Flames Beat Islanders – Gaudreau Snaps Scoring Skid

CALGARY — Johnny Gaudreau snapped a nine-game goalless drought with his 30th of the season on Wednesday, and the Calgary Flames scored twice in the third period for a 4-2 win over the New York Islanders.

Austin Czarnik — with his third goal in as many games — broke a 2-2 tie 6:10 into the third and Gaudreau scored 29 seconds later on a power play.

Gaudreau’s goal, nine seconds into the man advantage, was blasted into the top corner on a slap shot, tying his career-high for goals set in 2015-16.

Mikael Backlund and Travis Hamonic also scored for Calgary (37-16-7). The Flames have won three straight after losing four in a row and continue to lead both the Pacific Division and Western Conference.

Michael Frolik, Mikael Backlund,
Calgary Flames’ Michael Frolik celebrates with Mikael Backlund (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Casey Cizikas and Anders Lee scored for New York (35-18-6).

The surging Islanders, who opened a three-game road trip through Western Canada, lost in regulation for just the third time in their last 16 games. New York plays in Edmonton on Thursday.

Backlund opened the scoring just five minutes in on a two-on-one. Michael Frolik landed a perfect saucer pass on Backlund’s tape as he cut to the net and he neatly tucked the puck past Thomas Greiss.

Hamonic, a former Islander, made it 2-0 at 15:59. Off a face-off win by Elias Lindholm, Backlund slid the puck back to the blueline and Hamonic sent a high shot past Greiss.

The assist extended Lindholm’s point streak to six games (two goals, seven assists).

The Islanders cut the deficit in half at 9:51 of the second with Cizikas squirting the puck under Mike Smith’s pads. The sequence began with a TJ Brodie giveaway in front of the Calgary net.

Calgary outshot the Islanders 21-6 after 40 minutes. But the visitors tied it 1:19 into the third when Lee was left all alone in the slot. He one-timed Jordan Eberle’s pass into the net before Smith could get across.

Greiss, who entered the game with an NHL-leading .930 save percentage, finished with 28 stops to fall to 17-9-2.

Starting a fourth consecutive game for the first time since the first four games of the season, Smith made 17 saves to improve to 17-11-1.

Notes: Flames coach Bill Peters switched around his top two lines with Matthew Tkachuk moving onto the top line with Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Lindholm played right wing with Backlund and Frolik… Brodie returned after missing the last game due to injury.

Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press