Skip to Main Content
The Official Site of the Calgary Flames


Monahan nets a pair and Lindholm has three helpers, but Flames fall 6-3 to Lightning

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick /

These are uncharted waters for this group.

All year, the Flames have done what good teams do: Play the same game and win, no matter the venue.  

And with the kind of success they've had away from the Scotiabank Saddledome - winning 17 of their 29 road affairs - we forget how unique a run like this has been.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end.

Brayden Point, Cedric Paquette, Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli, Yanni Gourde and Steven Stamkos all scored as the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning took a 6-3 decision, handing the Flames their second consecutive road loss - a feat that 'til tonight, hadn't occurred all year on the same trip.

It was the 24th time this year the Bolts have tallied five or more goals in a game.

Sean Monahan scored twice and Elias Lindholm had three assists, while David Rittich made 21 saves in defeat. With the loss, the Flames fall to 34-16-6 and remain a point back of the San Jose Sharks (with a game in hand) for first in the Pacific.

Adversity has, quite literally, struck the Flames here at the halfway point of their longest road trip of the season.

Video: CGY Recap: Monahan finds twine twice in 6-3 defeat

"The start of the game was good for both teams, and then we let it slip," Giordano said. "Our details weren't where they needed to be, starting with me. We've got to be a lot sharper and it starts with me, the leaders and the older guys, and it trickles down.

"Pretty disappointed with letting that one go the way it did tonight. … We'll be ready Thursday (at Florida). We'll be a way more focused group. We've got to really pull out of this. We feel like we're sliding. We haven't been getting the points that we're used to getting and we've got to stop it right here."

Head coach Bill Peters didn't mince words, arguing the Flames haven't been as good with "the details" of the game since the All-Star break.

Since then, they've lost four of five, including three straight on this current run.

"They were quicker on pucks and we defended way more than we needed to," he said. "We gave up an odd-man rush off a line change. Then, the one powerplay goal, we're changing as they're attacking. Stuff we typically don't do. Tonight we found a way to get in our own way and make it very hard."

The Lightning struck for the game's opening goal on a powerplay at 11:54 of the first. Nikita Kucherov dished down low to J.T. Miller, who - with his heels on the goal line - one-touched it back into the slot, where Point buried it, setting a new career high with his 33rd of the season.

The goal came only seconds after Lindholm was stuffed on a short-handed breakaway.

The Flames finished the night 2-for-4 on both the powerplay and penalty kill.

The Bolts opened up a two-goal lead at 16:06 when Danick Martel forced the backpedalling Travis Hamonic to turn the puck over inside the blueline, turning the blue sweaters back the other way on a 3-on-1 from the hash marks in. Martel made a quick pass to the trailing Paquette, and suddenly, the Flames had quite the uphill climb ahead of them.  

Soon, the terrain turned mountainous.

Kucherov put the Bolts up by three just 1:13 later, as he beat Rittich with a seeing eye shot from the high slot, feathering it through traffic and cashing in on the blocker side.

A powerplay goal by the captain pulled the Flames within two before the period was out, though. With Paquette and Alex Killorn in the box giving the Flames a lengthy, 1:42-long 5-on-3, Giordano found a lane from the top of the zone and rifled a shot through a maze, beating Bolts goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy clean on the glove side.

Video: CGY@TBL: Giordano nets wrister on power play

The Flames had only two shots in the opening nine minutes of the middle frame, but the second one hit pay dirt. Monahan buried a bouncing puck with a beautiful, top-shelf snipe, netting his 28th of the year with Lindholm recording the only assist, thanks to a faceoff win deep in Tampa territory.

But the one-goal game didn't last.

Fifty-seven seconds later, Cirelli plunged home a Kucherov centering pass to restore the Bolts' two-goal edge.


"That happens in hockey all the time," Monahan said. "There are momentum swings in games and you have to be able to react to that, and tonight we didn't do that."

Gourde made it a 5-2 game at 16:11 as he tipped home a Brayden Coburn shot from the edge of the left circle, and Stamkos rounded out the scoring with a missile from his office at the right circle early in the third to round out the scoring for the homeside.

Monahan added one late for the Flames off a pretty feed from Lindholm to make it 6-3.

"We've been a good team all year," said Hamonic, who logged 21:29 and had a game-high five blocked shots. "We know we're a good team.

"It was a frustrating game. It's not the way that we can play. ... Just seemed like they got three quick ones and it's a tough building to play catch-up in."

View More