The Flames have won three of their last four outings, the most recent a thrilling 4-3 overtime victory against the visiting Arizona Coyotes at the Scotiabank Saddledome Tuesday night. Trailing 3-1 with less than four minutes left in the game, Tkachuk scored to halve the gap and bring his team within shooting distance. Before the crowd had even settled back into their seats just a scant 49 seconds later, Mark Giordano - who picked up an assist on Chucky's tally - let a point shot fly through traffic that went off Arizona d-man Jason Demers and beat Antti Raanta to knot things up. In overtime, Tkachuk delivered the dagger with just 34 seconds left to play, snapping one home from a tough angle to give his team a big two points. While the win was welcome, the manner in which they got it wasn't. Coach Bill Peters said the team simply needs to be better going forward and play a more consistent game. "Our starts, emotional engagement, physical engagement, and our execution with the puck," he replied. "You've got to provide a dimension. Everyone's clear on what they do to help a hockey team win games, and you've got to provide that each and every night and start on time. Our starts haven't been good enough, so you've got to get prepared - individually - to start, and that collectively it gives us a chance to start on time." ... The Flames recalled defenceman Brandon Davidson from the Heat Thursday morning and sent Oliver Kylington to the Heat.
The season didn't start well for the Devils, a team that had high expectations after a bevy of off-season moves combined with highly-touted draft picks. They have, however, been trending up as of late going 2-0-2, collecting a pair of points in a high-scoring '80s-esque 7-6 shootout loss to the Lightning on Oct. 30 and a 4-3 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 1. They followed that up with a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Nov. 2 before heading to - what else - another shootout, this time edging the Jets 2-1 in Winnipeg on Nov. 5. Young Star Nico Hischier scored in the first period (assisted by Hall and Sami Vatanen), while Andrew Copp scored in the second for the Jets. Nikita Gusev and Jesper Boqvist scored for the Devils in the shootout. Mackenzie Blackwood had 32 saves in the victory. "I think we knew in the locker-room if we keep playing the way we can play we'll get those wins, and now they're coming," Hischier said. "It's a big one on the road for us, but we've got a couple more road games ahead, so we've got to come out the same way like we did in the first period today." ... The Devils come into the tilt as just one of just three teams to have played only 13 games (along with the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers).
3. US vs THEM
New season, clean slate. But for what it's worth, the Flames won both matchups last season against Devils by scores of 2-1 on the road and 9-4 at home. In their last 10 outings against the Garden State Gang, they are 8-2 ... So far this season, the Flames have a record of 4-3-0 against Eastern Conference opponents and a record of 2-3-0 against the Metropolitan Divison.
4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER
THIS: Tkachuk (16 career multi-goal games) is now tied with Jack Eichel for the fifth most multi-goal games by a US-born player before turning 22-years-old. Tkachuk trails Jimmy Carson (31), Bob Carpenter (23), Jeremy Roenick (20), and Auston Matthews (20) ... THAT: The streak continues for Elias Lindholm, who recorded an assist on Tuesday night to extend his point-streak to eight straight games. The 24-year-old has notched five goals and five assists for 10 points over that span that dates back to Oct. 22 … THE OTHER: Derek Ryan played in his first NHL game and scored his first NHL goal on March 1, 2016 against the Devils.
5. PLAYERS TO WATCH
Flames: LW Matthew Tkachuk
You could write a small novel on why you should be watching Tkachuk right now, but in a nutshell: he's leading the team in scoring, displaying an uncanny penchant for timely tallies, and continuing to throw around his body and frustrate the opposition.
Devils: LW Taylor Hall
He's always been the guy to watch around these parts when he hits the ice. He's a Calgary boy who went first overall in the draft to the hated Oilers up the QEII. Now he's piling up points on the East Coast and always a threat to break any game open.