'HOLM SWEET HOME!

FLAMES TAKE OUT WILD IN FOURTH-STRAIGHT WIN

Calgary Sun - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS­TEN AN­DER­SON

An of­fen­sive dis­play this was not.

But you re­ally didn’t ex­pect an­other 15-goal game, did you? Against the Min­nesota Wild on a Thurs­day night at the Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome?

Still, just like Tues­day’s 9-6 win over the Colum­bus Blue Jack­ets, the Cal­gary Flames de­liv­ered the same end re­sult and cap­tured their fourth straight vic­tory with a 2-0 de­ci­sion against the visi­tors from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Don’t look now, but Cal­gary is now 8-1-1 in its last 10 games and im­proved to 18-9-2 with the win.

Elias Lind­holm ac­counted for both of Cal­gary’s goals, the sec­ond marker net­ted with just 1:13 elapsed in the third pe­riod — which padded the top line’s stats again, now hav­ing chipped in for 44 of the Flames’ 102 to­tal goals scored this sea­son.

Mike Smith pro­duced his sec­ond shutout of the sea­son, stop­ping 31 shots and im­prov­ing to 5-0-0 in his last five ap­pear­ances, a com­plete turn­around from a month ago.

“Out­stand­ing,” said Flames head coach Bill Peters on Smith’s play. “He was real good, and I thought he was a big part of ev­ery­thing we did here tonight. He han­dled the puck real well. He al­le­vi­ated some of their forecheck pres­sure.

“But the big thing is: huge saves and big times and real solid on the PK.”

The 36-year-old was ex­cel­lent, steady and phys­i­cally in­volved par­tic­u­larly in the sec­ond pe­riod, which saw him lay a body­check on Zach Parise be­hind the Flames net to cre­ate a turnover. His pals in front con­verted the play into a scor­ing chance, a per­fectly ex­e­cuted pass­ing play be­tween Mark Gior­dano, Sean Mon­a­han and Johnny Gau­dreau, who just missed a tap-in.

Shortly af­ter that, the Flames were killing off Noah Han­i­fin’s trip­ping penalty and Smith came up with back-to-back saves on lo­cal lad Matt Dumba, which elicited big cheers from the home crowd.

Speak­ing of Dumba, the for­mer Red Deer Rebel, with 42.4 sec­onds re­main­ing in the third pe­riod, de­liv­ered a crush­ing blow to Mikael Back­lund, who im­me­di­ately headed down the Flames’ tun­nel to­ward the dress­ing room.

Ryan Lomberg, stand­ing up for his team­mate, skated down the en­tire length of the ice to tackle the Wild de­fender, which put the Wild on the power play for the dy­ing sec­onds of the game.

When asked if Dumba’s hit was clean, Peters — who was steam­ing mad on the bench when the hit hap­pened — rolled his eyes, scoffed, and re­ferred to the fi­nal 3:20 when the Wild pulled their net.

“We cre­ated a turnover in the neu­tral zone and Back­lund had the puck and got tripped — that’s a goal. It’s 3-0, game over,” Peters said. That’s where it should have ended … ref the whole game, play 60 min­utes as a player, don’t put the whis­tle away as a ref … I think there was a trip on Back­lund from (Mikael) Gran­lund.”

Re­gard­less, there was no call on the play and Lomberg was tossed from the game.

The Flames were out­shot 31-20 and blocked 11 shots to Min­nesota’s 21. Still, Lind­holm made it count on two of his three shots on net. His first goal came 50 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod on a two-on-one with Gau­dreau, who fed his right-winger at the per­fect time and Lind­holm made no mis­take.

It was re­demp­tion af­ter hav­ing a goal waved off at 13:16 of the first pe­riod when Gau­dreau at­tempted to save a

Gavin YOunG/POST­media

Mike Smith de­flects this slap shot by the Min­nesota Wild’s Matt Dumba.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.