CALGARY - James van Riemsdyk scored a pivotal short-handed goal and Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves Wednesday night as the Toronto Maple Leafs made it three wins in a row with a 4-2 victory over the Calgary Flames.
Late in the first period with the Flames down 1-0 but on the power play, van Riemsdyk carried the puck out of his own end, worked a give-and-go with Jay McClement after crossing the Calgary blue-line and from 30 feet, snapped a shot over the glove of Karri Ramo.
The goal gave the Maple Leafs a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes, a period in which Calgary outshot Toronto 15-7. The visitors would not relinquish that lead the rest of the night.
It was Toronto's first victory in Calgary since Dec. 27, 2002. The Leafs had lost their last seven visits to the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Joffrey Lupul, Mason Raymond and Paul Ranger into an empty net — also shorthanded — rounded out the scoring for Toronto (10-4-0). The Leafs wrap up their three-game road trip through Western Canada on Saturday in Vancouver.
However, the Flames — like they blanked Alex Ovechkin in their previous game — were also able to hold Kessel off the scoreboard.
Calgary couldn't muster enough offence against Bernier despite holding a 43-22 edge in shots on the night.
Bernier was playing for the first time in three games and simply didn't give the Flames much, despite Calgary having the territorial edge.
As is always the case when Toronto visits Calgary, the Saddledome's 'sea of red' turned into a mixture of blue and red with plenty of very vocal Toronto supporters on hand.
With Toronto clinging to a 2-1 lead, they visiting fans got something to cheer about 5:59 into the third period when David Clarkson took the puck to the net. Although Clarkson was stopped by Ramo, Raymond was right there to tuck the rebound inside the goal post.
Scoring against Calgary is nothing new for Raymond, a native of nearby Cochrane, Alta. It's his 11th career goal against the Flames, the most he's scored against any team.
Calgary fought back to within one again when Jones deflected Kris Russell's point shot at 14:39 of the third, but they could not get back to even despite getting a man advantage with three minutes left when Clarkson was sent off for boarding.
It was the second boarding penalty of the night for Toronto.
In the second, Carter Ashton sent Flames defenceman Derek Smith head first into the boards from behind, an incident that resulted in a fight between Ashton and Sean O'Brien, who jumped in to Smith's defence.
Smith left the ice on his own, albeit slowly. He did not play the rest of the period but did return in the third.
It was shortly after that with the teams playing four aside that Curtis Glencross spun away from Nazem Kadri along the boards and sent pass into the slot where Stajan fired a shot over Bernier's glove.
It was second goal in five career games against the team that drafted Stajan and who he played 445 games with, before being traded to Calgary in a multi-player trade in December 2009 that brought Dion Phaneuf to the Leafs.
Toronto entered the night having been outshot in 10 straight games and that pattern continued with the Flames piling up a 15-7 edge in shots after the first period.
However, also as the Leafs been doing lately, they held the edge on the scoreboard.
The opening goal at 7:56 was not a power-play goal officially but it essentially was one, coming five seconds after Dennis Wideman's slashing penalty expired.
Jake Gardiner's shot missed the net but caromed in front where Lupul was able to bang it in.
Notes: The assist was Clarkson's first point with the Maple Leafs. Suspended by the NHL for the first 10 games of the season, he had been blanked his first three games... C Mikael Backlund was a healthy scratch for the Flames... Ex-Leaf Joe Colborne set a season-high in ice time at 23:54, the highest of all Calgary forwards... Toronto D Dion Phaneuf has yet to record a point against the Flames in five career games against his former club.
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