Lindholm, Flames beat Kraken 2-1 for 9th straight win
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Elias Lindholm scored for the seventh straight game and the Calgary Flames beat the Seattle Kraken 2-1 Saturday night for their ninth consecutive win.
Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and an assist for Calgary, and Jacob Markstrom stopped 22 shots while starting for the 14th time in 15 games. Lindholm, who also had an assist, extended his point streak to nine games with eight goals and seven assists during the stretch.
“A lot of teams got points last night,” Lindholm said. “We want to keep the momentum going and get some room, so it was an important win. It was tough, they played tight and it’s not a lot of room out there and not a lot of chances. We found a way.”
The Flames are one win away from matching the longest win streak in franchise history.
“I think right now we just want to win,” Markstrom said. “You want to keep winning. I don’t think anybody is looking at (the streak), but we want to keep the momentum and keep getting two points. That’s the only thing that matters right now.”
Calle Jarnkrok scored for Seattle, which has lost three straight. Philipp Grubauer finished with 35 saves.
“We came here to win a hockey game and we didn’t do that,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said. “So, the result isn’t what we want. Competitively there’s some good pieces in our game today but we came up short.”
Lindholm put the Flames ahead at 7:31 of the third period as he corralled the rebound off a shot by Chris Tanev in the slot, spun and sent a wrist shot just inside the goal post on Grubauer’s blocker side. It was his 22nd of the season and came after Grubauer had made 32 saves in a row, bouncing back spectacularly after giving up a goal on the first shot he faced.
Markstrom’s best save came four minutes into the second period when he slid across the crease with an old fashioned stacking of the pads to rob Jordan Eberle after he had been set up on a two-on-one by Alex Wennberg.
“We obviously had the majority of the shots and majority of the chances,” Markstrom said. “They had a few chances, not too many, but just to keep the scoreboard lower on my side than the other side, at the end of the day that’s what it comes down to. ... It’s tough to play against these guys. They don’t give a lot of room and they play the stretch passes and try to create scoring chances that way. You have to be mentally ready.”
In keeping the score 1-1, Grubauer stretched out his pad late in the first to rob Flames leading goal scorer Andrew Mangiapane on a one-timer. He then stopped Mangiapane on another dangerous chance six minutes into the second, this time thrusting out his blocker to get a piece of the puck.
“He did a real good job tonight. He was solid from the word go,” Hakstol said of Grubauer. “He made some big saves at good times, which you need on the road against a good team.”
Grubauer also got some help from defenseman Adam Larsson five minutes into the third. Johnny Gaudreau’s shot from 10 feet out with the net vacant was blocked by Larsson, who stuck out his leg to rob the Flames’ leading scorer.
Coming into the night, Calgary had won five games in a row by three or more goals for the first time in franchise history. The Flames had outscored teams 37-13 over that stretch.
“This is a good league, any team can beat anyone out there,” Lindholm said. “We were on a roll there, won with a couple of goals but the reality is you’re not going to do that every night. It’s going to be nights like this where you have to find a way and keep grinding, and when the chances come you have to put them in. Today we did.”
Calgary opened the scoring for the 31st time at 3:02 of the first period when Lindholm centered a pass to Tkachuk, cruising through the slot, before he beat Grubauer high on the glove side for his 24th.
Seattle tied it with 7:34 remaining in the period, taking advantage of a blunder by defenseman Noah Hanifin. Getting the puck behind the net and facing the boards, Hanifin blindly sent the puck into his own slot where there the only player there was Jarnkrok who quickly whipped a shot past a surprised Markstrom.
Mangiapane snapped a seven-game point streak snapped. ... Gaudreau had his point streak end at eight.
NOTES: Before the game, the Flames honored longtime captain Mark Giordano, who was playing his first regular-season game back in Calgary, where he played for 15 seasons and logged 949 career games, second all-time to Jarome Iginla. The half-capacity crowd gave him a 60-second standing ovation. ... Mikael Backlund played career game No. 792, moving him ahead of Theoren Fleury and into fifth on the Flames’ all-time list.
Kraken: At Vancouver on Monday night to wrap up a three-game trip.
Flames: Host Winnipeg on Monday to finish a stretch of seven straight at home.
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