Flames rout Coyotes 9-1 after clinching playoff spot
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk each had two goals and two assists and the Calgary Flames routed the Arizona Coyotes 9-1 on Saturday night after they clinched a playoff spot before the game started.
Edmonton locked Pacific Division-leading Calgary into the postseason by beating Vegas 4-0 earlier in the day.
The Flames, 46-20-9 and sitting atop the Pacific Division, became the third Western Conference club to earn a playoff berth, following Colorado and St. Louis.
“It’s really difficult to make the playoffs,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “Only half the teams in the league do it. We made the playoffs with two weeks left in the season.”
Dillon Dube also scored twice and Elias Lindholm had a goal and three assists. Andrew Mangiapane and Blake Coleman added goals and Jacob Markstrom stopped 25 shots.
Arizona led 1-0 after the first period on Nick Ritchie’s first-minute goal. The Flames broke it open with four goals in a 2:33 span early in the second.
“We had a good first period, then they had a push in the second where they scored four goals on four shots,” Coyotes coach André Tourigny said. “We were out of it, and I think we had a tough time bouncing back after.”
It was the second-fastest four-goal run in Flames franchise history, behind only a 1:21 span on Feb. 10, 1993, against San Jose.
“It was exciting not only for us. Think the fans are fired up. We were fired up,” Gaudreau said. “At that point, it’s only a three-goal game and we needed to keep pushing.”
Lindholm and Tkachuk each scored their 39th goals and Gaudreau had his 36th.
Calgary has seven games remaining in their regular season, including two at home.
“We still have a lot to play for,” Tkachuk said. “We know we’re in a position now where we’re going to play a team that’s going to have been playing well going into the playoffs to make it. Home ice is huge. We’re playing for that and trying to play good hockey going into it.”
Coyotes: Host Carolina on Monday night.
Flames: At Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night.
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