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game recap

Flames defeat Senators, close gap in wild-card race

Climb within one point of second spot in Western Conference

by Callum Fraser / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- The Calgary Flames moved within one point of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference with a 2-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday.

Sam Bennett and Matt Stajan scored, and David Rittich made 29 saves for the Flames (34-25-10), who closed the gap on the Los Angeles Kings. Calgary is also two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for third place in the Pacific Division. 

"We take those two points and fly home," Stajan said. "We had a good trip point-wise, but as a group it's nice to get the two points, but you've got to learn. You've got to learn how to close out games in this league."


[WATCH: All Flames vs. Senators highlights]


Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators (23-33-11), who are 19 points behind the New Jersey Devils for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. Mike Condon made 35 saves in his seventh straight loss (0-6-1).

Video: CGY@OTT: Pageau beats Rittich on penalty shot

"I thought he was great," Senators coach Guy Boucher said of Condon. "When I look back on a few of these games that he played really well, it's the games that we didn't score any goals."

Bennett gave the Flames a 1-0 lead at 4:25 of the first period when he scored off his own rebound. The Senators challenged for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld on video review.

"I didn't think there was goaltender interference on that one," Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said. "I don't know why we challenged that. I didn't see it until after, but it was a good goal by them."

Video: CGY@OTT: Bennett slips home his own rebound

Stajan made it 2-0 at 11:42 of the third period when he tapped a cross-crease pass from Curtis Lazar past Condon.

"It's safe to say I felt right at home out there," said Lazar, who returned to Ottawa for the first time since being traded to Calgary at the 2017 NHL Trade Deadline. "It's a big two points for our hockey club. For me to score and us to do our part, I think as a line, me, Stajan and [Troy] Brouwer, I think we've held our own out there. We've really generated a lot of momentum."

The Senators cut the lead to 2-1 at 12:55 when Pageau scored on a penalty shot through Rittich's legs.

"I don't care about shutouts," Rittich said. "I can get a shutout next game, in 10 games, doesn't matter, we got the two points. It's more important right now."

Video: CGY@OTT: Condon denies Gaudreau on a breakaway


Goal of the game

Stajan's tap-in at 11:42 of the third period.

Video: CGY@OTT: Stajan taps in Lazar's sweet pass


Save of the game

Rittich's save on Marian Gaborik at 8:50 of the second period.

Video: CGY@OTT: Rittich denies Gaborik with pad save


Highlight of the game

Rittich's save on Pageau at 14:24 of the third period.

Video: CGY@OTT: Rittich lays out for great save on Pageau


They said it

"We've got to press the reset button and go home. Obviously, home ice has been tough for us this season, but there's no better time right now to turn things around. We don't have a choice." -- Flames forward Curtis Lazar


"I think we were a little too checked out. We scored a goal later there and that kind of got us going, but you can't [just] play the last five minutes of every game. It doesn't really work that way." -- Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson


Need to know

Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has 20 points (five goals, 15 assists) in his past 19 games. … Senators forward Mark Stone had his 10-game point streak end. He had 15 points (two goals, 13 assists) during the streak. … The Flames concluded their three-game trip 2-0-1. 


What's next

Flames: Host the New York Islanders on Sunday. (7 p.m. ET; SN, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Senators: At the Florida Panthers on Monday. (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-F, RDS2, TSN5, NHL.TV)


Video: Bennett, Stajan lead Flames to 2-1 victory

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