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Gaudreau’s sneaky objectives give Flames one other spectacular win

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CALGARY — A back-trick hat-trick, and a Backlund backbreaker, obtained the Calgary Flames again within the dialog as one of many NHL’s finest outfits Thursday.

Okay, sorry, let’s again it up for a second.

Going through a Tampa Bay Lightning squad that received back-to-back Stanley Cups, the Flames used a back-door strategy to resolve the world’s finest backstop.

Because the Flames proceed to seek out methods to win video games, Johnny Gaudreau’s first two of three objectives have been bank-shots off the behind of Tampa Bay netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy, begging the query: did he do properly in his trigonometry assessments in highschool?

«No, I didn’t do good on any take a look at in highschool,» beamed Gaudreau after extending his seven-game level streak in his staff’s 4-1 win on the Saddledome.

«The primary purpose he was sort of out of his web, and wasn’t on the put up, so I attempted to financial institution it off his butt there. The second was pure luck. I simply threw it proper again in entrance of the web and it hit his hip or one thing and bounced in.»

So far as assessments go, this one was as massive because the Flames have handed since Sunday’s additional time win in Colorado.

Certainly the remainder of the league is taking discover of a deep, proficient squad that’s pulling away from the Pacific Division because of a 15-2-1 run.

Their newest win noticed the energy of the Flames penalty-killing unit, which helped the hosts cling to an early 1-0 lead regardless of six minutes of shorthanded play through which Jacob Markstrom was each bit as spectacular as Vasilevskiy.

With one minute left within the second interval Gaudreau scored an nearly similar purpose from behind the purpose line, adopted by a Mikael Backlund redirection 52 seconds later — a mixture Darryl Sutter known as a «deep lower.»

The Flames held the Lightning to 5 pictures within the third earlier than Gaudreau accomplished his sixth profession hat trick.

“It’s superior, it’s a extremely cool feeling,” mentioned Gaudreau of a second that noticed a crowd of 15,689 litter the ice with hats earlier than breaking into chants of, “John-ny, John-ny.”

“It’s an excellent cooler feeling when the entire followers are chanting your title. It’s fairly particular. I don’t take these as a right. It was a fairly cool second there.”

The Flames are within the midst of a fairly cool second too, as Sutter’s construction has helped construct this staff right into a authentic Cup contender.

However don’t inform Sutter, Markstrom or anybody else within the group that.

«It’s all the time enjoyable to play the groups which are within the high they usually’re a staff that has been on the high for a very long time,» mentioned Markstrom, who completed with 30 saves at hand the Bolts their second-straight regulation loss for the primary time this season.

«However it’s nonetheless two factors, nothing extra or nothing much less.»

It’s that mentality that has finished properly to make sure the Flames don’t get complacent — a entice they’ve fallen into with this core earlier than.

Earlier within the day, when Sutter was requested concerning the NHL’s mannequin franchise, he raved about their potential to mix ability with dimension — one thing the Flames have finished properly to emulate this season.

«They’ve been getting credit score for many offence however they’re going to pound you into the ice, they’re going to push your goalie out of the sport if they will,» mentioned Sutter.

The Flames did properly to reply to Tampa’s brawn with loads of their very own.

Late within the night the Lightning took exception to a Sean Monahan crosscheck on Steven Stamkos that prompted Tampa’s captain to later drop the gloves and begin throwing punches whereas the Flames veteran refused to reply in type.

Former Lightning stalwart Blake Coleman exhibited some grit after taking a puck to the face late within the proceedings, solely to return to the bench with 4 minutes left with a stitched-up eye and break up open lip.

«That’s regular for champions,» mentioned Sutter.

There was nothing regular about how Gaudreau scored, though it was clear the 26-goal scorer totally supposed each financial institution pictures.

«It’s a troublesome play… Johnny was quick-thinking to throw it instantly, earlier than (Vasilevskiy) can get inside his posts there,» Markstrom mentioned. «That’s a purpose scorer’s purpose and it was an enormous purpose for us tonight. Two of them.»

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