Calgary Flames 9 - NJ Devils 4
It didn’t look like like this one was going to end the way it did after the Flames found themselves down 3-1 a mere 41 seconds into the second period, but boy did the Flames pour it on in the third period. The Flames “clawed” their way back into this game and used a six goal third period to win their second straight game by the score of 9-4 over the NJ Devils.
The much scrutinized Flames top line certainly came to life tonight as they accounted for 14 total points in the victory. Johnny Gaudreau had three goals and three assists. Elias Lindholm had one goal and three assists. Sean Monahan had a goal and three assists. If you’re going to break out of a slump, that’s the way to do it.
Calgary looked strong early on as Johnny Gaudreau would open the scoring a little over five minutes into the first period to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. But after that NJ took advantage of some sloppy Flames play and would reel off three straight goals giving the Devils a 3-1 lead.
The Flames would get second period markers from Sam Bennett and Elias Lindholm within three minutes of each other in the second period to pull the Flames even at 3-3. NJ would would mount one last push with a goal off of the stick of Travis Zajac and NJ would grab it’s final lead and glimmer of hope in this contest.
With the Sharks winning and looking at a potential three point deficit in the Pacific Division and Western Conference the Flames would turn on the afterburners and absolutely destroy New Jersey in the third period. Calgary would score three straight goals in 1:56, two from Derek Ryan and the other one a Johnny Gaudreau penalty shot and the rout was on. Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk would round out the third period scoring barrage as a shell shocked Devils team could only stare in disbelief as their 4-3 lead turned into a 9-4 loss at the Saddledome.
1st: 5:05- Gaudreau (31) (Lindholm/Monahan)
2nd: 7:17- Bennett (12) (Giordano/Ryan), 10:13- Lindholm (27) (Monahan),
3rd: 00:41- Ryan (8) (Bennett/Giordano), 1:01- Gaudreau (32) (Unassisted), 2:37- Ryan (9) (Gaudreau/Lindholm), 12:01- Gaudreau (33) (Monahan/Andersson), 18:41- Monahan (31) (Gaudreau/Lindholm), 18:57- Tkachuk (30) (Fantenberg/Backlund)
1st: 16:03- Coleman (20) (Unassisted), 18:18- Palmieri (27) (Severson)
2nd: 00:54- Agostino (4) (Butcher/Carrick), 17:49- (SHG) Zajac (16) (Coleman/Greene)
As far as slump busters go this is about as good as it gets. The Flames top line had one goal in their last five games and Gaudreau had only two goals in his last 20, but tonight was a different story. Calgary’s top trio combined for five goals on the night and looked like a unit that was ready to ramp it up.
David Rittich’s stat line won’t look spectacular as he surrendered four goals on 26 shots, but you can’t hang a lot of that on the Flames keeper. Despite fielding a borderline AHL roster, NJ pushed hard and forced the Flames into some untimely turnovers and odd man rushes that lead to their scoring chances. Big Save Dave made some timely stops with the Devils ahead 4-3 that allowed Calgary to get back into this game.
Flame Of The Game
Johnny Gaudreau (F): Flames fans have been clamoring for the star winger to start putting the puck in the net again and did he ever tonight. Gaudreau came into this contest with 84 points and was sinking in the Art Ross Trophy race, but after this showing he now has 90 points and is fourth in the league in scoring.
3/15: Calgary Flames vs NY Rangers, 7 PM MT