We're celebrating as hard as any of the fans were. He's hot, he's feeling it right now and hopefully he can keep it going. - Joe Colborne
CALGARY, AB -- Fans of the Calgary Flames aren’t the only ones basking in Johnny Gaudreau’s recent run.
The team is, too.
With another pair at the expense of the Edmonton Oilers in Saturday’s 4-1 win at Scotiabank Saddledome, the 21-year-old rookie has goals in three straight, including back-to-back multi-goal efforts to help power the Flames out of an eight-game winless funk.
“We're celebrating as hard as any of the fans were,” said forward Joe Colborne, who himself snapped out of a personal 26-game scoreless drought dating back to last season. “He's hot, he's feeling it right now and hopefully he can keep it going.
“Get him the puck and let him do the rest.”
After recording his first career hat trick in Monday’s 4-3 come-from-behind overtime victory against the Los Angeles Kings, Gaudreau struck for two goals in 16 seconds to blow open Calgary’s first game following the holiday break.
With the Flames up 1-0 courtesy Colborne’s marker, Gaudreau picked up a turnover from David Perron in the slot, went in uncontested on Viktor Fasth and slid a backhand between the legs of the Oilers goaltender to extend Calgary’s lead to two at 8:32.
“The one was off a turnover," he said. “I had a quick little miniature breakaway and slid it five-hole.”
It didn't take long for Gaudreau to strike again.
TJ Brodie upped a stretch pass from behind Calgary’s goal line to Jiri Hudler, who left the puck at the Oilers blue line for a streaking Gaudreau. In alone again, Gaudreau bobbled his second attempt but still managed to squeak it through Fasth's legs and across the goal line for his second of the night to put the Flames up 3-0 at 8:48.
“Me and [Hudler] kind of had a 2-on-1 and he told me to take it and I went down on another breakaway, kind of bobbled the puck there, too many stickhandles but that lucky bounce there,” Gaudreau said.
“I think that might have been the quickest I've ever scored two goals. Our line is playing really well and the team is playing pretty well right now, too, so we have to keep it up.”
Hartley said the reaction on the bench equaled the one in the stands.
“Basically the same reaction as in the crowd,” he started. “He’s so quick. He’s pouncing on those loose pucks with lots of speed. One-on-one with goalies he’s capable of scoring any way, even losing control of the puck.
“I think his confidence is definitely growing. His puck skills are great. His chemistry with Jiri Hudler is phenomenal. Whether we play them with (Markus) Granlund or (Josh) Jooris, it seems like they always find a way to get on the scoreboard for us and that’s so important.”
In a rhythm, Gaudreau is feeling it.
And he’s happy to help.
“I'm pretty excited about getting the chance to score some goals here,” he said. “They weren't coming throughout the first 20, 30 games of the season. It was kind of a slow start but it's nice to see the puck going in the net for us.”