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Flames make short work of Islanders during matinee tilt honouring young fans

by TY PILSON @typilson /

Sunday's rare matinee at the Scotiabank Saddledome was child's play for the Flames.

On a day where kids were honoured as the theme for the afternoon tilt, the homeside gave the little ones plenty to cheer about, riding a four-goal first period to a 5-2 victory over the visiting New York Islanders.

It was the Flames seventh straight victory and they are now 8-1-1 in their last 10 games. With the win, they remain in the No.-1 wildcard spot in the Western Conference, eight points up on the L.A. Kings who have the second spot.

Michael Frolik, TJ Brodie, Micheal Ferland, Sean Monahan and Kris Versteeg scored for the Flames, while red-hot Brian Elliott made 33 saves.

John Tavares and Jason Chimera replied for the Isles.

The Flames generated a handful of great chances in the first period before Frolik finally put one past Thomas Greiss at the 14:46 mark of the first when he fired a puck from the right corner while nearly parallel to the net that found its way through Greiss' legs.

Video: NYI@CGY: Flames net four goals in under five minutes

Less than two minutes later, Brodie scored another odd one, banking it off the back of Greiss' right leg and in as Brodie was circling behind the net.

Fans barely had a chance to settle back into their seats before Ferland, just 42 seconds after Brodie's tally, won a battle for the puck along the boards and skated out a few strides before wiring it over Griess' glove hand.

The first-period pummelling ended with just 23.3 seconds left in the frame when, fittingly, No. 23 Monahan converted a one-timer off a pass from Johnny Gaudreau.

Jean-Francois Berube took over between the pipes to start the second period for the Isles.

Tavares finally got New York on the board with the lone goal of the middle frame, when a rebound from a Scott Mayfield shot dropped in front of him for an easy tap-in on the doorstep where he was parked in front of Elliott.

Versteeg restored the four-goal lead in the third when two Islanders crashed into each other in the Flames zone, springing a 3-on-1 rush for Calgary. Versteeg passed to Sam Bennett who tapped it back to Versteeg who snapped a one-timer home as he feel to his knees.

Video: NYI@CGY: Flames' three-on-one rush leads to a goal

Chimera later snapped a quick shot past Elliott from the left face-off dot to round out the scoring.

NOTES: Prior to yesterday, the Flames had allowed the opposition to score first in five straight games but came back to win all of them … Weird stat of the day: Calgary has won their last five six and 10 of their last 11 games played on March 5 … Prior to the game, Brian Elliott was presented with the Sportsnet 3 Stars Cup for February. Elliott was 9-1-1 heading into yesterday's tilt with a .925 save percentage and 2.18 GAA over that span … The Flames now own a 16-11-1-0 record against Eastern Conference opponents and a 6-7-1-0 mark against the mighty Metropolitan Division.

UP NEXT: The Flames host the Canadiens Thursday at 7 p.m. (SNW, SPORTSNET960 THE FAN)

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