Monahan, Flames trump Devils 3-2
CALGARY, AB -- Sven Baertschi owed Sean Monahan one. He picked a pretty good time to repay his linemate.
Monahan broke the tie with 2:43 remaining, taking a cross-ice backdoor feed from Baertschi and burying it behind Martin Brodeur to lift the Flames to a 3-2 win against the New Jersey Devils at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday night.
The win helped establish a franchise best for the Flames, earning points in five straight games to start the season.
“We feel good but there are no stats right now that allows us to sit on those five games,” coach Bob Hartley said. “We have 82 to play. There is still lots of hockey to be played. There is still 77 games to be played. It is just a matter of making sure we keep building. My job is to create expectations every year. Great expectations. We played five games. Now we have a big, big road trip ahead of us.”
Monahan’s goal came one game after he set up Baertschi for a tap-in against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday -- four days after Baertschi’s 21st birthday. Monahan turns 19 on Saturday.
“He gave me one,” Baertschi said. “My birthday was about a week ago so he gave me one and I gave him one back. That’s how it works.”
Tied 2-2 late in the third period, Dennis Wideman made a move at the point before feeding Baertschi, who found Monahan parked to Brodeur’s right for his fourth goal of the season.
“I think it was a smart play there by Wideman to get it to Baertschi and I think we connected eyes there,” Monahan said. “He seen me and gave me a great pass and fortunately enough I put it in the back of the net.
“It’s pretty crazy, I guess, growing up watching [Brodeur] play and now scoring a goal on him. It’s pretty awesome and it’s even better it’s a game winner.”
The goal came four minutes after the Devils hemmed Calgary in their own end for over two minutes. Exhausted, the Flames managed to block three shots on the shift -- including two by Lance Bouma.
“That was unbelievable,” Hartley said. “I look at the stats sheet and they have Bouma only with two blocked shots. Someone didn’t see the same game that I watched. Bouma should be in the goalie department, not as a forward. I don’t really care what’s on paper.”
Though he got the loss, Brodeur was in vintage fashion in what could be his last appearance in Calgary.
The Devils goaltender made a nice glove save on Wideman’s shot from the top of the slot just 3:53 into the game and turned aside Jiri Hudler from the same spot with 3:46 remaining in the first, bookending his 10 stops in the period.
Between the saves, Adam Henrique opened the scoring, scooping up a rebound and beating MacDonald at 13:58 to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead.
After Wideman tied the game 5:37 into the second period, Dainius Zubrus put the Devils up again, beating MacDonald with a one-timer at 16:03.
Michael Ryder thought he had put the Devils up 3-1 late in the frame. Driving the net, Ryder put a Zubrus rebound behind MacDonald, but the goal was called off after he was whistled for interference.
On the ensuing power play, Mark Giordano’s wrist shot hit Zubrus’ skate and eluded Brodeur to tie the game 2-2 with just 18.3 seconds remaining in the period.
That score held until Monahan's game winner late in the game.
GOAL OF THE GAME
With Anton Volchenkov in the penalty box for interference, Wideman one-timed a cross-point pass from Mark Giordano that snuck under the bar to tie the game 1-1.
SAVE OF THE GAME
With just 57 seconds remaining in the game and Giordano in the penalty box, MacDonald came across to rob a Travis Zajac one-timer set up by Patrik Elias.
Trailing 2-1 late in the second period, Ryder thought he had put the Devils up 3-1 after burying a Ryane Clowe rebound behind MacDonald. The goal was called back and the Devils forward was whistled for interference. On the ensuing power play, Giordano snuck a backhand behind Brodeur to tie the game 2-2 with 18.3 seconds remaining in the second period.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“That was unbelievable. I look at the stats sheet and they have Bouma only with two blocked shots. Someone didn’t see the same game that I watched. Bouma should be in the goalie department, not as a forward. I don’t really care what’s on paper.”
STAT OF THE GAME
Ben Street was solid in the faceoff circle, winning 69 per cent of his draws against the Devils.
Blair Jones and Derek Smith were healthy scratches against the Canucks. Mike Cammalleri (upper body), David Jones (upper body) and Matt Stajan (lower body) missed the game due to injury.
The Flames return to action Wednesday when they visit the Anaheim Ducks (8 p.m. MT, TSN).