The Flames have won four of their last five games and are coming off what head coach Bill Peters agreed was their best 60-minute outing of the season, a 5-2 drubbing of the visiting Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night. Noah Hanifin led the charge with a goal and three points, while Johnny Gaudreau scored in his second straight outing, and David Rittich made 21 stops. Mikael Backlund, Derek Ryanand Sean Monahan had the other goals. The story of the game was how the Flames came out and played a solid first period before a dominant second in which they scored four goals. In the third, they kept their foot on the gas to put the tilt away. "Ya, I think so. I really do," said Peters, asked if it was team's most complete game this campaign. "I think we started on time, I thought they got a little momentum when they got their first powerplay but second period was very good and I thought we managed the puck real well in the third … a lot of good things in the game tonight." Ryan said the victory was important for much more than the two points they collected. "I think it can build our confidence. We've been talking about how we need to play with a little more swagger, a little more confidence and I think a win like that - not only the score - dominating, controlling the play, that can build our confidence." ...
Though they no doubt partied like rock stars after winning the Stanley Cup last spring, there has been no championship hangover for the Blues so far. They are off to an impressive 11-3-3 start to the year, tops in the Western Conference. They come into Calgary on a six-game winning streak, having gone 8-2 in their last 10. They are 3-0 on their current four-game road swing, edging the Wild 4-3 in overtime Saturday, before getting a 2-1 win in extra time against the Canucks on Tuesday. In their most recent outing, they dumped the Oilers 5-2 Wednesday. Connor McDavid opened the scoring for Edmonton but Jaden Schwartz tallied his third goal of the season to knot it at one after 20 minutes of play. Alex Pietrangelo and Robert Thomas had second-period markers to give the visitors the lead. Zach Kassian made it a one-goal game in the third before Tyler Bozak and Ivan Barbashev put it away with a pair of short-handed markers. Jake Allen got the start in the pipes for St. Louis, making 32 saves. Pietrangelo added a pair of assists and was lauded by Thomas for his efforts in the win, and his overall leadership as the team's captain. "He's our backbone, he leads us from the back end, and he's got all the tough match-ups. He makes a big bunch of plays defensively and offensively and really slows it down for us. He's really our calming influence. He made a huge impact."
3. US vs THEM
The Flames went 1-2 against the Blues last year, falling 5-3 on 'Dome ice on Oct. 11 before laying a 7-2 shellacking on them Dec. 16 in St. Louis. The Blues prevailed 3-1 in the last meeting on Dec. 22 back in Calgary. The Flames outscored (11-10) and outshot the Blues (92-87) in that season-series. Elias Lindholm was a force in the season-series notching a goal and five points while Gaudreau and Tkachuk - who grew up in St. Louis while dad Keith played for the Blues - recorded two goals and four points ... The teams will play three times this season: Next up Oct. 21 and then in St. Louis and Jan. 28 in Calgary ... There's a heavy Flames connection on the Blues coaching staff. Bench boss Craig Berube played 234 games here (1991-1993 and then 2001-2003), while assistant coach Marc Savard piled up 154 points in 221 games from 1999-2002.
4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
THIS: With the victory over the Devils, the Flames now have 999 home wins in franchise history (including Atlanta). The franchise has an all-time home record of 999-588-188-65, a win away from 1,000. Calgary was the third-best team on home ice a season ago, finishing with a record of 26-10-5. The Flames are off to a great start at home this season sitting at 6-1-1 ... THAT: With his three-point effort on Thursday, Hanifin now has 40 career points with the Flames which puts him in seventh for the most points by a Calgary defenceman before turning 23-years-old. That three-point effort was the fourth time in his career he's recorded three points in a game … THE OTHER: Chalking up a goal and an assist on Thursday, Monahan now ranks third for most points by a centre in the first seven seasons of his career in franchise history. Monahan has a career 379 points (2013-current) which puts him behind Tom Lysiak's 431 points (1973-79), and Joe Nieuwendyk's 491 points (1986-93).
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Flames: LW Johnny Gaudreau
The resident offensive wizard has been creating some magic in his last two outings, scoring twice and adding an assist.
Blues: C Tyler Bozak
Like Johnny Hockey, Bozak is heating up and has two goals in as many games - his first two of the season - and four points in his last four tilts.