CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames have significantly dimmed the playoff hopes of the New Jersey Devils.
Mark Giordano’s early third period goal stood as the winner after Karri Ramo made 31 saves to record his second shutout of the season as the Flames beat the Devils 1-0 at Prudential Center on Monday.
The regulation loss, the first time in eight games New Jersey has failed to record at least a point, leaves the Devils three points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second and final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with three games remaining.
Giordano’s winner came just 23 seconds into the third. With Jon Merrill’s second period slashing infraction carrying over into the final frame, the Flames captain stepped into a pass from Jiri Hudler and blasted it behind Cory Schneider for the game’s only goal.
From there, Ramo nine saves in the period, including one off Michael Ryder with just 39 seconds remaining in regulation, to earn his second shutout of the season.
After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, the combination of Ramo and Chris Butler helped keep Calgary in a second that saw the Flames outshot 9-1 at one point.
Just 1:23 into the period and with New Jersey on the power play, Damien Brunner couldn’t beat Ramo’s outstretched right leg as the goaltender got a skate blade on his rebound attempt before the Devils’ forward got dumped in the slot by Butler.
A few shifts later, Steve Bernier managed to step around a sliding Ramo and center a pass through the slot that glanced off Butler’s skate and off the post before the Flames defenceman kicked the puck out of harm’s way to keep New Jersey off the board.
GOAL OF THE GAME
With just three seconds remaining in Merrill’s slashing call, Giordano stepped into a Hudler pass, blasting the puck by Schneider to extend his career-high to 14 goals.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Early in the second period Ramo stood tall, throwing out his right leg to get a skate blade on Brunner’s power play attempt in the slot to keep the game scoreless.
Giordano’s goal 23 seconds into the third period was all Calgary needed after Ramo made nine third period saves to secure his second shutout as a member of the Flames.
STAT OF THE GAME
With Monday’s 1-0 final, the Flames have stretched their franchise record to one-goal games to 48. Only the 2010-11 Florida Panthers have played more one-goal games in NHL history with 49.
Defenseman Christopher Breen was scratched against the Lightning. Forwards Matt Stajan and Paul Byron missed the game due to personal reasons. Forwards Mikael Backlund (upper body), Markus Granlund (upper body) and David Jones (upper body) and defensemen Ladislav Smid (upper body), Tyler Wotherspoon(upper body) and Dennis Wideman (upper body) all missed the game due to injury.
The Flames return to Calgary to wrap up the final two games at Scotiabank Saddledome on the 2013-14 docket starting with the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday (8 p.m. MST, TSN, SN960) and concluding with the Winnipeg Jets on Friday (7 p.m. MST, SNET-W, SN96)