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FLAMES FALL TO RANGERS

Calgary outshoots visitors 51-27 but stymied by Henrik Lundqvist

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

The Flames shelled New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist but the former Vezina winner held the fort.

Calgary outshot the visitors from the Big Apple 51-27 Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome but came out on the wrong end of a 3-1 final.

Brett Kulak had the lone Flames goal, while Kevin Hayes, Pavel Buchnevich and Ryan Spooner scored for the Rangers.

Jon Gillies turned aside 24 of the shots he faced for the homeside.

The Rangers opened the scoring at the 4:07 mark of the first, when Spooner beat Sean Monahan at the faceoff dot inside the Calgary zone and in one motion fired the puck on the net.

Gillies made the initial save but Hayes went hard to the net and poked the puck past him.

The Flames tied it up on a pretty passing play with 3:21 left to go in the opening frame.

Mikael Backlund made a nifty between the legs pass off the half-boards to Michael Frolik, who cut to the net with a give-and-go to Matthew Tkachuk before snapping a shot on net.

Video: Condensed Game: Rangers @ Flames

Lundqvist made the initial stop on Frolik but the puck squirted out towards the right faceoff circle and Kulak swooped in and wired a blast into the yawning cage before the New York netminder could recover.

Just 56 seconds into the second period, Buchnevich made it 2-1 when he pushed a puck between the leg of a sprawled Gillies and the post from beside the net, with it barely crossing the line before being smacked out.

The play was reviewed but the ref ruled it crossed the line.

Moments earlier at the other end of the ice, Lundqvist - who had lost his stick - absolutely robbed Backlund by spinning and getting his wrist on a shot that looked headed for the back of the net.

Just past the midway point of the period, Tony DeAngelo sent Spooner in on a breakaway with a long pass and Spooner went five-hole on Gillies to put the visitors up by a pair and round out the scoring.

 

ONE-TIMERS

Tkachuk picked up an assist on Kulak's marker and is now just three points away from 100 in his NHL career … Speaking of milestones, Johnny Gaudreau is closing in on a couple himself: he's seven goals shy of 100 and two games away from 300 … The Flames are now 12-10-4 against the Eastern Conference this season … Kulak's first career NHL goal also came against the Rangers, less than a month ago during a 4-3 loss at MSG.

 

NEXT UP

The Flames hit the road for a three-game swing, starting in Pittsburgh Monday night against the Penguins (5 p.m., TV: Sportsnet One, Radio: Sportsnet 960 The FAN).  

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