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Monahan is Money: Calgary Flames (6) vs Anaheim Ducks (1)

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Sean Monahan has a 4-point game after a mini slump is out of his funk.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames
Stride of confidence, Sean Monahan with 2G, 2A against the Ducks
Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Preview

Mike Smith is starting goaltender for the Calgary Flames. He has 21 wins in 37 starts and 2,222 minutes played this season, 6-3-1 in last 10 games. Sam Bennett (upper body) is still out of the Flames lineup.

Ryan Miller making his 2nd appearance in 7 games between the pipes for the Anaheim Ducks. He has a record of 9-6-1 against the Flames.

Ryan Getzlaf is still out for the Ducks. Sam Steel is the Duck to watch, coming off 4 points in 2 games since being called up from the AHL - registering his first career hat trick last game verse the Vancouver Canucks.

1st

Smith loses his helmet half way into the period - a little shaky, but gets some help early on from Prout who deflects a shot by hot hand Sam Steel, Prout then blocks another shot in front of the Flames netminder.

Smith getting some help from the post as well as Backlund is stripped by Adam Henrique, and Perry is able to cycle it back to Henrique for a shot that makes it past Smith up high, but hits the crossbar.

Andy Welinski, who was called up by the Ducks last week, gets his first goal just after the 10 minute mark of the first period. The goal coming after Backlund is tossed out of the F/O circle, Frolik comes in, and loses the F/O in the Flames zone. Ducks Rickard Rakell not able to control the puck, steers it towards Smith, who proceeds to poke check the rebound and sends the puck sailing past Brodie and onto Welinski’s stick for a snipe shot goal. 1-0 Ducks up.

Flames are first to go on a PP with Sherwood in the hotbox for the Ducks for high-sticking Monahan. Peters has Brodie-Andersson, Lindholm-Tkachuk-Backlund on for the PP. A couple good looks from Andersson and Lindholm, but Miller solid in net for Ducks.

Captain Mark Giordano scores his 17th goal at 4:28 clock, right after giving up the puck to Rakell who was able to make a play to Jones for a rush on Smith, who made a huge save, sending Gaudreau back up the other end for a quick shot on Miller. #13’s shot rebound gets cycled around the Ducks net and finds its way to Monahan who is able to shovel the puck back to where he knows Gio will be, and the Flames captain - on cue - snipes one from the hash marks past Miller tying the game 1-1 before the 1st intermission.

2nd

Sean Monahan with the go ahead goal early in the second period. 32nd goal for Monny coming off of an Andersson rebound.

Flames PP goal is awarded to James Neal. The shift starting with Czarnik pinging one off the post. The Flames able to keep possession of the puck with Czarnik and Giordano playing the passing game before Gio lets one rip. The rebound going back to Czarnik, who shoots but his shot is blocked and deflected - Monahan able to get a handle on it and shooting five hole on Miller, the puck deflected off Neal’s stick on its way in.

The Flames up 3-1 on the Ducks half way into the game, and 1/3 for PPG.

Shots are 26 Flames, 19 Ducks at the end of the second. Two penalties handed out to the Ducks this period, with the Flames capitalizing on one.

3rd

Derek Ryan tips a point shot by TJ Brodie making it 4-1 Flames. Garnet Hathaway making it 5-1 Flames - Hamonic and Mangiapane registering assists.

Money Monahan caps off the game - turning for a one timer pass from Johnny - making it his 33rd goal of the season. 6-1 Flames!

Total SOG 37 Flames, 22 Ducks Total PIM 2 Flames, 6 Ducks

Final Thoughts

Smith makes 21 saves, 0.955 SV% as the Flames offense is able to lead the way to a W. Smith being saved by the post a couple of times, during the 1st period, and then again in the 3rd as Ducks Hampus Lindholm sees red. Smith staying square to the puck which allows him to make an early save on a Larsson shot, right before the Welinski goal - the W should be a huge confidence builder for him and the team.

Bill Peters keeps 3M together, but continues to shuffle Monahan and Neal - the result - points for both players. Lets hope this is motivation enough with 4 practice games remaining for the Flames before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

In other NHL news:

Colorado Avalanche (85pts) triumph over the Arizona Coyotes (82pts) in a shootout win, both teams fighting for a wild card spot.

Minnesota Wild (79pts) are still in the running, and are up 3-1 on the Las Vegas Golden Knights (90pts) at the end of the two periods.

Next up:

The Calgary Flames take on the San Jose Sharks in California on Sunday, March 31st at 6pm MT. The Flames are up 8 points on the Sharks (95pts) in the Pacific division leader race after tonights win. Flames are holding on to first place in the West with 103 points!