Gaudreau honors late grandfather with goal for Flames
Forward opened scoring in win at Panthers, called it 'special time to find the net there'NHL.com @NHLdotcom
Johnny Gaudreau's first-period goal for the Calgary Flames on Sunday meant more than the previous 16 he had scored this season, and not just because it helped the Flames to a 3-0 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.
The goal came one day after Gaudreau's grandfather, John Guy Gaudreau, had died.
"Just a tough day," Gaudreau said. "Was nice to find the net there for him in the first. Just [stinks] losing people, but I was pretty pumped up to get that one for him."
Gaudreau's goal at 6:21 of the first helped the Flames (34-26-7) go 3-1-1 during a five-game road trip and move within one point of the second-place Edmonton Oilers (34-23-8) in the Pacific Division. They're five points behind the first-place Vegas Golden Knights (36-23-8).
More than the standings, though, the goal allowed Gaudreau to honor someone who supported him throughout his hockey career.
"He watched a lot of my games," Gaudreau said. "Always a big supporter of me and my brother (Matt) playing hockey. A special time to find the net there. Just emotional, really cool."
Flames captain Mark Giordano said he and his teammates could see how upset Gaudreau was.
"We have a really tight-knit group in there and you could see how crushed he was on the bus and you feel for him as a teammate," Giordano said. "I like to look at him as a little brother, we've been around each other so long. For him to show up and put that effort in tonight, it was great. I thought for him to come in and score, that's really cool."