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Flames set record with Monahan's late goal

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames established a new franchise best Friday, and as a result handed the New Jersey Devils a new franchise worst.

Eighteen-year-old Sean Monahan broke a tie late in the third period, and Joey MacDonald made 19 saves to lift the Flames to a 3-2 victory at Scotiabank Saddledome.

The win set a Flames record for most consecutive games with at least a point to start a season (five, 3-0-2). The Devils have gone winless in their first five games of the season (0-2-3) for the first time since moving from Colorado in 1982.

"We feel good but there are no stats right now that allow us to sit on those five games," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. "We have 82 to play. There is still lots of hockey to be played. There is still 77 games to be played. It is just a matter of making sure we keep building. My job is to create expectations every year, great expectations."

Dennis Wideman and Mark Giordano also scored for the Flames, who have won back-to-back games on home ice. Adam Henrique and Dainius Zubrus replied for the Devils.

"We've got guys in the room there, veteran guys that know how to win games, and we have to execute and win games," New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer said. "That's the bottom line. We are not getting it done."

Monahan, who turns 19 Saturday, broke the tie with 2:43 remaining, taking a cross-ice backdoor pass from Sven Baertschi and burying it behind Martin Brodeur.

"I think it was a smart play there by Wideman to get it to Baertschi, and I think we connected eyes there," Monahan said. "He saw me and gave me a great pass and fortunately enough I put it in the back of the net.

"It's pretty crazy, I guess, growing up watching [Brodeur] play and now scoring a goal on him. It's pretty awesome, and it's even better it's a game-winner."

Brodeur kept the game tied 2-2 early in the third, stopping three consecutive sharp-angle shots from Kris Russell on the short side and another at the far post by Jiri Hudler, stretching his arm to deny the Flames forward.

The Devils poured on pressure with just over six minutes remaining, trapping the Flames in their zone for more than two minutes. New Jersey managed two shots on MacDonald on the shift but had three blocked by diving Flames forwards, two by Lance Bouma.

"That was unbelievable," Hartley said. "I look at the stats sheet and they have Bouma only with two blocked shots. Someone didn't see the same game that I watched. Bouma should be in the goalie department, not as a forward. I don't really care what's on paper."

Brodeur was in vintage form in the first period in what could be his final stop in Calgary.

The goaltender flashed the glove on Wideman's shot from the top of the slot 3:53 into the game and used his mask to stop Hudler in the slot with 3:46 remaining in the period, bookending his 10 first-period saves.

Between Brodeur's saves came the lone goal of the period, off the stick of Henrique.

MacDonald got a pad on Damien Brunner's deflection off Andy Greene's shot from the point but kicked the rebound to Henrique in the slot, where he buried the puck into an open net at 13:58 for his first of the season.

The Flames got to Brodeur 5:37 into the second period. With Anton Volchenkov in the penalty box for interference, Wideman one-timed a cross-point pass from Mark Giordano that snuck under the bar to tie the game 1-1. With an assist on the play, Hudler extended his point-scoring streak to five games.

Zubrus restored New Jersey's lead at 16:03 with a one-timer of his own, hammering a Travis Zajac feed behind MacDonald after the Flames struggled to clear the zone.

Michael Ryder thought he put the Devils up by two a minute-and-a-half later. Driving to the net, Ryder tapped a Ryane Clowe rebound over the goal line but was whistled for goaltender interference.

Calgary capitalized on the power play with 18.3 seconds remaining in the period. Taking a pass from Hudler at the point, Giordano worked his way into the slot and let go a soft backhander that deflected off Zubrus' skate and behind Brodeur to send the game into the second intermission tied.

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