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game recap

Rittich, Flames push past Maple Leafs in shootout

Makes 35 saves, Calgary gets sixth win in seven games

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Rittich's incredible blocker stop

CGY@TOR: Rittich uses his blocker to rob Matthews

Auston Matthews tries to one-time a pass home on the odd-man rush, but David Rittich slides and makes a remarkable blocker save in the 3rd

  • 00:19 •

TORONTO -- The Calgary Flames won for the sixth time in seven games, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 in the shootout at Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.

Derek Ryan scored, and David Rittich made 35 saves for the Flames (26-18-5), who are 6-1-0 in their past seven. Matthew Tkachuk scored the only goal in the shootout.

"Both goalies were good," Rittich said. "That was a great game, not too many goals, but both teams had a lot of chances to score, and I would say [Frederik] Andersen was really good too. It was great to shut them down offensively, that's why we came here. … I'm kind of tired right now. I can't wait to get to the airplane. They've got five or six guys who can score anytime when they get the puck, so it wasn't easy."

 

[WATCH: All Flames vs. Maple Leafs highlights]

 

William Nylander scored, and Andersen made 31 saves for the Maple Leafs (25-16-7), who are 1-2-2 in their past five.

"We generated a number of chances that didn't go in for us, their goaltender was very good, and luck didn't go our way," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. "Sometimes those things are going to happen."

Video: Tkachuk, Rittich power Flames past Maple Leafs in SO

Ryan put the Flames up 1-0 at 7:34 of the second period when he deflected Travis Hamonic's point shot at the top of the goal crease.

"I felt like I was pretty wide open there," Ryan said. "They just kind of left me there, and Hamonic made a nice shot to the side, so I was able to get a nice tip on it and have it go five-hole."

Nylander tied it 1-1 at 8:35 of the third period on the power play when he redirected John Tavares' pass in front.

"I thought it was a pretty even game all the way through," Keefe said. "I think the way we found a way to tie the game, that was a big point for us coming into the third period down in the game, so we'll take that."

Video: CGY@TOR: Nylander tips home Tavares' dish to tie game

Rittich made a blocker save on Auston Matthews on a 2-on-1 at 14:43 of the third, then stopped Kasperi Kapanen at the right post on a 3-on-1 with 1:06 left in overtime.

"That was top-notch," Ryan said of the save on Matthews. "That was my favorite stop of his."

Tkachuk said, "I thought [our game] was solid. We did a good job of limiting a very, very high-powered offense. With all the skilled guys they've got over there, I thought we did a great job. They got some chances and some good looks, but that's where Rittich was there. I thought he was unbelievable tonight."

 

They said it

"You want to reward him; you want to do everything in your power to win the game for him. He was our best player tonight easily, and for us to reward him, that was definitely on my mind, and I know it was on the rest of the guys' minds. We had to play solid in front of him to get it to OT, we had a lot of looks, way more looks than they did in OT, which is hard to do against all their offensive stars but we can play with anybody I think. We were committed defensively tonight, and Rittich was definitely fantastic." -- Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk on goalie David Rittich

"You've just to tip your hat to [Rittich]. He made some unbelievable saves early in the game, and then I think we were kind of flat there in the second a bit. In the third we had, obviously, lots of really good chances. He made some really unbelievable saves. So you've got to tip your hat to him. Obviously, we would have loved to get the two points. We clawed our way back and got it to overtime and grabbed one. Definitely a game that could have gone the other way." -- Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews

Video: CGY@TOR: Rittich stones Marner's wraparound chance

 

Need to know

Rittich made his first start since being named to the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game as an injury replacement for Darcy Kuemper of the Arizona Coyotes. ... Hamonic had five of the Flames' 23 blocked shots. ... Maple Leafs forward Mitchell Marner's eight-game point streak ended. He had 11 points (three goals, eight assists) during the streak. … Toronto has scored at least three goals in 16 of its past 18 games. The Flames are the only team to hold Toronto to fewer than three during that stretch, doing it twice; Calgary won 4-2 at home Dec. 12. … Matthews had nine shots. … Maple Leafs forward Alexander Kerfoot played in his 200th NHL game.

 

What's next

Flames: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, SNW, NHL.TV)

Maple Leafs: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, SN1, SNO, SNW, SNP, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

Video: Tkachuk, Rittich propel Flames to shootout victory

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