Flames Down Golden Knights – Tkachuk Gets Hat Trick

CALGARY — Matthew Tkachuk recorded his first-career NHL hat trick and added an assist to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-3 win over the Vegas Golden Knights at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.

Mikael Backlund had two goals and an assist for the Flames (42-20-7), who snapped their four-game losing streak to move back atop the Pacific Division standings ahead of the San Jose Sharks (41-19-8).

Playing alongside Tkachuk and Backlund, right winger Michael Frolik had four assists as the line combined for 11 points.

Andrew Mangiapane also scored for Calgary, while goalie David Rittich made 25 saves to improve his record to 23-7-5.

Malcolm Subban, Andrew Mangiapane
Vegas Golden Knights goalie Malcolm Subban lets in a goal from Calgary Flames’ Andrew Mangiapane (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh)

Brandon Pirri, Reilly Smith and Mark Stone scored for the Golden Knights (38-27-5), whose winning streak ended at six games.

Goalie Malcolm Subban finished with 29 saves in the Vegas net.

Mangiapane opened the scoring for the Flames at 2:40 of the first period when he snapped a shot over Subban’s left pad after finding himself all alone with the puck in the slot thanks to a nice pass from linemate Garnet Hathaway.

Backlund put the Flames up 2-0 at 7:37 when he skated across the blue-line and let go a long-range wrist shot that beat Subban over his left pad once again.

Pirri converted a nice pass from Alex Tuch at 14:40 of the first to pull the Golden Knights back within a goal. Situated behind the Calgary net, Tuch kicked a hard pass from Cody Eakin onto his stick before quickly throwing it out front to Pirri, who one-timed the puck into the top corner behind Rittich.

Tkachuk extended Calgary’s lead to 3-1 with 62 seconds left in the opening period when he tapped a cross-crease feed from Frolik past Subban, who got a piece of the puck with his stick.

Smith and Stone were also the beneficiaries of nice passes from their linemates early in the second period as the Golden Knights pulled into a 3-3 tie with the Flames. Smith took a pass from William Karlsson and backhanded a shot in behind Rittich just 21 seconds into the period before Stone one-timed a feed from Paul Stastny past the Calgary goalie 59 seconds later.

The Flames had a great chance to take the lead back a short time later, but Subban made a nice glove save to stop a backhand shot from the slot by Johnny Gaudreau. Rittich then stood his ground to turn aside a breakaway attempt by Jonathan Marchessault at the other end of the ice.

Backlund redirected Rasmus Andersson’s point shot past Subban with 21.8 seconds remaining before the second intermission for a power-play goal to put Calgary back up by one.

Tkachuk one-timed a pass from Backlund past Subban at 15:43 of the third period before rounding out the scoring with an empty-net goal.

Notes: Playing in his 100th NHL game, forward Austin Czarnik drew an assist on Backlund’s second goal of the game. … Stastny has recorded nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past eight games for the Golden Knights.

Laurence Heinen, The Canadian Press