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game recap

Flames use three quick goals to defeat Panthers

Calgary takes lead in 4:54 span of first period; Chad Johnson makes 36 saves

by Alain Poupart / NHL.com Correspondent

SUNRISE, Fla. -- The Calgary Flames scored three first-period goals in less than five minutes, and Chad Johnson made 36 saves in a 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Friday.

Johnson, who was making his first start since Feb. 13, when he was pulled after two periods in a 5-0 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, stopped all 30 shots he faced after the first period.

"I thought he was very good tonight," Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said. "I just thought him coming in tonight, he was so calm in his demeanor, especially late with all the traffic and the shots. He kept things real clean. I thought he was the difference for sure."

Troy Brouwer had a goal and an assist, and Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund and Deryk Engelland scored for the Flames (32-26-4), who are 4-0-1 in their past five games, including a 3-2 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

 

WATCH: All Flames vs. Panthers highlights

 

Nick Bjugstad and Aleksander Barkov scored for the Panthers (28-22-10), who have lost two in a row at home following their first 5-0-0 road trip. Roberto Luongo, who moved into fourth place among NHL goalies by playing his 964th game, made 24 saves.

"We had a ton of chances," Florida coach Tom Rowe said. "We just didn't have any lucky bounces go our way. Their goaltender played unbelievable. We were getting shots, but their goaltender won them the game."

Video: CGY@FLA: Brouwer nets Stajan's perfect saucer pass

After Bjugstad made it 1-0 with a power-play goal at 4:54 of the first period, the Flames scored three goals in a span of 4:54.

Bennett tied it 1-1 at 8:57 on a rebound of defenseman Michael Stone's wrist shot. Backlund gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 10:16 after a give-and-go with Tkachuk, beating Luongo with a quick move to his forehand. Engelland made it 3-1 at 13:51 when he scored on a backhand rebound while at the side of the net. The goal was upheld after Florida challenged for goalie interference.

Video: CGY@FLA: Bennett buries a big rebound in front

"I thought we played pretty fast and we were driving the net and making some good plays and shooting the puck," Backlund said.

Barkov scored his seventh goal in eight games at 17:20 of the first period to make it 3-2.

Brouwer made it 4-2 at 6:19 of the second period when he redirected Matt Stajan's pass from the boards past Luongo.

Video: CGY@FLA: Barkov goes five-hole to beat Johnson

 
Goal of the game

Engelland's game-winner came on a play that started innocently when Tkachuk's wrist shot was partially blocked by a Panthers player. But the fluttering puck bounced off Luongo's stick and trickled through his legs before stopping in the crease. After Frolik crashed the net to try to poke in the rebound, Engelland was able to get his stick on it.

Video: CGY@FLA: Engelland crashes the net, pots rebound

 
Save of the game

With Calgary leading 3-2 early in the second period, Florida had a 2-on-1 when Jonathan Huberdeau fed Barkov near the top of the right circle. Barkov quickly released a wrist shot after taking the pass but Johnson made a pad save.

Video: CGY@FLA: Johnson stops Barkov's shot on the rush

 
Highlight of the game

Bjugstad's goal came off a rush by Reilly Smith, who skated through the neutral zone and between two Flames before he whirled near the boards and passed to Jussi Jokinen in the slot. Jokinen slid the puck to the left circle to Bjugstad, who one-timed it past Johnson.

Video: CGY@FLA: Bjugstad fires home one-timer for PPG

 
Unsung performance of the game

Calgary led 4-2 in the final four minutes of the second period when Huberdeau stood near the net and passed across the crease to Barkov. Before Barkov could shoot, Stone was able to get his stick on him to prevent Barkov from making a play.

 

They said it

"We weren't our best tonight. I thought early we executed some good plays, which gave us the lead, but certainly once Chad settled in here, the second and third (periods) he kind of took over the game for us. We were on our heels a little bit. I thought it was a really good hockey team in Florida giving us a hard push. Our goalie solidified the two points for us." -- Flames coach Glen Gulutzan

 

"I felt good with my game tonight. I got the results, which makes myself happy and everybody else happy." -- Flames goalie Chad Johnson

 

"We had a lot of chances to score, but we need to tighten up our defensive game and play the same way we play on the road." -- Panthers center Aleksander Barkov

 
Need to know

Calgary forward Kris Versteeg played his 600th NHL game, and forward Alex Chiasson played his 300th. ... Backlund has scored in three consecutive games (four goals). ... The Flames completed their back-to-back sets for this season by going 4-4-3 in the second game. ... Florida, which lost to the Edmonton Oilers 4-3 on Wednesday, has lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since dropping three in a row from Oct. 25-29.

 
What's next

Flames: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; FS-E, SNW, NHL.TV)

Panthers: Host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, SN, SN360, TVA Sports, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Brouwer, Johnson lift Flames past Panthers, 4-2

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