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BUZZER-BEATER

Monahan's late goal lifts Flames to 3-2 OT win over Blues

by AARON VICKERS @AAVickers / CalgaryFlames.com

ST. LOUIS -- Sean Monahan helped close out the St. Louis Blues and move the Calgary Flames closer to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
 
Monahan scored with seven seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Flames to a 3-2 win over the Blues at Scottrade Center on Saturday. 
 
Troy Brouwer and Matt Bartkowski also scored and Brian Elliott made 29 saves for the Flames, who hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference with 88 points. 
 
"We started a little bit of a different chant in our locker room as far as what we're looking for moving forward," coach Glen Gulutzan said. "Good teams don't need any help getting into the playoffs. They find a way to get in themselves. We had to push. That's what we've kind of talked about over the last two days. 
 
"We've got to come into a tough building against a good team, but good teams find ways to get themselves in a playoff spot. I thought our guys really did a good job of pushing today and moving us a step forward to getting one."
 

The Flames had started a three-game road trip with two losses. 
 
"It was a huge game," Monahan said. "We were 0-2 to start this trip. To go home with two points is huge. The way we played and the way we came back there, that's a big win. 

"That goes a long way."

Video: CGY@STL: Monahan nets OT winner off defender's skate
 
Monahan had his initial shot blocked, but he retrieved the puck and centred a pass that deflected off Blues forward Kyle Brodziak and between the pads of Jake Allen. With the goal, Monahan broke Jarome Iginla's franchise mark with his seventh career overtime-winner.
 
"[Mark Giordano] hit me right in the slot and I didn't capitalize there, but then I tried to throw it backdoor and lucky enough it bounced in," Monahan said.
 
Brouwer scored on the power play with 2:49 remaining in the first period to stake the Flames to a 1-0 lead. Brouwer broke down the right wing and sent a shot that deflected off the stick of Blues defenceman Jay Bouwmeester before beating Allen short side. 

Video: CGY@STL: Brouwer beats Allen's glove for PPG
 
Ivan Barbashev tied the game 1-1 at 8:08 of the second when he scored on a second-chance opportunity one shift after Brouwer missed putting a Matthew Tkachuk rebound into an empty net. 
 
St. Louis broke the tie at 7:16 of the third when a rebound off Elliott's pad hit Jaden Schwartz's skate and bounced across the goal line. Gulutzan unsuccessfully challenged as replay determined Schwartz did not use a distinct kicking motion. 

"You'd like to give up no goals there and I thought it was a blatant kicking motion but I don't know," Elliott said
"Great resiliency with this group now from where we were at the beginning of the year," Gulutzan said. "We've really matured as a whole group. It didn't get us down. You could tell on the bench. We believe in ourselves and we've grown. We've come to embrace sticking with it…stick with the game plan."
 
Bartkowski tied the game with his first goal as a member of the Flames when his centring pass banked off Bouwmeester and behind Allen at 10:53. 

Video: CGY@STL: Bartkowski's shot goes in off skate
 
"You've got to get points somehow in this league and I think it was Bartkowski coming down," said Elliott. "I don't know what it went off. It just went in. That solidified one point and you go after the next one. 
 
"That was a huge play for us."
 
NOTES: Brouwer finished with a game-high five hits. Deryk Engelland finished with four hits and four blocked shots. Tkachuk returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for elbowing Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty on March 19. Forwards Curtis Lazar and Freddie Hamilton and defencemen Dennis Wideman and Rasmus Andersson were scratched.
 
UP NEXT: The Flames open their final homestand of the season against the Colorado Avalanche on Monday (7 p.m. MT; SNW, SN960).
 
(With files from Ty Pilson)

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