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TOUGH NIGHT

Flames pepper Isles with 52 shots but fall 5-2 at Scotiabank Saddledome

by TY PILSON @typilson / calgaryflames.com

The Flames had their two-game win streak snapped with a 5-2 loss to the New York Islanders Sunday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano scored for the homeside, which had collected five of a possible six points in their previous three games before last night's tilt.

Calgary outshot the Isles 52-27 in the contest.

Goalie Mike Smith was activated from the IR Sunday morning and played in his first game since he was injured Feb. 11 at the end of a 3-2 win against the same Islanders at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, getting the start in net.

He stopped 22 of the 26 shots he faced.

Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee with a pair - including a late empty-netter - scored for the visitors, while Christopher Gibson was named the first star for his performance between the pipes with 50 saves.

Leddy put the visitors on the board 2:14 seconds into the opening frame, when he got the puck at the point after Casey Cizikas beat Mark Jankowski at the left faceoff dot in the Flames end, and wired a shot past a screened Smith, who had five or six bodies between him and Leddy.

Just 48 seconds later, Boychuk made it 2-0 when his shot from near the boards at the right point out by the blueline deflected off Troy Brouwer's stick close to the net and went up and over Smith's catcher into the cage.

Gaudreau scored his 21st of the season at the 12:37 mark to cut the lead in half when he got the puck from Sean Monahan on a 3-on-2 Calgary rush and waited, before snapping a sharp-angle wrister that beat Gibson short-side over his shoulder.

Video: CGY Recap: Gaudreau has goal, assist in loss to Isles

Eberle restored the two-goal cushion just past the midway point of the frame, when Smith made a save on his tip of a Boychuk point shot but Eberle was able to gather the rebound on his backhand and tuck it home.

The Isles added to their lead just 50 seconds into the middle frame, when Boychuk fired another point shot which Smith kicked out right to Lee who was all alone skating by the left faceoff circle and fired it into the open net before Smith could dive across.

With just over seven minutes gone in the third period, Giordano cut into the Isles lead when Gibson stopped a Dougie Hamilton blast but it squeaked through his pads and out behind him and the captain smacked with one hand as he dove, the puck bouncing off Gibson and into the net.

Lee got his second of the night with his empty-netter with 11 seconds to play.

 

ONE-TIMERS:

The Flames are now 14-12-5 against the Eastern Conference this seasonGaudreau's goal was the 94th of his career, as he continues to close in on the century mark … Speaking of Johnny, he has 57 assists this season to tie him for third in the NHL in that category. Those 57 represent a career high for No. 13 and is the most in a season by a Flames skater since Alex Tanguay had 59 in 2006-07 … A couple other Flames are closing in on important marks: Matthew Tkachuk has 97 points and Michael Frolik has 197 assists.

 

NEXT UP:

The Flames host the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night in the second tilt of this current three-game homestand (7 p.m. MT, TV: Sportsnet West, RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN). Come down to the Scotiabank Saddledome early and score some deals! From 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., there are food, drink and merchandise specials. You can get a 14 oz. domestic draught, 1 oz. highball, 6 oz. house wine, a cheeseburger or a pizza slice for just $5 each at the concessions. As well, take an additional 10% of all regular-priced Fanattic merchandise. 

 

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