Red-hot Flames take down Wild again 5-1 for 12th win in 13
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk scored 72 seconds into the game and the streaking Calgary Flames beat Minnesota 5-1 on Tuesday night for their second consecutive victory over the Wild.
Andrew Mangiapane, Elias Lindholm, Tyler Toffoli and Mikael Backlund also scored for the Flames, who have won 12 of 13. Johnny Gaudreau had two assists to add to his team-leading point total.
Jacob Markstrom made 32 saves for the win. He was also in net when Calgary routed the Wild 7-3 at home on Saturday.
“We knew they were going to come out strong tonight,” Mangiapane said. “Obviously they’re a good team. We just had to worry about ourselves and be prepared and build off our game.”
Minnesota coach Dean Evason said his team was “embarrassed” on Saturday, but the Wild were unable to respond. Their losing streak reached four games, including two straight to the Flames.
“Every team goes through something like this. You just have to get out of it,” captain Jared Spurgeon said. “We’re sticking together in there and the only way to do it is together.”
Tkachuk, who scored twice against Minnesota on Saturday, opened the scoring for the high-powered Calgary offense. The winger beat goalie Cam Talbot just 1:12 into the first period for his 27th goal of the season.
After Tkachuk tied him for the team lead in goals earlier in the period, Mangiapane regained his lead when he beat Talbot for his 28th. Mangiapane corralled a bouncing puck in front and buried it for a 2-0 lead.
Marcus Foligno put Minnesota on the board in the second period, but Calgary wasted no time answering. Lindholm fired a one-timer from the slot to make it 3-1 just 21 seconds after Foligno’s goal.
It was the timeliness of the goals that proved big for Calgary. Tkachuk’s goal in the first two minutes set the tone. Lindholm’s response to Foligno’s goal squashed any momentum for the Wild and cut the home fans’ celebration short.
“It is deflating for sure and usually when a road team does it to a home team it can take the wind out of the sails a little bit,” Foligno said.
Toffoli netted his 14th only 33 seconds into the third with a power-play goal to make it 4-1 when he redirected a shot from Gaudreau.
Talbot stopped 22 shots for the Wild, who outshot the Flames 33-27.
Two of Calgary’s goals came on the power play. Minnesota, meanwhile, went 0 for 5 with the man advantage.
“Our power play has been real good but it needs to score goals and these were playoff-atmosphere games,” Evason said.
Minnesota pulled Talbot with five minutes remaining. Backlund added an empty-netter with 2:30 to play.
Calgary’s two four-goal wins over the Wild have helped erase the sting of an unusual 7-1 loss to Vancouver last week, the only blip in the last 13 games for the Flames.
“It’s good to find ways to regroup and beat a good team twice,” Lindholm said. “It’s a very good team, so it’s fun.”
The Flames have scored four or more goals nine times in the last 12 games.
NOTES: Spurgeon played in his 743rd game, tying the team record for a defenseman. He trails only Mikko Koivu (1,028) for most career games in a Wild sweater. … Mangiapane has scored in 17 road games this season, an NHL best. He has 21 goals on the road.
Flames: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.
Wild: Play at Philadelphia on Thursday, the first stop on a two-game trip.
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