Flames top Jets, tie franchise mark with 10-game win streak
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Elias Lindholm’s go-ahead goal with 47 seconds remaining extended his goal streak to eight games and the Calgary Flames tied a franchise record with their 10th consecutive victory, winning 3-1 over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.
The 10-game winning streak ties a franchise record. It was done on two occasions, the previous time was in 2016-17 with the streak beginning five years ago Monday. The other time was in 1978-79, when the franchise was in Atlanta.
“Ten in a row is nice,” Lindholm said. “We were struggling a little bit there before we started this streak. It’s nice to see it go in. It was a tough game, it was tight. Not a lot of chances, but we stuck with it.”
Sean Monahan and Tyler Toffoli, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary. Jacob Markstrom got the start for Calgary, making 22 stops.
Dominic Toninato scored for Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck had 28 saves for the Jets.
After winning five games in a row by three or more goals, the past two outings have been hard-fought defensive struggles. Calgary got a third-period goal to win 2-1 over Seattle on Saturday. It was a similar script on Monday.
On the go-ahead goal, Johnny Gaudreau sent a shot toward the net that Lindholm got his stick on, the puck changing directions and eluding Hellebuyck.
“Quick transition, I just brought it back up the ice,” Gaudreau said. “I saw (Oliver Kylington) going back door and I saw (Lindholm) in front so I just chucked it there and great tip by Lindy.”
Lindholm has been the hottest Flames player during the streak with a team-best 16 points. He now shares the record for consecutive games with a goal with Kent Nilsson and Gary Roberts. He also extends his points streak to 10 games (nine goals, seven assists).
“It’s just a good feeling. You have confidence and you feel like you have a chance on every shot,” Lindholm said.
Lindholm has had three consecutive game-winning goals.
“Goal scoring is one thing, lots of guys are scoring goals, but don’t score big goals or at playoff time, don’t get scoring chances,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “He scores big goals which usually translates into the next part.”
It looked as if Lindholm had a goal in the second period. At 11:36 with the score 1-1, Lindholm knocked in a pass from Matthew Tkachuk.
However, the Jets challenged for offside and, upon video review, the goal was overturned with Lindholm crossing the blue line just ahead of the puck being carried in by Oliver Kylington.
After a scoreless first period in which neither team generated much, the Flames opened the scoring 1:07 into the second on the power play. Monahan got the puck from Andrew Mangiapane and put a wrist shot over Hellebuyck’s shoulder from 20 feet.
The Jets tied it at 7:39 with Toninato deflecting in mid-air Neal Pionk’s point shot.
It was another solid game for Calgary’s third-ranked penalty kill. The Flames have allowed one power-play goal in the past 10 games, going 24 for 25 over that stretch.
The Flames also set an NHL record by completing a perfect seven-game homestand. It’s the first time in league history that a team swept a homestand of seven or more games.
“It’s a blast,” Gaudreau said about the mood among his teammates. “Obviously, we’re winning games, we’re playing well, we’re doing better at practice. It’s nice that we get to stay in Calgary. We’ve been in Calgary for a while now.”
The Jets dropped the opener of a four-game trip that continues in Dallas on Wednesday.
“I’m sure we can find some positives. I think at this point of the year it’s about wins,” said Winnipeg center Pierre-Luc Dubois. “Calgary’s a good team. Nobody thought it was going to be an easy game, but it could’ve gone either way tonight. Unfortunately it went their way. It’s a playoff race right now. Can’t be losing too many games.”
The Jets are seven points back of the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.
“I think as a group we’re disappointed,” Jets coach Dave Lowry said. “We made a mistake and it ended up in the back of the net. We played a real solid, committed team game and there should be disappointment.”
NOTES: Winnipeg C Andrew Copp (upper body) missed his third game. ... Calgary tweaked its lines with Milan Lucic moving up to play with Monahan and Toffoli while Dillon Dube dropped down to the fourth line with Adam Ruzicka and Trevor Lewis. ... Calgary’s penalty kill is No. 1 at home, only allowing four power-play goals on 54 chances at the Saddledome.
Jets: at Dallas on Wednesday night.
Flames: at Vancouver on Thursday night.
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