CALGARY — Johnny Gaudreau had his first two-goal game of the season as the Calgary Flames scored three times in the opening three minutes of the third period for a 4-2 comeback victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Gaudreau tied it 2-2 just 19 seconds into the third, whipping a wrist shot past Frederik Andersen after being set up by Mikael Backlund.
Then, after Michael Frolik’s third goal in as many games at 1:59 gave the Flames the lead, it was Gaudreau again with his ninth of the season — deflecting Travis Hamonic’s point shot through Anderson’s legs. The three goals came on three consecutive shots.
Hamonic also had a goal Calgary (18-12-4). Sean Monahan had a pair of assists to extend his point-streak to eight games (5 goals, 5 assists).
The red-hot Flames improve to a perfect 7-0-0 under interim head coach Geoff Ward and move into a tie with the Edmonton Oilers for second in the Pacific Division, just two points back of the Arizona Coyotes.
Mitch Marner and John Tavares each had a goal and an assist for Toronto (15-14-4). The Leafs fall to 2-1-0 on their four-game road trip, which concludes Saturday night in Edmonton.
Shortly after the Flames surged in front, Toronto got a 1:34 two-man advantage, but they could not take advantage with David Rittich standing tall for Calgary — twice making big stops off Tavares. Auston Matthews also put a shot off the post.
Rittich finished with 32 saves to improve to 15-7-4.
Andersen made 20 saves in falling to 15-8-3.
Tied 1-1, Marner’s fifth goal of the season at 14:06 of the second gave the Leafs the lead. The right winger completed a slick give-and-go with Tavares, by ripping a shot into the top corner.
After falling behind early, Calgary tied it 1-1 at 16:23 of the first. Hamonic snuck in from the point, took a cross-ice pass from Monahan and beat Andersen with a high shot inside the goal post.
Toronto struck first at 8:24 of the first period when Tavares went top corner, over Rittich’s blocker, after being set up in front by Marner.
Flames LW Sam Bennett (upper body) missed his 12th game, but he’s back skating with the club now… The Leafs lost in regulation for the first time (11-1-2) when leading after two periods. Meanwhile, the Flames improved to 5-11-2 in games in which they’re trailing after two periods.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 12, 2019.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press