion on both sides. Two good teams that want to win," Wilson said. "We were playing hard right until the end there and it's loud. We were doing whatever it took to get the job done. That includes defending each other and sticking together at the end."

    It was the first of six straight home games for the Capitals, who hope to get back on track after their longest losing streak since 2013-14 dropped them behind the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division.

    "We're looking forward. We're not looking back," Wilson said. "That was a good team effort tonight. Pretty fun to go out that way at the end. Guys are happy."

    Calgary trailed 3-2 before Elias Lindholm notched his 22nd goal of the season at 12:01 of the third period. Lindholm eluded Capitals defenseman Michal Kempny to get free in front of the net, where he deflected a shot by Johnny Gaudreau into the net.

    Backlund and Garnet Hathaway also scored for the Flames, who came in with the second-best record in the NHL. It was Calgary's first defeat in regulation since Jan. 3, and it ended a run of nine straight games with at least one point.

    "They were a little more desperate than us, a little hungrier early," coach Bill Peters said. "We got better as it went along."

    Dowd opened the scoring with three minutes elapsed, deflecting a shot by John Carlson past the screened Smith.

    Backlund tied it with at 17:37 of the first period, zig-zagging past defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler after two Capitals got tangled up in the neutral zone. Less than two minutes later, Jaskin tapped in a rebound for Washington.

    Wilson made it 3-1 with a wrist shot from the top of the right circle in the opening minute of the second period, and Hathaway quickly answered for the Flames.

    Smith finished with 36 saves, but it wasn't good enough.

    "Anytime you lose a game with less than a minute left, it stings," he said. "It definitely hurts after coming back and making a game of it."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  4. #54
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    Game # 53

    4 3

    Ryan, Lindhom, Hanifin lift Flames in return to Raleigh


    The Flames couldn't be stopped as they netted 3 straight unanswered goals on the way to a 4-3 win over the Hurricanes.

    RALEIGH, N.C. -- Bill Peters' return to Carolina went about as perfectly as he could have imagined.

    He has the players he brought with him to Calgary to thank for that.

    Derek Ryan, Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin all scored in their first game back in Carolina, and the Flames beat the Hurricanes 4-3 on Sunday in Peters' return to Raleigh.

    Peters resigned as Carolina's coach last offseason and took over in Calgary. Shortly after, the Flames acquired Lindholm and Hanifin in a trade with the Hurricanes, and Ryan signed with Calgary after three seasons in Carolina.

    The ex-Hurricanes had a hand in all four Flames goals. Lindholm pulled Calgary into a tie late in the first, Ryan scored the go-ahead goal in the second and assisted on Garnet Hathaway's goal later in the period, and Hanifin finished the scoring with a slap shot in the third.

    "You can't script that," said Peters, who coached the Hurricanes for four seasons. "All the guys involved had a positive impact on the game."

    David Rittich made 34 saves as Calgary improved to 9-1-1 in its last 11 games.

    A pregame video welcoming Peters, Ryan, Lindholm and Hanifin back to Carolina was met with boos by the crowd.

    It only served to fire the players up. After the final buzzer sounded, Lindholm began clapping his hands over his head, mocking what the Hurricanes do after home victories. Lindholm received even louder boos after that.

    "My name came up twice on the JumboTron and I got booed, so that was a nice way to end it," Lindholm said. "I was surprised. I tried to play hard here for five years and got booed. It is what it is. It was nice to end it that way."

    Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Dougie Hamilton each had a goal and an assist for the Hurricanes. Petr Mrazek made 28 saves.

    The Flames scored three consecutive goals after Carolina took an early lead, and Rittich made it stand up with a string of highlight-reel saves.

    Rittich stopped Justin Williams' chance at an open net off a deflection and Micheal Ferland's point-blank slap shot in the first period. He made a terrific pad save on Lucas Wallmark's one-timer in the second as well as stopping Ferland's late deflection in front of the net, and he robbed Williams again with a pad save on a one-timer in the third to preserve Calgary's one-goal lead.

    "Big-time saves," Peters said. "It was a hell of a hockey game and those were some high-end plays."

    After a turnover by Flames defenseman TJ Brodie in front of Rittich led to Carolina's first goal, Calgary took control. Mark Giordano's wrist shot from the point redirected off Lindholm's leg into the net to tie the score at the end of the first, and Ryan took over in the second.

    He gave the Flames their first lead with a wraparound 7:38 into the period, and served as the catalyst for a short-handed goal that made it 3-1. Ryan forced a turnover just inside his own blue line, skated the length of the ice along the left boards and finished a 2-on-1 with a pristine pass to Hathaway on the far post.

    "(Ryan) has had a lot of good games in this building," Peters said. "He was real good. Brought a little extra juice for him coming back into PNC Arena."

    Allowing the short-handed goal was punch to Carolina's power play, which finished 0-for-4 on the day.

    "If you want to look at one big difference in the game you can look at that," Williams said. "Our power play was minus-1, which can't happen. We need to execute and we need to score goals and those are crunch times. Instead of being 2-2 it's 3-1 and that's a tough hill to climb, especially against one of the better teams in the league."

    After Rittich stonewalled numerous Carolina rushes in the third, Hanifin provided the backbreaker with 6:55 to go.

    Aho scored with the extra attacker on with 55 seconds remaining, but Carolina's comeback attempt ran out of time.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  5. #55
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    Game # 54

    2 5

    Kane has 2 goals and an assist, Sharks beat Flames 5-2


    Evander Kane has a 2-goal night in the Sharks' 4-2 win over the Flames.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Evander Kane continued his mastery of the Calgary Flames with another big performance for the San Jose Sharks.

    Kane scored twice and added an assist in the Sharks' 5-2 victory Thursday night.

    Kane has nine goals and 13 points in five games against the Flames since being acquired from Buffalo in a trade last February.

    "We're in the same division, they're a top team," said Kane, who had a game-high eight shots and was plus-3. "You'd like to think we rise to the occasion as a group and I thought we did that tonight. Those points are so valuable. It's a four-point game against a team we're chasing."

    Four consecutive wins move the Sharks to within two points of Calgary for top spot in the division.

    Tomas Hertl also scored twice, and Brent Burns added a goal, and Martin Jones made 36 saves.

    Jones was at his best in third period, turning aside all 12 shots he faced including diving across the crease to get the paddle of his stick on a shot from Johnny Gaudreau.

    "Their power play looked really, really dangerous," San Jose captain Joe Thornton said, "and he probably made six or seven quality saves that probably saved us the game."

    Mark Jankowski and TJ Brodie scored for Calgary. The Flames lost at home in regulation for the first time in nine games.

    Mike Smith took the loss after stopping 16 in relief after David Rittich was pulled in the first period.

    After Calgary opened the scoring on Jankowski's goal at 4:36 of the first period, the Sharks scored on three straight shots in a 1:25 span.

    Kane tied it at 12:39 when he spun and sent a shot on net that dribbled through Rittich's pads. Rittich then raced to a loose puck, but fired it straight into Burns, who skated in by himself and slid it into the vacated net. That was the end of the night for Rittich after allowing two goals on six shots.

    "He didn't look comfortable," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "I didn't like either goal."

    It didn't start off any better for Smith, who was beaten by Hertl on a deflection 22 seconds after entering the game.

    Calgary turned on the pressure for much of the third period, but couldn't get any closer despite several great chances.

    "You've got to bear down," said Calgary's Sean Monahan, who finished a game-worst minus-3. "It's the NHL and it's not easy to score goals. When you get your chances, you've got to be ready and put the puck in the back of the net or if not, it's going to come back to bite you."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  6. #56
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    Game # 55

    3 4

    Pettersson scores in shootout, Canucks best Flames 4-3

    Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom makes the game-sealing save on James Neal in a shootout, giving Vancouver a 4-3 win vs. Calgary.

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat credited veteran goalie Jacob Markstrom with Saturday's win over the Calgary Flames.

    Markstrom stopped 44 of 47 shots and put up three more saves in the shootout, leading Vancouver to a 4-3 victory over the Flames.

    "We couldn't have done it without Marky tonight," Horvat said. "He was absolutely sensational, made key saves at unbelievable times of the hockey game and he was a stud in the shootout again. So big credit to him."

    Several of his teammates agreed.

    "I think (the Flames) were the better team overall, but Marky played really good and kept us in the game," said Vancouver's star rookie, Elias Pettersson, who had a pair of assists and put away the shootout winner.

    A pair of the goalie's most memorable stops came against one of the league's top talents.

    Johnny Gaudreau streaked into the Canucks' end on a breakaway with just five seconds to go in the first period and released a blistering shot, but Markstrom snatched the puck out of the air.

    He repeated the feat late in the third, once again robbing the Flames winger of a goal with a stunning glove save.

    "Man, (Markstrom) was dialed in tonight. What am I going to say? He was awesome tonight," Canucks coach Travis Green said.

    Markstrom was humble about stopping Gaudreau, who's in the race for the title of the league's top scorer with 75 points this season.

    "It was one of those things where you're just trying to make the read and I got the right read and I was fortunate enough to stop it," Markstrom said.

    He credited his teammates with playing hard and making sure he was able to keep track of the puck throughout the game.

    "They really pinned us down in the second," he said. "But I thought everybody really played for each other. We stood up good when they had pressure coming toward the net."

    Horvat, Josh Leivo and Brock Boeser scored for Vancouver in regulation.

    Sam Bennett, Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane scored for Calgary.

    Mangiapane's second-period goal was his first NHL goal.

    "It was definitely nice. It was a little longer than I would have liked, but I felt like our line was hemming them in there in the second period and (Noah Hanifin) picked it up and made a nice pass over to me," said Mangiapane, who made his NHL debut in early December. "So it was definitely a good feeling and nice to get it out of the way."

    The goal came when the Flames had Markstrom under siege, outshooting the Canucks 17-1.

    "The bench was electric when he scored and that was a wonderful shift by the (Derek) Ryan line there. They really worked hard and hemmed them in and had a quality shift," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "That's a proud moment, something he will never forget."

    David Rittich had 22 saves for the Flames and made two stops in the shootout.

    The victory snapped a three-game losing skid for the Canucks. It was the second straight loss for the Flames, who hadn't lost back-to-back games since Dec. 22.

    But Peters said there was a lot to like about how his team played Saturday.

    "Definitely had some good looks. There's not a lot of big changes to be made. Power play needed to get one. We had our opportunities for sure. There was some good looks we have to cash in," he said.

    Vancouver's win keeps the team firmly entrenched in a battled for a Western Conference wild-card spot.

    The squad knows that every game is crucial going forward, Markstrom said.

    "Points are going to be hard to come by," he said. "We've got to battle hard for 65-plus minutes. And we did it tonight. Which is a nice win."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  7. #57
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    Game # 56

    3 6

    Kucherov, Point pace Lightning to 6-3 win over Flames

    Nikita Kucherov helps Tampa Bay to a 6-3 win over Calgary with a first-period goal to help him stay atop the NHL points leader board.

    TAMPA, Fla. -- The high-powered Tampa Bay Lightning just keep on rolling.

    NHL points leader Nikita Kucherov had a goal and three assists, Brayden Point added a goal and two assists, and the Lightning beat the Calgary Flames 6-3 on Tuesday night.

    Kucherov has 88 points, including seven over his last two games after going a pair of games without getting on the scoresheet.

    "He has that ability to find guys even when I don't think guys know they're open," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

    Kucherov has a career-high 63 assists. He stopped a 10-game goal drought with a pair Sunday in a 5-2 win at Florida.

    "Good to see we got two games with `W's," Kucherov said. "That's better."

    Kucherov and Point (72) are the second pair of Tampa Bay teammates to reach 70 points in 57 team games. Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier did it in 2006-07.

    Cedric Paquette, Anthony Cirelli, Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos also scored for the NHL-leading Lightning, who are 5-0-2 over the last seven games. Andrei Vasilevskiy made 19 saves.

    "We've got the top guys going and we're getting scoring from the other guys as well," Stamkos said. "So, that's a pretty dangerous combination to have."

    Calgary, 1-3-1 in its last five games, got two goals from Sean Monahan. Mark Giordano had the other Flames goal, and David Rittich stopped 21 shots.

    "Pretty disappointing with letting that one go the way it did," Giordano said. "Our details weren't where they needed to be. We've got to be a lot sharper and its starts with me and the leaders and the older guys and it trickles down."

    Monahan didn't have a goal in his previous five games. Teammates Matthew Tkachuk (eight) and Johnny Gaudreau (six) remain in goal droughts. The trio has combined to score 82 goals.

    Point scored his career-high 33rd goal to open the scoring 11:54 into the game.

    Point's goal came shortly after Vasilevskiy made a save on Elias Lindholm's short-handed breakaway.

    Lindholm had three assists, while Gaudreau added two.

    After Paquette scored at 16:06 of the first, Kucherov made it 3-0 just 1:13 later.

    Giordano cut the Flames' deficit to 3-1 during a 5-on-3 power play 47 seconds after Kucherov's goal. The 35-year old became the 10th defenseman in NHL history to have 55 or more points at age 35 or older.

    Calgary pulled within 3-2 on Monahan's goal at 9:13 of the second, but Tampa Bay responded 57 seconds later when Cirelli scored.

    "It's a huge shift," Giordano said. "It's a big part of the game. Obviously you want to grab momentum when you're back in it."

    Gourde put Tampa Bay ahead 5-2 later in the second.

    Stamkos reached 30 goals for the sixth time during a third-period power play.

    Monahan had a power-play goal late in the third.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  8. #58
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    Game # 57

    2 3 SO

    Trocheck's shootout goal lifts Panthers over Flames 3-2

    Vincent Trocheck's shootout goal lifts Florida to a 3-2 win against Calgary.

    SUNRISE, Fla. -- Florida goalie James Reimer returned from a benching in his last start and rebounded for the Panthers in a big way Thursday.

    Reimer stopped a season-high 41 shots and held strong in the shootout, and Vincent Trocheck scored in the third round to help the Panthers beat the Calgary Flames 3-2, ending a two-game skid.

    Reimer withstood attempts from Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk in the final two rounds after allowing a goal to Sean Monahan in the opening round. Florida won the session 2-1.

    Reimer allowed three goals on 12 shots and was pulled by coach Bob Boughner after two periods in a 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday. He responded well, especially in the overtime, when he stopped TJ Brodie in close on a 3-on-1 after Keith Yandle fell down.

    In the shootout, he kicked his right leg out to block Mangiapane and forced Tkachuk to shoot wide right to end it.

    "When it comes to the shootout, it's kind of a circus," Reimer said. "You just try to stay out there and be patient and force them to make a harder play and hopefully they miss the net or hit you."

    Trocheck skated in and beat Flames goalie Mike Smith high on the glove side -- the same area where Aleksander Barkov beat him one round earlier with a backhander -- and the Panthers improved to 3-4 in the shootout.

    "We blocked a lot of shots and had sticks in lanes," Boughner said. "Our penalty kill has been pretty strong here in the second half. And Reims made some big saves on the chances as well."

    Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary late in the third period to extend the game, but the Flames lost their fourth straight.

    Mike Hoffman had a goal and an assist, and Evgenii Dadonov scored for Florida, which killed three penalties in the third period. Mark Jankowski also had a goal for the Flames.

    Smith had 30 saves and lost his third straight.

    Both clubs entered the contest on multigame losing streaks. Florida was blanked 3-0 by Dallas on Tuesday, marking the first time the Panthers had been shut out all season and making them the last team to be held scoreless.

    Smith blanked Florida through the 20 minutes -- its fifth straight scoreless period -- with a high glove save 1:20 into the game on a tipped shot by Jonathan Huberdeau.

    Calgary's Derek Ryan had a point-blank short-handed chance on Reimer in the second but was denied on a kick save. The Panthers failed to score on their ninth consecutive man advantage.

    Dadonov finally broke the ice at 15:17 on a fortunate bounce for his 20th goal. Mark Pysyk sent a long, wide shot that careened off Dadonov's thigh to give the Russian forward his second consecutive 20-goal season.

    Jankowksi scored his 10th at 6:51 of the third period to tie it at 1. Florida challenged for offside, but the goal was upheld.

    Hoffman scored 11:59 for his 26th goal, but Lindholm's tip-in at 17:36 tied it at 2.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  9. #59
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    Game # 58

    5 4

    Flames snap 4-game skid, beating Penguins 5-4

    Travis Hamonic and Sam Bennett cap off a four-goal second period for the Flames in a 5-4 victory over the Penguins.

    PITTSBURGH -- A big second period ended up being just enough for the Calgary Flames.

    Michael Frolik had the first of four second-period goals for Calgary, and the Flames held on to snap a season-long four-game skid with a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

    Frolik, Austin Czarnik, Travis Hamonic and Sam Bennett scored during a mid-game 17-minute span for Calgary, which held off a late Pittsburgh charge that included a pair of third-period power-play goals by Evgeni Malkin.

    "They're a good team and they had a good pushback there at the end," said Bennett, whose goal with 1:29 left in the second period ended up being decisive. "We got on our heels a little bit, but in the end, we gutted it out and that's a huge win for our team after not the best showing in the last couple games."

    Calgary got its only win on a four-game, eight-day trip and avenged a 9-1 loss to Pittsburgh in October during the teams' other meeting this season.

    Despite numerous chances playing 6-on-5 over the game's final 90 seconds, the Penguins couldn't get the equalizer.

    Malkin had three points after serving a one-game suspension for swinging his stick at Philadelphia's Michael Raffl.

    "I think we fought hard," Malkin said. "Just (wish) we would have played better 5-on-5."

    Mike Smith made 34 saves to win for the first time since Jan. 13 for Calgary, which entered Saturday tied for the best record in the Western Conference.

    The Flames never trailed after Andrew Mangiapane opened the scoring 7:06 into the game.

    Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who welcomed back defenseman Justin Schultz from a 53-game absence because of a fractured left leg. Schultz assisted on Jake Guentzel's goal that tied the game at 1 late in the first period.

    But the Penguins allowed at least five goals for the seventh time over their past 17 games and are 7-9-1 in that stretch. They have dropped to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They entered Saturday one point clear of ninth-place Carolina.

    Malkin nearly pulled Pittsburgh back from a 5-2 deficit with goals at 5:42 and 14:41 of the third period. Each of those was assisted by Crosby, but Crosby could not convert two prime scoring chances in the final minute.

    "You know it's coming, right?" Flames coach Bill Peters said of the Penguins' late surge. "We made it a little harder than we would've liked by putting them on the power play."

    Before he was relieved by Casey DeSmith for the start of the third period, the Penguins' Matt Murray allowed five goals on 24 shots, though his performance was at least in part attributable to shoddy defense and bad luck.

    The puck on the goal credited to Mangiapane -- the second of his career -- hit at least three sticks after it was shot from the left point by Oliver Kylington.

    The goal that gave the Flames the lead for good 1:29 into the second period was a loose puck swatted in when no Penguins player picked up Frolik after Murray had stopped Matthew Tkachuk.

    Ninety-three seconds after that, Czarnik's third of the season was a shot from the top of the left circle that deflected off the stick of a Penguins defender. And Hamonic's goal from the right-wing boards with 3:58 left in the second hit Guentzel's stick on the way in.

    Bennett's goal 2 1/2 minutes later gave Calgary five goals in a game for the 18th time this season. The Flames moved into second in the NHL in goals.

    "Obviously, there's stuff you still want to clean up but everything's moving back to where it was when we were buzzing," Smith said. "That's a good team there. ... We wanted to finish this road trip off on a right note here and get two points tonight."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  10. #60
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    Game # 59

    5 2

    Giordano leads Flames to 5-2 win over Coyotes

    Niklas Hjalmarsson turns the puck over in the defensive end, and Michael Frolik takes advantage with a goal in front during the Flames' 5-2 win.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Balanced scoring has helped the Calgary Flames snap out of a funk.

    Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist in the third period to help the Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes 5-2 on Monday.

    Mark Giordano also had a goal and an assist, and Derek Ryan and Austin Czarnik had the other goals for Calgary win its second straight to improve to 3-3-2 since the All-Star break. Czarnik and Ryan combined for a goal and three assists in Saturday's 5-4 win over Pittsburgh, which ended a four-game skid (0-2-2).

    "We've had some depth scoring come through, which is important," Flames coach Bill Peters said.

    Elias Lindholm assisted on both third-period goals, Rasmus Andersson also had two assists, and Mike Smith stopped 27 shots in his third straight start (2-0-1) for Calgary.

    "I feel more like myself in the net and it's paying off," Smith said. "It's a good time of year to be playing well."

    Conor Garland and Jordan Weal scored for the Coyotes. Calvin Pickard finished with 29 saves in his third start for Arizona since being claimed off waivers from Philadelphia on Nov. 29.

    Czarnik got his second goal in two games after being a healthy scratch for the previous nine, giving the Flames a 3-2 lead with 3:42 left in the second. Subbing in on Calgary's third line again for the injured James Neal, Czarnik snared the puck on a broken play and scored from his knees with a low shot.

    "Feels great. Being out that long, it's hard to adjust right away. Your breath is a little short probably," Czarnik said. "To be able to do that builds confidence and I just want to keep that going if I can.

    "At the start of the year, I wasn't really finding those spots so I think now it's about getting more to the net and being in a spot to score goals."

    Frolik extended Calgary's lead to 4-2 at 5:48 of the third period off Arizona's defensive-zone turnover. Lindholm skated the puck out from the boards and dished to the Czech, who chipped the puck by Pickard stick-side.

    Backlund added an empty-netter with 1:12 left.

    "It seems liked any time we got momentum they got a goal right back," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "We've got to make some plays. We need some guys to step up and score goals.

    "It's only 3-2 at the start of the third. (There was) still plenty of time to get back in the game."

    Ryan opened the scoring as he deflected Giordano's slap shot up on Pickard at 1:34 of the first for his sixth of the season.

    The fourth-line center also won seven of 10 faceoffs to get the puck to linemates Andrew Mangiapane and Garnet Hathaway.

    "I thought they were really good again tonight. They've been good for a while now," Giordano said. "It seems like every shift they're in the offensive zone working the other team and grinding them. They're playing the right way, playing hard and getting rewarded."

    Garland beat Smith with a high backhand to tie it at 6:27 of the second.

    Giordano put Calgary up 2-1 with 8:40 left in the middle period. Instead of shooting from his preferred spot near the faceoff circle to the goalie's right, the Calgary captain went forehand to backhand to beat Pickard for his 13th.

    Weal, acquired from Philadelphia in January, got his first goal for the Coyotes on the power play with 5:39 left in the period. He took a cross-ice feed from Alex Galchenyuk and whipped a wrist shot past Smith's shoulder.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  11. #61
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    Game # 60

    4 2

    Czarnik, Gaudreau score in 3rd, Flames beat Islanders 4-2


    Johnny Gaudreau skates in and unleashes a slap shot, his 30th goal of the season, in the Flames' 4-2 win against the Islanders.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Johnny Gaudreau's scoring drought is over.

    Gaudreau's first goal in 10 games and 30th of the season was one of two third-period scores for the Calgary Flames in a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Wednesday.

    Austin Czarnik, with his third goal in as many games, broke a 2-2 tie 6:10 into the third and Gaudreau scored 29 seconds later on a power play.

    "I probably could have found the net with two or three different looks I had. Just the way it's been going," said Gaudreau, the team's leading scorer who tied his career high for goals set in 2015-16.

    The goal came on a slap shot into the top corner, just eight seconds into a man advantage.

    "I had a pretty good lane there. It was a good play up top, across the zone. I had a lot of time and a lot of space and I just wired it," Gaudreau said.

    Calgary dominated the first two periods, outshooting New York 21-6, but the Flames only led by one goal. The Islanders tied it 2-2 on Anders Lee's 20th goal 1:18 into the third.

    But it was tied for less than five minutes.

    "That's probably as good as we've played on the defensive side," said Travis Hamonic, who had a goal against his former team. "We're confident and when you're playing good teams like that, you have to show up and we did, right from the start."

    Hamonic's goal at 15:59 of the first made it 2-0 for Calgary.

    "I'd be lying if I didn't say it felt good," Harmonic said. "So many good friends and so much fun and great memories on Long Island so to be able to put one in tonight, it obviously feels good."

    Mikael Backlund also scored for Calgary. Elias Lindholm had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (two goals, seven assists). The Flames have won three straight after going winless in four and continue to lead the Pacific Division and Western Conference.

    Casey Cizikas and Lee scored for New York.

    The surging Islanders, who opened a three-game road trip through Western Canada, lost in regulation for just the third time in 16 games.

    "We got a big `F.' Failure. We had too many passengers," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "We were poor on our exits. We were poor on our execution. We were poor on our battles. We were poor on our races. We were poor."

    The Islanders' lead over Washington atop the Metropolitan division remained at three points.

    "We didn't come out hard enough and that's the bottom line. I think we showed them a little too much respect," Cizikas said. "Down low in their own end I thought we gave too many pucks away. For a team that likes to get the puck down low and work it, we just couldn't do that tonight. We have to have a short memory because we have a big one (Thursday)."

    Backlund opened the scoring just five minutes in on a two-on-one. Michael Frolik landed a perfect pass on Backlund's stick as he cut to the net and he neatly tucked the puck past Thomas Greiss.

    Greiss, who entered the game with an NHL-leading .930 save percentage, finished with 28 stops and fell to 17-9-2.

    Starting a fourth consecutive game for the first time since the first four games of the season, Mike Smith made 17 saves and improved to 17-11-1.

    "We have to be that air tight moving forward and we are capable of playing that game," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "We need to maintain our strong offensive game while being sound defensively."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  12. #62
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    Game # 61

    2 1

    Mangiapane scores late winner to lift Flames over Ducks 2-1

    Andrew Mangiapane knocks in the go-ahead goal late in the 3rd period as the Flames top the Ducks 2-1.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Flames rookie Andrew Mangiapane got a lucky bounce and took full advantage.

    Mangiapane scored the go-ahead goal with 3:29 left and Calgary beat the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 on Friday night for its fourth straight victory.

    The rookie left wing tried to pass the puck across to Garnet Hathaway on a 2-on-1. Instead it hit Ducks defenseman Jaycob Megna and came right back to Mangiapane, who ripped a shot over the shoulder of goalie Ryan Miller.

    "It hit off the guy's skate and came back to me and I had an empty net," Mangiapane said. "Definitely a nice feeling to get that goal and it was a big two points."

    TJ Brodie also scored for Calgary (38-16-7), which moved three points ahead of San Jose atop the Pacific Division. The Flames lead the Western Conference standings as well.

    Making his fifth consecutive start, Mike Smith had 25 saves to improve to 18-11-2.

    Derek Grant scored for Anaheim (24-28-9), which dropped to 1-1-0 on a four-game road trip. The Ducks had won three of their first four under interim coach Bob Murray.

    Miller stopped 26 shots but fell to 6-3-1.

    Making things that much more difficult for a Ducks offense that ranks last in the NHL was the late scratch of leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf (upper body).

    "I think there were a lot of positives to carry over tomorrow from this game," Anaheim center Adam Henrique said.

    "They've got a good group and we stuck with them for most of the game. It's obviously a couple mistakes that end up in the back of our net, and we didn't take advantage of those power plays that we had."

    Combined with Minnesota's win at Detroit, the Ducks' loss dropped them seven points back of the second wild card in the Western Conference.

    "It's always tough to lose and these are valuable points, but that team is one of the best in the league," said Anaheim rookie Troy Terry. "We saw what we can do as a team if we're skating and playing the way we can. It (stinks) to lose, but it's something we can definitely build off."

    The 22-year-old Mangiapane has three goals in his last seven games after failing to score any in his first 26 NHL games, 16 of them this season.

    "Every game it's grown for me," Mangiapane said when asked about his confidence level lately. "Playing with (Derek Ryan) and (Hathaway) and getting more comfortable and building chemistry. They're smart players to play with so it's easy to shoot the puck and create chances."

    Flames coach Bill Peters likes what the team has in the 5-foot-10 forward, a sixth-round draft pick in 2015.

    "He's a dynamic little guy and he's competitive. He's hard on pucks. He's tenacious. He goes into the hard areas. We really like him a lot," Peters said. "He's spent his time and learned the craft in the American League, which is good to do and important, and he's come up here now and that line has been real good for us."

    The only two goals in a lackluster opening 40 minutes came five minutes apart early in the second period.

    At 1:22, Brodie's point shot deflected off Megna and slipped past Miller.

    Smith was the culprit on the tying goal. He left his net to attempt to play a puck that was coming around the end boards. Instead, Carter Rowney arrived at the same time and flicked the puck into the slot, where Grant fired a one-timer into the open net.

    Visibly upset about the blunder, Smith slammed his stick on the ice.

    "I've let in plenty of goals that weren't very good. It's one thing to let it in. It's over, it's done with. You've just got to worry about that next shot and keep going, keep playing it," he said.

    Miller made the best stop of the game in the first period when he dove across the net to rob Austin Czarnik on a backhand. Czarnik had a three-game goal streak snapped.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  13. #63
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    Game # 62

    2 1

    Czarnik scores in last minute, Flames beat Senators 2-1


    Austin Czarnik tallies a goal with 40.7 seconds left as Calgary edges Ottawa 2-1.

    OTTAWA, Ontario -- The Calgary Flames and Matthew Tkachuk got the victory. The Ottawa Senators' Brady Tkachuk earned family bragging rights.

    Austin Czarnik scored with 41 seconds remaining to lead the Flames to a 2-1 victory over the Senators on Sunday.

    Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames, who have won five straight. David Rittich made 22 saves.

    The game marked the first meeting between the Tkachuk brothers at the NHL level.

    There were over 30 Tkachuk family members on hand for the game wearing specially made jerseys to support both teams. Prior to the game the brothers made a pact of no fighting with a handshake. A special moment saw the brothers take the opening faceoff.

    "I'll let him from a personal standpoint take this one," Matthew Tkachuk said. "I know we play them again in a month, so I'll be pressing to get one that night.

    "I'm happy for him, happy for my family. What a weekend they had. All they were talking about was how much fun they had."

    Brady Tkachuk scored for the Senators, who lost their fourth straight.

    "It was a special night, but I wish we came away with the two points," said Brady Tkachuk, who gave his grandmother the game puck.

    Craig Anderson made 33 saves in the loss.

    "Overall I thought the guys played hard and I thought we did a lot of good things playing with the puck trying to make plays," Anderson said. "It's just one of those games where you just didn't know which bounce was going to be the difference."

    Calgary is three points ahead of San Jose and leads the Pacific Division and the Western Conference at 39-16-7.

    Tied 1-1 to start the third, the Senators believed they took the lead on a power-play goal at 8:24, but the Flames challenged for goaltender interference as it appeared Rittich had covered the puck. It was nearly an identical play as in which the Flames had a first-period goal called back.

    Flames coach Bill Peters said he'd never seen that scenario play out before.

    "They were identical plays basically, so I was confident on the challenge obviously," said Peters. "If ours was no good I didn't think that was going to be any good either."

    The Flames dominated in the second period, but Anderson was able to come up big when needed. The Senators tied it on Brady Tkachuk's 14th of the season.

    After being outplayed much of the period the younger Tkachuk took a pass just outside Ottawa's blue line, broke in alone on Rittich and slid a backhand under the left pad.

    It was the Senators' first goal in 160:55 of play.

    The Flames outplayed Ottawa in the first period, but only led 1-0.

    Backlund opened the scoring at the four-minute mark with a quick wrist shot from the slot.

    Matthew Tkachuk believed he had made it 2-0 just over three minutes later when he shoved the puck from under Anderson's glove, but the Senators challenged and it was ruled there was goaltender interference.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  14. #64
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    Game # 63

    3 1

    Backlund, Andersson score in 3rd, Flames beat Islanders 3-1


    Mikael Backlund beats Islanders goalie Robin Lehner stick side to lead the Flames to a 3-1 win.

    UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The Calgary Flames used another strong third period to keep their winning streak going.

    Mikael Backlund and Rasmus Andersson scored nearly three minutes apart early in the third and the Flames clamped down on New York's late push, beating the Islanders 3-1 on Tuesday night for their season-high sixth straight win.

    "We didn't really give them anything in the third period," Calgary's Matthew Tkachuk said. "We were going in tied 1-1 on the road, and that was a perfect period in my mind."

    Tkachuk also scored and Elias Lindholm had two assists for the Western Conference-leading Flames, who won both matchups between the first-place teams in a seven-day stretch. Mike Smith finished with 26 saves to improve to 5-0-1 in his last six starts, including a 4-2 win over the Islanders at home last Wednesday.

    The Flames lead the league in goals in the third period, outscoring opponents 93-49.

    "We're finding ways to win close hockey games, but we're doing it the right way," Smith said. "We've played real solid defensively ... we're getting rewarded because of it."

    Josh Bailey scored for New York, and Robin Lehner stopped 24 shots. The Islanders, 1-2-1 in their last four, began the day two points ahead of Washington atop the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals beat Ottawa 7-2 Tuesday night, but the Islanders held onto first place because they have played two fewer games than Washington.

    "Their big line made a difference," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said of the Flames. "They're a very good hockey team. There's a reason they're leading the Western Conference."

    Backlund put the Flames ahead 2-1 at 3:15 of the third, beating Lehner on the blocker side for his 17th of the season.

    Andersson beat Lehner through the five-hole for just his second of the season to give Calgary a two-goal lead at 6:12.

    "Our guys came in after 40 (minutes), got refocused in a 1-1 game on the road," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "We found a way. ... Penalty kill did a good job and Smitty was solid."

    The Islanders had the puck in the offensive zone plenty of times in the third period, but the Flames limited the bulk of New York's shots on the perimeter. Smith denied Anders Lee's tip try midway through the period, and stopped Cizikas from between the circles with 2:47 remaining.

    New York pulled Lehner with just under two minutes left, but was initially slow to get an extra attacker on the ice and then was whistled for too many men.

    Smith had to make an acrobatic sprawling save on Adam Pelech's rebound attempt of Cal Clutterbuck's shot with less than 1 1/2 minutes to go.

    "The guy walks in, dead angle and then off my pad and back out front," the 37-year-old goalie said. "At that point you're just selling out and trying to get something in the way and I managed to get a glove on it."

    Tkachuk got the Flames on the scoreboard first, sliding the puck back between his legs and lifting it into the top left corner on a power play for his 25th at 2:57 of the second. It was his first goal in 15 games.

    "It was just kind of an instinctual play," Tkachuk said. "I thought he was going to poke-check it like most goalies do, swinging the sticks. I was trying to get it around the stick, luckily it went in. ... When I was younger it wouldn't be too frowned upon to do that move in junior or youth hockey. I did it a lot. I haven't practiced it or tried to do it too much at the NHL level."

    Bailey beat Smith through the five-hole from the right side on a 2-on-1 with Valtteri Filppula for his 14th to tie it at 7:39.

    The Islanders, outshot 6-1 in the period before Bailey's goal, controlled the play for a large chunk of time. New York had 11 straight shots on goal, including five during one power play, as Calgary went more than eight minutes without an attempt.

    The Flames outshot the Islanders 9-5 in the scoreless first period, with neither team mustering many good chances.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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    Game # 64

    2 1

    Gaudreau has 2 assists, Flames win season-high 7th straight

    Lindholm, Giordano goals lift Flames to win vs. DevilsElias Lindholm deflects a shot in off a Devils' defender and Mark Giordano scores in the 2nd period as Calgary beats New Jersey 2-1.

    NEWARK, N.J. -- The Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames are rolling after finishing off the Eastern portion of their NHL schedule.

    Johnny Gaudreau set up two second-period goals and the Flames extended their season-high winning streak to seven games with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.

    "I think we've come a long way in that sense and play well defensively," Flames captain Mark Giordano said of winning on a night when the team struggled playing the second of a back-to-back. "We have the goaltending, we have the depth if we can get our minds in the right place. I think we're a really good hockey team and we can do some damage."

    Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames, who have points in eight straight games. David Rittich made 19 saves in improving to 22-5-5.

    Kevin Rooney scored a short-handed goal for the Devils. Mackenzie Blackwood, who spent the last three weeks in the minor leagues, was outstanding in making 33 saves in his return to the NHL.

    The game was delayed about 10 minutes early in the third period after Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller crashed into the end boards on a rush and had to be taken on the ice on a stretcher. He moved his legs and gave a thumbs-up to fans.

    "He's got full range of motion and he's conscious and he's just at the hospital now getting evaluated now, but thank God he's OK," Devils coach John Hynes said. "He's fully conscious and all of his extremities are moving fine. ... Mentally, he was fine and he sat up before he left the arena for the hospital, and (had) full awareness of what was going on."

    After outshooting the Devils 15-5 in a scoreless first period, Calgary took the lead at 1:07 of the second period on Lindholm's 26th goal of the season. His intended pass from the left circle with the Devils playing two men down hit off the skate of defenseman Sami Vatanen and caromed past Blackwood.

    "A lucky one," Lindholm said. "I was trying to go backdoor and hit the defensemen's skate and it went in. It wasn't pretty, but it went in and that's all that matters."

    The goal came a second after the first penalty expired and ended the power play.

    Gaudreau and Giordano combined on a great goal at 13:52. Gaudreau carried the puck into the Devils' zone on a counterattack and made a nifty cross ice pass to the 35-year-old defenseman. He lifted his skate as if he was going to snap a shot. That froze Blackwood and he continued toward the net and slid a backhander into an open net for his 14th goal.

    Giordano laughed when asked if he was making a Mark Messier-type fake.

    "Honestly, I was thinking shot the whole way and he took everything away, so desperation at the end, you go by instincts and took it to my backhand and it worked out for sure," he said.

    The point was Giordano's 60th of the season, making the Flames captain the fourth defenseman in NHL history 35 or older to score 60 points in a season. Nicklas Lidstrom, Al MacInnis and Sergei Zubov are the others.

    Rooney got the Devils back in the game with 3:13 left in the second period. He stole the puck from Gaudreau in the Calgary end and circle before releasing a shot from the left circle that beat Rittich.

    "I saw him coming around the net there and wanted to get up ice and didn't want to give him time and space with the puck," Rooney said. "Just had a good angle on him and was lucky enough to strip him and put it in."

    Rittich protected the lead in the third, stopping Travis Zajac in close and Will Butcher from the point on power play.

    "We didn't give up huge shots, but they had a couple of good looks, a couple of two on ones," Rittich said. "We did a great job in our zone. That's important if you want to make the playoffs."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  16. #66
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    Game # 65

    2 4

    Dubnyk makes 35 saves, Wild beat Flames 4-2

    Staal, Suter propel Wild to fifth straight winEric Staal and Ryan Suter spoil Jarome Iginla night with one goal each, as the Wild double up the Flames 4-2.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- On an emotional night in which Calgary retired the jersey of Jarome Iginla, Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk played the role of spoiler.

    Dubnyk made 35 saves Saturday, and the Wild beat Calgary 4-2.

    "You know they're going to come with a pretty hard push at the beginning of the game," said Dubnyk, who stopped 27 of- 8 shots in the opening 40 minutes to keep the game tied at 1-1. "They're a good team and they play well here. I thought we did a good job weathering it."

    Matt Read put the Wild ahead to stay in the third period by deflecting a puck off the skate of Calgary's Mark Jankowski and past goaltender Mike Smith.

    Eric Staal, Ryan Suter and Ryan Donato also scored for Minnesota, which won its fifth straight.

    Sean Monahan and Travis Hamonic scored for Calgary, which had its seven-game winning streak halted.

    The Flames raised Iginla's No. 12 to the rafters in a pre-game ceremony that lasted nearly an hour and delayed the start by 10 minutes. Iginla retired last summer after 20 NHL seasons, 16 with the Flames.

    Flames goaltender Mike Smith said the event was special.

    "I had goose bumps for most of that ceremony," Flames goaltender Mike Smith said. "I had the privilege to play against Jarome for a few years and it was a special night to be a part of."

    The Wild remain in the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference, one point behind of Dallas and one point ahead of Arizona. Calgary leads San Jose by five points atop the Pacific Division.

    Dubnyk was the story for Minnesota, which was outshot 37-23. Making his sixth straight start, Dubnyk was especially sharp in the opening 40 minutes, when he was peppered with 28 shots. He stopped all but one and improved to 26-21-5.

    Making his seventh start in nine games, Smith had 19 saves. He had his win streak stopped at five games and fell to 19-12-2.

    Suter's goal made it 3-1 at 11:07. After Hamonic cut the deficit to one at 14:29, Donato's long shot go past Smith at 18:18 and put the game out of reach.

    "The way (Dubnyk) was playing helped. I think it brought confidence to our team," said Staal.

    Donato (2-5-7) and Staal (2-5-6) extended their point streaks to five games.

    Down 1-0 after the first period, Calgary evened the score with the only goal of the second.

    Johnny Gaudreau found Monahan in front and he steered in the pass for his 30th goal. The 24-year-old Monahan reached 30 goals for the third time in six NHL seasons.

    Minnesota opened the scoring at 3:17, when Staal one-timed a pass from Jason Zucker.

    The Flames thought they had tied the score a couple minutes later when Sam Bennett cut hard to the net off the wing and had Austin Czarnik bang in his rebound. However, Bruce Boudreau challenged it for goaltender interference and upon review, the call was reversed.

    Bennett caught Dubnyk's pad with his skate and knocked the goaltender off balance.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  17. #67
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    Game # 66

    2 6

    Ennis records 1st hat trick, Toronto beats Calgary 6-2

    Tyler Ennis opens the scoring for Toronto and tallies his first career hat trick to lead the Maple Leafs to a 6-2 win vs. the Flames.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Tyler Ennis made a return to his home province a night to remember.

    Ennis recorded his first career hat trick to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 6-2 victory over the Calgary Flames on Monday night.

    "I played a lot of games here," said Ennis, who played four years of junior hockey in Medicine Hat. "Had some rivalries with the (Calgary) Hitmen over the years. I'm familiar with this rink. To get a hat trick in it with my parents watching playing for the Leafs is a real special night for me."

    Zach Hyman had two goals for Toronto. Mitch Marner had a goal and two assists, giving him 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in the last four games.

    Matthew Tkachuk and Derek Ryan scored for Calgary, which has dropped two in a row after a seven-game winning streak. The Flames' lead atop the Pacific Division remained three points over San Jose.

    Ennis, who was scratched in Toronto's previous game, opened the scoring 9:50 into the first on a power play. He got the puck skating through the low slot and sent a backhand shot into the top corner.

    After scoring again late in the first on a carom, Ennis completed his big night by sending a shot from the side boards that slipped past David Rittich for his 12th goal. The fans littered the ice with over 100 hats.

    "We're so lucky to have this fan base. To have that many hats on the ice in an away arena is very special. It was just a great night," Ennis said.

    The Leafs moved within one point of second-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

    Frederik Andersen made 35 saves and won his fifth straight, improving to 32-13-3.

    Rittich had 26 stops and slipped to 22-6-5. It was Rittich's second regulation loss since mid-December. He entered the game 11-1-4 in his last 16 games.

    Andersen was excellent in the second period, drawing chants of "Freddy, Freddy" from the crowd.

    "It was pretty special. Another example of how great fans of Toronto are," Andersen said. "They travel well and come with us on the road, too. It's pretty cool. It's always special to have that."

    Early in the second, he snapped Mikael Backlund's shot from close range. Late in the period, he stopped a shot off the stick of Johnny Gaudreau.

    Andersen's blocker save off Austin Czarnik on a breakaway preserved the Leafs' 1-0 lead. Toronto struck twice immediately after.

    Ennis' second, making it 2-0 at 17:15, was a fluke as his shot hit the skate of Rasmus Andersson in the slot and tumbled high in the air, eventually going over Rittich's shoulder and landing in the net.

    At 18:51, Backlund's giveaway in the offensive zone enabled Marner to race away on a breakaway. Rittich stopped the initial shot, but the rebound went in off Hyman's skate.

    Toronto made it 4-0 at 4:11 of the second when Marner neatly set up Hyman's second goal of the game.

    Calgary got on the scoreboard late in the second, needing just 10 seconds to convert their first power play of the night. Gaudreau's wraparound bounced around the crease and crossed the line.

    "They got a lucky bounce on the second one and chasing the game against them is tough, man. They have a lot of skill over there and they make you pay for little mistakes," said Calgary captain Mark Giordano.

    But there's no panic in the Flames room yet.

    "We're still in a good spot. There's no need to start freaking out or anything, we're still first in the West," Tkachuk said. "We're fine. We just need to go out and take care of business on this road trip."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  18. #68
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    Game # 67

    1 2

    Engelland helps Vegas beats Flames for 5th straight win

    Theodore, Engelland score in Golden Knights' win over FlamesShea Theodore and Deryk Engelland each slap one in during the Golden Knights' 2-1 victory over the Flames.

    LAS VEGAS -- After a loss nearly two weeks ago, Vegas coach Gerard Gallant yearned for a return of the misfits, the nickname the team adopted during its stellar inaugural season a year ago. Three days later the Golden Knights acquired Mark Stone in a blockbuster trade with Ottawa, and the misfits rediscovered their mojo.

    Deryk Engelland scored his second goal of the season in the third period to lift Vegas to a 2-1 win over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

    The Golden Knights have won five straight since acquiring Stone, and pulled seven points behind second-place San Jose in the Pacific Division and 10 behind first-place Calgary.

    "There was a lot of things I liked tonight," Gallant said. "I thought in the first period we weren't as good as we were in the prior games. But after that I thought we played a great hockey game."

    Shea Theodore also scored for the Golden Knights and Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 33 shots for his league-leading 33rd win of the season.

    Fleury, who recorded back-to-back shutouts in his previous two starts, tied Jacques Plante for eighth on the NHL's all-time wins list with his 437th victory. The 15-year veteran netminder has allowed just one goal in his last 228 minutes, 43 seconds.

    "They're one of the best in the league and a big challenge for us. I thought we rose to it," Fleury said. "We've been playing good hockey lately. Just another example of beating a good team here. Those games are fun. They're close, they're intense and fun to win."

    Vegas improved to 14-5-2 against the tightly contested Pacific Division, and 3-0-0 in March. The Golden Knights are 5-2-0 against Calgary all-time, including a perfect 4-0-0 mark at home.

    Engelland, who played 226 games for the Flames from 2014-17, scored his first goal since Dec. 6 when he beat Calgary goalie David Rittich with a tight fit into the corner.

    "It's always nice to chip in no matter when it is," Engelland said. "It's definitely a little sweeter against your old team."

    Travis Hamonic scored Calgary's lone goal, while Rittich made 36 saves.

    Calgary, which is 7-3-1 in its last 11 games, is now 0-3-0 in March. The Flames saw their four-game road win streak snapped.

    Theodore put the defending Western Conference champs on top midway through the first, with a slap shot into the top corner that gave Vegas a 1-0 lead.

    Calgary thought it tied the game when Johnny Gaudreau backhanded a rebound past Fleury. But after the goal was challenged for goaltender interference, officials ruled "the actions of (Matthew) Tkachuk impaired Fleury's ability to defend his goal."

    Fleury's career-high scoreless streak came to an end in the second period, when Hamonic lasered a slap shot from the point to tie the score at 1-all. Fleury hadn't allowed a goal in the previous 200:41.

    Tempers flared near the end of the second when Tkachuck backed into Fleury and Golden Knights defenseman Colin Miller took offense. After the two tussled, Tkachuck got in Fleury's face, and was met by Vegas' Cody Eakin and Nate Schmidt. Then it was Fleury laying his stick down and removing his right glove while staring down Rittich, who didn't budge from his zone.

    "He came to the blue line so you feel a little challenge," Fleury said. "I don't want to be chasing a goalie around though. That's fine, I just thought he was gonna come. Nothing happened."

    Said Rittich: "I didn't want to cross the red line and take a penalty."

    Calgary, which has outscored opponents 95-55 in the third period, was outshot 15-11 in the third period while being kept out of the net by Fleury.

    Flames coach Bill Peters, who wanted a call on Eakin late in the third period, didn't hold back with his displeasure of the referees. Peters said Eakin threw a hip into Gaudreau, adding it was "as obvious a penalty as anything that was called in the evening."

    "I didn't like the fact the officiating standard changed," Peters said. "I though the calls early were poor. Especially the call on Hathaway -- a real poor call, real soft call this time of year. And then they put the whistles away in the third. So, in the first, everything is a penalty. And in the third, nothing is a penalty. ... I thought that standard definitely changed, and it doesn't help you when you're either chasing the game or trying to score to get it tied up. It is what it is."

    Vegas visits Calgary on Sunday for the final meeting of the season.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  19. #69
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    Game #68

    0 2

    Kuemper shuts out West leaders, Coyotes top Flames 2-0

    Keller, Chychrun get Coyotes back in win columnArizona wins its seventh game out of eight, as Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun are the goal scorers in the Coyotes' 2-0 win over the Flames.

    GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With a hot goaltender and a nice run of winning, the Arizona Coyotes have tightened the race for a wild-card playoff spot in the Western Conference.

    Darcy Kuemper's play in net made a big difference again, as he made 30 saves to shut out the Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames in a 2-0 Coyotes victory Thursday night.

    Clayton Keller and Jakob Chychrun scored for the Coyotes, who sent the suddenly struggling Flames to their fourth straight defeat.

    Kuemper improved to 16-4-3 in goal since Jan. 1 and logged his third shutout of the season. Arizona has won seven of eight and kept pace with wild-card leaders Dallas and Minnesota. The Coyotes are three points out of the second wild-card spot in the West.

    Kuemper had to face an extra attacker for the final 4:35 of the game after Calgary pulled goalie Mike Smith.

    "They needed to ... I guess with the timeout they thought they could draw something up and maybe catch us by surprise," Kuemper said. "But the guys did a great job defending."

    The Flames were shut out for the first time since losing 2-0 at Dallas on Dec. 18, and were held scoreless for the fourth time this season. Calgary had won the previous three meetings with Arizona by a combined score of 18-4.

    "They've kind of had our number," Chychrun said. "We kind of owed them one."

    Keller's 13th goal of the season came at 10:16 of the first period, and gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead. Christian Dvorak skated up the wing with the puck and timed a pass across the Calgary zone to Keller. The Flames defender had fallen trying to block the delivery, but the puck reached Keller for a wrist shot into the net.

    The Flames had a couple of quality chances miss just wide or over the net in the first.

    "We're playing well in our own zone, we're playing well defensively," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "We're having a hard time getting it to go and some of the execution could be a little bit better, but I think once we get one or two, I think it'll start to come again."

    After a scoreless second period, the Flames opened the third on a power play. Mark Giordano's shot deflected off teammate Elias Lindholm in front of the net and pinged off a goalpost in the final seconds of the man advantage.

    Chychrun fired in a rebound that came out to him at 2:49 of the third period, after Dvorak tried to stuff the puck past Smith.

    The Flames challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but it was upheld.

    Smith, a former Coyotes goaltender, had 23 saves including one on Keller on a breakaway in the third period.

    "It's hard to score, it's hard to win this time of year," Smith said. "There's no sense of getting frustrated about it, we have to be better."

    Vinnie Hinostroza missed a penalty shot with 7:26 to play that would have extended the Coyotes' lead.

    "If we stick to our game plan, that's the key," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "I felt we had more guys invested in what we were trying to do."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  20. #70
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    Game # 69

    6 3

    Tkachuk's 1st hat trick leads Flames past Golden Knights 6-3


    Tkachuk records hat trick in Flames' winMatthew Tkachuk picks up the 1st hat trick of his career as the Flames beat the Golden Knights 6-3.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Matthew Tkachuk refused to take all the credit after recording the first hat trick of his NHL career.

    The Calgary left wing scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick and added an assist to lead the Flames to a 6-3 victory over Vegas on Sunday night that snapped the Golden Knights' six-game winning streak.

    "They were awesome," Tkachuk said of linemates Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik. "Gave me a couple tap-in birdies there, a couple open nets. They were awesome tonight to play with."

    Backlund added two goals and an assist for the Flames, who ended a four-game skid to move back atop the Pacific Division standings ahead of San Jose. Frolik had four assists as the line combined for 11 points.

    "Right off the hop, we skated well, had some energy," Backlund said. "I thought all night we had some good forechecks. We made some good plays, smart plays. Overall, both Fro and Chucky had a good night. We're, of course, happy and satisfied with helping the team win."

    Andrew Mangiapane also scored for Calgary, while David Rittich made 25 saves to improve his record to 23-7-5.

    Brandon Pirri, Reilly Smith and Mark Stone scored for the Golden Knights. Malcolm Subban finished with 29 saves.

    Backlund redirected Rasmus Andersson's point shot past Subban with 21.8 seconds remaining before the second intermission for a power-play goal to put Calgary ahead to stay at 4-3.

    Tkachuk one-timed a pass from Backlund past Subban at 15:43 of the third period before rounding out the scoring with an empty-net goal.

    "The start wasn't there tonight and ultimately that cost us," Vegas forward Max Pacioretty said. "They're a good team for a reason. They were hungry for that win tonight."

    Mangiapane opened the scoring for the Flames at 2:40 of the first period when he snapped a shot over Subban's left pad after finding himself all alone with the puck in the slot, thanks to a nice pass from linemate Garnet Hathaway.

    Backlund put the Flames up 2-0 at 7:37 when he skated across the blue line and let go a long-range wrist shot that beat Subban over his left pad again.

    Pirri converted a nice pass from Alex Tuch at 14:40 of the first to pull the Golden Knights back within a goal. Situated behind the Calgary net, Tuch kicked a hard pass from Cody Eakin onto his stick before quickly throwing it out front to Pirri, who one-timed the puck into the top corner behind Rittich.

    Tkachuk extended Calgary's lead to 3-1 with 62 seconds left in the opening period when he tapped a cross-crease feed from Frolik past Subban, who got a piece of the puck with his stick.

    Smith and Stone were also the beneficiaries of nice passes from their linemates early in the second period as the Golden Knights tied it at 3.

    Smith took a pass from William Karlsson and backhanded a shot in behind Rittich just 21 seconds into the period before Stone one-timed a feed from Paul Stastny past the Calgary goalie 59 seconds later.

    The Flames had a great chance to take the lead back a short time later, but Subban made a nice glove save to stop a backhand shot from the slot by Johnny Gaudreau. Rittich then stood his ground to turn aside a breakaway attempt by Jonathan Marchessault at the other end of the ice.

    "The early two goals put us behind and we started chasing from there," said Vegas coach Gerard Gallant, who didn't fault Subban for the loss. "He made some key saves at key times when it was 3-3. He kept us in that game. We just gave them too many good chances."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  21. #71
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    Game # 70

    9 4

    Johnny Gaudreau has 6 points as Flames scorch Devils 9-4

    Gaudreau gets a hat trick in Flames' winJohnny Gaudreau's hat trick helps lift the Flames 9-4 over the Devils.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Johnny Gaudreau busted out of a scoring slump in a big way.

    Gaudreau had three goals and three assists, and the Calgary Flames scored six times in the third period on their way to a 9-4 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.

    Derek Ryan added two goals for Calgary. Sam Bennett, Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan also scored.

    The Flames went ahead to stay on Gaudreau's penalty shot 1:01 into the third. Gaudreau finished off his hat trick at 12:01, converting a setup from Monahan.

    "Johnny's a special player and he had a great statement night for himself," Monahan said.

    It was the NHL's first six-point game since Dallas' Jamie Benn on Nov. 14, 2013, at Calgary. Gaudreau became the first Flames player to accomplish the feat since Al MacInnis on March 20, 1994.

    The stellar performance gave Gaudreau a career-high 33 goals and 90 points. He had just one goal in his previous 19 games.

    "Sometimes you're fighting the puck, sometimes you're feeling good, you're getting looks, you're making plays up and down the ice," Gaudreau said. "Our line was clicking tonight. We knew we had some jump from warmups and we came in the locker room and we knew we were going to have a good night."

    Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac, Kyle Palmieri and Kenny Agostino scored for New Jersey (25-36-9). The Devils are winless in their last seven (0-6-1).

    "When you look at what happened in the third period, the first goal is fluky and then after that it was just mental mistakes that can't happen," Devils coach John Hynes said. "We have to be a much smarter group than that and more attention to detail."

    Peppered with 39 shots, Mackenzie Blackwood was in net for all nine goals and fell to 6-8-0.

    "It's a tough one, for sure," he said. "It's just unacceptable from myself and everyone else in the lineup. It starts with me and ends with me."

    Devils captain Andy Greene defended Blackwood's outing, shifting the blame to the team in front of him.

    "If you go and look back at all their goals, what could you do on any of them, literally," he said. "All point-blank. All back-door. All breakaways. He fought really hard tonight and played really well and we were garbage in front of him."

    The game took a sharp turn early in the third.

    Ryan scored 41 seconds into the period, tying it at 4, and then Gaudreau was hooked from behind on a breakaway by Damon Severson, leading to a penalty shot.

    Gaudreau made no mistake, slowly winding his way in before ripping a shot past Blackwood.

    "That's a big goal. Important time," Monahan said. "He put that in and we started to ride with it."

    Making it three goals in less than two minutes, Calgary went ahead 6-4 at 2:37 when Ryan was set up by Gaudreau on a 2-on-1. Patiently holding on to the puck, Gaudreau froze Blackwood before sending the puck across to Ryan, who was left with a wide-open net.

    "You know that when he gets the puck on his stick, he's looking for you, he's a dynamic passer and he just filters it right through the guy's legs for a backdoor tap-in," Ryan said. "That's pretty nice."

    Calgary (43-20-7) remains one point back of the Pacific Division and Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks, who won 5-4 in Winnipeg.

    David Rittich had 22 stops to improve to 24-7-5.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  22. #72
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    Game # 71

    5 1

    Tkachuk's 5-point game leads Flames past Rangers 5-1

    Gaudreau, Tkachuk score in Flames' rout of RangersJohnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk both score in Flames win over the Rangers.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- Matthew Tkachuk's playmaking skills were on full display for the Flames. And, the New York Rangers suffered the consequences.

    Tkachuk scored two goals -- his 31st and 32nd of the season -- and had a career-high five points to lead Calgary to a 5-1 victory Friday night.

    "Obviously when I have the puck on my stick and guys are going to the net, I want to make plays," said Tkachuk, who was also a plus-five. "I don't think of myself as a shooter or a passer, I'm just somebody trying to read the play and make the best play possible."

    Johnny Gaudreau, Garnet Hathaway and Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary, which moved one point ahead of the San Jose Sharks for the Pacific Division lead with 11 games to go.

    Tkachuk had 10 points (six goals, four assists) on the Flames' 3-0-0 homestand. The hot streak comes after an extended cold stretch during which he had just six points in the previous 18 games.

    "He makes subtle, little smart plays, plays off the wall, plays where he protects it and uses his body to protect the puck, he's smart," Flames coach Bill Peters said. "Just a real smart and instinctive player, but a lot of it is just the way he goes about the game. He's a student of the game and he looks to get better each and every time he goes on the ice."

    Neal Pionk scored for the New York, which is winless in its last six on the road.

    They were moving the puck around smart," Rangers defenseman Marc Staal said. "They had some guys that were making some really nice plays and we just didn't have an answer for it. It's hard in those situations to not let it snowball. I thought we got down and couldn't get anything going after that."

    Tied at 1 after 20 minutes, Tkachuk gave the Flames the lead for good 2:56 into the second when he deflected Mark Giordano's point shot past Alexandar Georgiev.

    Just over a minute later, Tkachuk earned his 100th career assist, setting up Hathaway in front to make it 3-1.

    It was all the offensive support needed by David Rittich, who turned aside 24 shots to improve to 25-7-5.

    Georgiev made 27 saves to fall to 10-12-3.

    Gaudreau opened the scoring 10 minutes into the first period on a beautiful pass by Tkachuk. Looking more like a football quarterback, Tkachuk lobbed a 95-foot pass from deep in his own end that landed on the stick of Gaudreau, springing him on a breakaway. Coming off a three-goal, six-point night on Tuesday, Gaudreau remained hot, making a nice move before slipping the puck through Georgiev's pads for his team-leading 34th goal.

    "I saw Johnny flying and I saw the (defense) and they weren't looking at me, so if I threw it up in the air, it's not like he can turn around, catch it and come back," Tkachuk said. So I just thought, it's better that (I) rip it hard and see if it goes past him. It was such a fortunate bounce, it just landed and stopped. Johnny went in and made an unbelievable move."

    The Rangers tied it 70 seconds later when Ryan Strome found Pionk coming late and the defenseman wired a slap shot inside the post.

    The Flames put the game away in the third period. Tkachuk's third primary assist, as he set up Frolik in front, made it 4-1 at 5:12. He rounded out the scoring by converting Mikael Backlund's pass at 9:49.

    "We've been a team that has played hard, but big deal," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "You should play hard in the National Hockey League. You're a professional athlete. You shouldn't get patted on the back because you played hard. It should be expected. We didn't play hard tonight. We certainly didn't play smart tonight."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  23. #73
    The Legend Killer
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    Game # 72

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    Scheifele, Hellebuyck lead Jets past Flames, 2-1

    Perreault scores go-ahead goal as Jets beat FlamesMathieu Perreault scores the game-winning goal to lead the Jets to a 2-1 win over the Flames.

    WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Mark Scheifele scored his 34th goal of the season, Mathieu Perreault had the winner and the Winnipeg Jets beat Calgary 2-1 on Saturday night to end the Flames' winning streak at three games.

    "The 2-1 games, you know, this is playoff-type hockey," Perreault said. "That's what we want. We're not looking to score five, six goals and make it like an open game. We like the 2-1 games where we defend hard and bury them when we get a chance."

    Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves, allowing only Mark Jankowski's goal.

    "We knew it was going to be a good game, and a tight one," Jankowski said. "Not a lot of space out there, time or space for either team. I thought we played well, thought we played a full 60 (minutes). Had some chances in the third, hit some posts, their goalie made some saves."

    Mike Smith stopped 19 shots for the Flames.

    Jankowski tied it with a short-handed goal at 7:16 of the second period. Perreault put the Jets in front at 10:18 on the same power play with Mikael Backlund serving a double-minor for high-sticking Bryan Little.

    Scheifele opened the scoring with nine seconds remaining in the first period, taking a pass from defenseman Ben Chiarot across the front of the crease and beating Smith over his glove.

    "We're playing solid," Scheifele said. "You just have to have that attitude that it's a playoff game from here on in. You've got to ramp yourself up, you've got to be ready for that grind. We've done that lately."
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

  24. #74
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    Game # 73

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    Flames topple Blue Jackets 4-2

    Gaudreau pulls Flames even in the 1stJohnny Gaudreau nets his team-leading 35th goal in the first period as he sends a wrister into the back of the net from the slot.

    CALGARY, Alberta -- In the first two periods, the Columbus Blue Jackets hit three goal posts.

    It was that kind of night.

    Johnny Gaudreau scored his team-leading 35th goal and Michael Frolik added a goal and an assist as the Calgary Flames beat Columbus 4-2 on Tuesday.

    "We're finding ways to not score, I guess. It's frustrating, but you've got to keep going and have the faith that it's going to break," Blue Jackets forward Matt Duchene said. "Today we lost some ground, but we're still in a (playoff) spot."

    David Rittich made 31 saves to win his fourth start in a row. Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk also scored for the Flames, and Austin Czarnik had two assists.

    Oliver Bjorkstrand and defenseman Zach Werenski scored for Columbus. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 27 shots.

    "They had a push, for sure. They're a desperate team. A really big, strong team that plays well," Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. "Their defensemen get in the rush, so it was an important two points for us tonight and I thought we dug deep."

    The Flames were the first Western Conference team to clinch a playoff spot Sunday.

    With nine games remaining in the regular season, their objective is staying atop the Pacific Division ahead of San Jose. Calgary opened a three-point lead over the idle Sharks, who clinched a playoff berth Tuesday when the Minnesota Wild lost to Colorado.

    "It's nine games to the end, we've got three points up, so every single point is important," Rittich said. "We want to finish first."

    Columbus is clinging to the second Eastern Conference wild-card slot by one point after Montreal's 3-1 victory in Philadelphia.

    Blue Jackets shooters hit the post three times in the first 40 minutes, prompting Rittich to give his posts a kiss during the game.

    "Three goal posts," Duchene lamented. "We're playing good hockey. Just not getting the offense when we need it."

    Mangiapane scored late in the first period and Frolik 35 seconds into the second to give the Flames an early 3-1 cushion.

    Bjorkstrand's power-play goal at 5:28 of the third pulled the Blue Jackets within a goal. His wrist shot from the faceoff circle rolled up and over Rittich's left shoulder.

    Rittich, however, stymied a second man-advantage midway through the period after Calgary was called for delay of game.

    "There was a few I thought he made look easy that were difficult saves," Giordano said. "That was huge for us."

    Flames defenseman Noah Hanifin blocked a shot with the back of his head midway through the second period. He left the game, but returned for the third.

    Rittich certainly got help from the goal posts and his teammates, but he also didn't give up rebounds to Columbus for follow-up chances.

    "There wasn't much laying around," Calgary coach Bill Peters said. "I thought he was real tidy."

    Frolik scored Calgary's third goal on a neutral-zone pass from defenseman T.J. Brodie. Frolik eluded Blue Jackets defenseman Seth Jones to beat Bobrovsky.

    Calgary's Garnet Hathaway and Blue Jackets defenseman Adam McQuaid collided behind the play a minute later and traded punches.

    Lukas Sedlak and Ryan Dzingel both shot the puck off Rittich's left post for the Blue Jackets during the last three minutes of the first period.

    But Calgary led 2-1 on Mangiapane's goal with the clock ticking down. He had half an open net to score with a backhand when Bobrovsky lost track of Mark Jankowski's pass through traffic.

    Gaudreau pulled the Flames even at 12:44. From the behind the goal line, Derek Ryan threw the puck to Gaudreau in the high slot for the winger to score.

    Werenski made the most of a neutral-zone turnover by Calgary for the game's first goal. The defenseman hustled the puck into the offensive zone and beat Rittich with a wrist shot at 10:25.
    Two time winner of the "Zukes" Cup (2011, 2012)

    Jagr tells the crowd that he wanted to make a beautiful goal but ... "It hit my ass," he said.

    "You know what was great, was today one of his fans mooned me, and he had Happy, written on his ass, HA on one cheek, and then sure enough PPY, right there on the other" ~ Shooter McGavin

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