Gaudreau extends point streak to 10 games in Flames win
Helps deny Capitals of sixth straight home victoryby Brian McNally / NHL.com Correspondent
WASHINGTON -- Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 10 games with a goal and an assist to help the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Monday.
Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund scored power-play goals and Mike Smith made 29 saves for Calgary (12-8-0), which has won seven of its past nine games. Mark Giordano scored one second after another power play expired.
[WATCH: All Flames vs. Capitals highlights]
Gaudreau's 10-game point streak is an NHL career-high. He has also scored in six straight games.
"It's cool. Our line's playing well, we're not giving up goals in the defensive zone, we're creating chances in the offensive zone," Gaudreau said. "We're playing well on the power play. Things go well for you at times, and then throughout the season you go through some ups and downs. Right now, it's going good for us."
Lars Eller scored for Washington (11-10-1), and Braden Holtby made 35 saves. The Capitals' five-game home winning streak ended.
Eller gave Washington a 1-0 lead at 1:02 of the first period, but it failed to capitalize on other chances early against Smith, who made his best save at 4:28 of the first period when Chandler Stephenson found Nicklas Backstrom alone at the right post.
Video: CGY@WSH: Backlund smacks home rebound for a PPG
Gaudreau then scored at 4:49 of the first when a defensive breakdown in the neutral zone between Capitals defensemen John Carlson and Brooks Orpik left him all alone on the right wing. Gaudreau beat Holtby to his blocker side off the rush to make it 1-1.
Gaudreau has 19 points (eight goals, 11 assists) during his streak. The Flames have won nine of 10 when Gaudreau has a multi-point game.
"What a coach likes more is his backcheck on [Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin] that lifted the stick," Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said of Gaudreau. "I know he's going to get points because he's just that gifted, but his commitment to winning just shows itself night in, night out. I love that he's on the roll. You want him to stay on the roll."
Monahan gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 5:22 of the second period. It was his seventh goal in his past eight games against Washington.
Holtby stopped Gaudreau short-side at the left post, but couldn't find the puck underneath his pads. Monahan did and scooped it into the net.
Backlund scored at 4:38 of the third period during a delayed penalty with the Flames playing 5-on-4. The goal made it 3-1 and gave them another power play after Alex Chiasson slashed Jaromir Jagr.
Giordano scored on a wrist shot from the point after Chiasson's penalty expired to make it 4-1.
"We continue like that, then we're going to continue hovering around .500," Eller said. "Win a game here and there. We've got to play with a lot more determination. The playoff race is tight. It's November, but the playoff race is right now."
Video: CGY@WSH: Giordano finds twine on shot from the point
Goal of the game
Monahan's goal at 5:22 of the second period.
Video: CGY@WSH: Monahan slams home loose puck for PPG
Save of the game
Smith's save against Backstrom at 4:28 of the first period.
Video: CGY@WSH: Smith robs Backstrom with nice glove save
Highlight of the game
Gaudreau's goal at 4:49 of the first period.
Video: CGY@WSH: Gaudreau snipes a wrister past Holtby
They said it
"He's an elite goalie. There's no other way to say it. He's an elite goalie. He's one of the top goalies. There's no question about it in my mind." -- Flames coach Glen Gulutzan on Mike Smith
"They took the game over. All of a sudden, it was tough to get any free ice to skate on. We either didn't execute well enough or work hard enough to get enough sustained pressure to really be dangerous. It was just kind of a blah game for us." -- Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen
Need to know
Gaudreau has had five consecutive multi-point games. … The Flames have scored seven power-play goals in their past four games. … Ovechkin was held without a goal for the sixth straight game. It's his longest drought since the final seven games of the 2016-17 season. … The Capitals lost in regulation for the first time this season after scoring the first goal (6-1-1).
Flames: At the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-O, NHL.TV)
Capitals: Host the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNE, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)