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game recap

Flames score four straight goals to pull away from Devils

Defenseman Hanifin has three points for Calgary, which gets fourth win in five games

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Hanifin's late power-play goal

NJD@CGY: Hanifin flings puck home on the power play

Noah Hanifin rips a shot from the point that gets by Mackenzie Blackwood on the power play, extending the Flames' lead late in the 2nd period

  • 00:53 •

CALGARY -- Defenseman Noah Hanifin had a goal and two assists for the Calgary Flames in a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund each had a goal and an assist, and David Rittich made 21 saves for the Flames (10-7-2), who have won four of their past five and are 6-1-1 at home.

"That was the identity we've got to play to," Hanifin said. "We kept it simple, we got pucks in deep, and we forechecked well tonight, which is why I thought we had a lot of offensive chances."

 

[WATCH: All Devils vs. Flames highlights]

 

Jack Hughes had a goal and an assist, and Nikita Gusev scored for the Devils (4-6-4), who lost for the first time in three games and are 4-2-2 in their past eight games. Mackenzie Blackwood made 33 saves.

"Tonight, we didn't play our system and game plan the way we wanted to," forward Taylor Hall said. "Probably the last seven games or so we've been playing very well. Tonight wasn't a step in the right direction, so we have to right the ship a little bit."

Calgary scored three straight goals in the second period to take a 4-2 lead.

Monahan tied the game 2-2 at 9:57 when he chipped a pass from Hanifin over Blackwood, and Backlund made it 3-2 at 14:53 when his centering pass deflected off defenseman Andy Greene's stick on the power play.

Video: NJD@CGY: Monahan buries Hanifin's dish to knot game

Hanifin put the Flames up 4-2 with 14 seconds remaining in the period with a wrist shot through traffic on the power play.

"Something that was good to see, too, is we never really take our foot off the gas pedal," Hanifin said. "Even in the third, we were still trying to make plays. When you have the lead in the third, you don't want to lay off at all, and I think we did a good job of that."

Gaudreau made it 5-2 at 10:01 of the third with the fourth straight Calgary goal.

"I think that was one of our best complete efforts of the season," said Gaudreau, who has scored in two straight games after a 12-game drought. "It was a good game for our team."

Hughes gave New Jersey a 1-0 lead at 15:44 of the first period when he took a stretch pass from Hall, stepped around defenseman Mark Giordano, and deked Rittich.

Hughes has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past eight games.

Video: NJD@CGY: Hughes makes pretty move for terrific goal

"He's a young guy and he's figuring it out," Greene said. "He gets more comfortable and confident every game. It's tough going from being a 17-year-old and playing against 17-, 18-year-olds to playing in the NHL. I just think you can see he's got a lot of confidence out there and he wants the puck on his stick, and he's getting better every game."

Derek Ryan tied it 1-1 at 3:02 of the second when he split the Devils defense and deked to his backhand.

Hughes set up Gusev on a 2-on-1 to give New Jersey a 2-1 lead at 5:21.

"We started trying to play a little too much east-west instead of a north-south, direct game like we've been doing quite well here lately," Greene said. "We didn't sustain enough pressure in the offensive zone. We were kind of one and done there. The last couple games, we've had some good pressure, some good shifts, shift after shift. Tonight was one and done."

Video: NJD@CGY: Ryan shows off speed and scores superb goal

 

They said it

"When you're not feeling totally 100 percent skill-wise out there, the best thing to do is keep it simple, and for our team, I think we struggled with that. We couldn't make the simple plays. It seemed like we were in our end a lot of the night, making it hard on (goalie) Mackenzie [Blackwood]. Another chance to get it back tomorrow night (against the Edmonton Oilers), but really not a game that we can really take anything from." -- Devils forward Taylor Hall

"The last few weeks here, we've gone into some third periods with some leads and found a way to lose games. So that was a big challenge for us tonight, and I thought we did really well in the third. Kept pushing." -- Flames forward Mikael Backlund

Video: NJD@CGY: Backlund's shot deflects in off stick

 

Need to know

The Devils allowed a season-high 38 shots. ... Flames forward Elias Lindholm had an assist on Gaudreau's goal to extend his point streak to nine games (five goals, six assists). ... Hall has nine points (one goal, eight assists) during a seven-game point streak. ... Rittich leads the NHL with 443 saves, 56 more than Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights, who is second with 387. ... Flames forward Milan Lucic was minus-1 with four shots on goal and three hits in 13:47 in his return from a two-game suspension for roughing Columbus Blue Jackets forward Kole Sherwood during a 3-0 win Saturday.

 

What's next

Devils: At the Edmonton Oilers on Friday (9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SNW, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

Video: Hanifin's three-point night fuels Flames' 5-2 win

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