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game recap

Flames stifle Senators, pad lead in Pacific Division

Calgary has won five of six; Ottawa has lost 13 of 16

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

Backlund buries 20th goal

OTT@CGY: Backlund goes bar and in to net 20th

Mikael Backlund snaps a shot off the post and in to reach the 20-goal mark for the third time in his NHL career

  • 00:57 •

CALGARY -- The Calgary Flames extended their lead for first place in the Pacific Division and Western Conference with a 5-1 win against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Calgary leads the San Jose Sharks by five points.

Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane and Garnet Hathaway each had a goal and an assist, Derek Ryan and Michael Frolik each had two assists, and Mike Smith made 18 saves for the Flames (46-21-7), who are 5-1-0 and have outscored opponents 30-13 in their past six games.

 

[WATCH: All Senators vs. Flames highlights]

 

"I think we're working hard," Mangiapane said. "I think it starts in our D zone. We're structured down there. Attention to detail."

Dylan DeMelo scored for the Senators (25-43-6), who are 3-12-1 in their past 16 games and have been eliminated from Stanley Cup Playoff contention. Craig Anderson made 31 saves and is 0-13-1 in his past 14 decisions.

"At the end of the day it's everybody on the ice," Anderson said. "It's veterans, it's rookies, everyone has to be a little bit better. You're in the National Hockey League. Whether you're a young guy or an old guy, it doesn't matter. You're in the National Hockey League. You're here for a reason. You're a good hockey player. You have to take care of the puck. That's what it comes down to."

DeMelo gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead at 4:30 of the first period, but Mark Giordano tied it 1-1 with a shorthanded goal at 8:54 after forcing a turnover by Bobby Ryan in the neutral zone.

Video: OTT@CGY: Giordano stays with it to bury SHG

Hathaway gave Calgary a 2-1 lead at 11:15 when he finished a cross-crease pass from Mangiapane. Ryan had the secondary assist on the play for his 100th NHL point.

"Those guys are capable of making the plays," Hathaway said. "It doesn't always work out like that, but it was a pretty play and I was lucky enough to be at the end of it."

Mangiapane made it 3-1 after taking a cross-ice pass from Hathaway and scoring glove side at 9:00 of the second period.

Video: OTT@CGY: Mangiapane wrists one by Anderson's glove

"On and off the ice, we're always talking to each other and building our chemistry," Mangiapane said. "If I have a question or someone has a question, we can always ask one another and get good feedback. That really helps our line grow."

Mikael Backlund scored his 20th of the season to make it 4-1 at 11:23 of the third period, and Tkachuk scored on a tap in with 1:27 remaining for the 5-1 final.

"We come out of the gate pretty well and we're able to get the lead," Anderson said. "We were just unable to sustain that. A couple times, just maybe unaware of how quick they were or how good their sticks were. They take the puck from us and come down and score. It's just one of those things where we've got to be a little bit harder on the puck, and when we have that lead, make sure we play a little tougher."

 

They said it

"It's a long year. We've all learned a lot. This last stretch is all about sticking together and working as hard as we can to win as many games as we can. Just learning and it's fun for us to come to the rink and know everybody on the team is going to give it their all." -- Senators rookie forward Brady Tkachuk

"For I don't know what it was, four games or four to seven games, it wasn't going in. But we got a couple wins and then we lost a couple and not scoring gets magnified a bit. We knew we'd get back to scoring. We've scored a lot of goals this year. We've got to be top five in goals scored (second)." -- Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk

 

Need to know

Tkachuk has scored eight goals in his past six games. … Flames forward Sam Bennett, who missed the past two games because of an upper-body injury, left the game after the second period. … Giordano, who has seven points (one goal, six assists) in a six-game point streak, moved into second in Flames history with 827 games played. … DeMelo has five points (one goal, four assists) in his past three games. … Ottawa forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau served a one-game suspension for boarding defenseman Ashton Sautner in a 7-4 loss at the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday. 

 

What's next

Senators: At the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; TVAS, SNW, TSN5, NHL.TV)

Flames: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, CBC, SN, SN360, SN1, CITY, NHL.TV)

Video: Flames beat Senators for fifth straight home win

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