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Flames defeat Penguins for 10th straight win

Kris Versteeg scores in shootout to help Calgary tie franchise record streak

by Aaron Vickers / NHL.com Correspondent

CALGARY -- Kris Versteeg scored the shootout-winner to help the Calgary Flames tie a franchise record with their 10th consecutive win, 4-3 against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

Versteeg deked to his backhand before lifting a shot by Marc-Andre Fleury in the first round of the shootout, and Brian Elliott stopped Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel.

The win matches a run of 10 straight victories set as the Atlanta Flames from Oct. 14 to Nov. 3, 1978.

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Flames highlights

 

"They said it was seven, eight years before I was born," Versteeg said. "It's really cool to be a part of those things. Playoffs are our first goal but when you can accomplish things like that as you go on throughout the season it's really nice."

Deryk Engelland, Dennis Wideman, and Johnny Gaudreau scored, and Elliott made 32 saves for Calgary (39-26-4), who are the fourth team this season to have a winning streak of 10 or more games, a first in NHL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Flames join the Columbus Blue Jackets (16 games), Minnesota Wild (12) and Philadelphia Flyers (10).

Calgary, tied for second in the Pacific Division with the Anaheim Ducks, has points in 12 straight games (11-0-1) and is 15-2-1 in the past 18 games.

"It's a little bit of a rollercoaster ride and you have to stay right in the middle," Elliott said. "To have that confidence to do that, to not get too up or too down, that's what it takes to win at this time of year and we're learning how to do that on a nightly basis."

Conor Sheary, Malkin, and Crosby scored, and Fleury made 27 saves for the Penguins (43-16-9), who ended a five-game winning streak but moved into a tie with the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division and NHL.

Video: PIT@CGY: Crosby deflects Sheary's shot past Elliott

"It was a fun game to be a part of, but it would have been better with the win," Fleury said.

Gaudreau scored 5:22 into the third period to give Calgary a 3-2 lead, but Crosby tied the game with his NHL-leading 35th goal of the season with 3:31 remaining to force overtime.

Elliott made six saves in overtime, including four shorthanded, to get the game to a shootout.

"I felt like we had our chances," Crosby said, "but it was a pretty good hockey game both ways."

Sheary gave Pittsburgh a 1-0 lead 2:54 into the game, but Engelland scored to tie it 1-1 at 13:48.

Malkin put the Penguins up 2-1 with a power-play goal at 15:51, and Calgary tied the game 2-2 when Wideman's shot deflected off Nick Bonino's glove and in 1:34 into the second period.

Video: PIT@CGY: Versteeg roofs backhand for shootout goal

 

Goal of the game

Malkin finished a give-and-go with Chris Kunitz by tapping the return pass by Elliott for his 33rd goal of the season.

Video: PIT@CGY: Malkin finishes off give-and-go for PPG

 

Saves of the game

Elliott made a pad save on Malkin's slap shot at 3:08 of overtime, and another on Crosby on the rebound a second later with Pittsburgh on the power play.

 

Highlight of the game

Gaudreau deked defenseman Ron Hainsey inside Pittsburgh's blue line and faked Fleury before tucking a wraparound across the goal line.

"At first I just thought I was going to try to enter the zone, try to set something up," Gaudreau said. "I kind of got a little break there. I saw Fleury come sliding out of his net, so I thought I'd wrap it around the other side and it turned out."

Video: PIT@CGY: Gaudreau sneaks wraparound past Fleury

 
Unsung performance of the game

Flames forward Micheal Ferland had a game-high four blocked shots, and two hits in 17:08 of ice time.

 
They said it

"I thought our team has grown a lot in the last month or two months and we continue to grow throughout the year. A game like that puts another stamp on it. Hey, we are a good hockey team. That belief part comes into play again. Against the Stanley Cup champs. They were good tonight. I thought it was a great game. It just reaffirms our belief in ourselves." -- Flames coach Glen Gulutzan

 

"It's a big point for us. We played a really good team that's won a lot of games as of late. They're a hard team to play against. It was a competitive game. It was a fairly even game. It could've went either way. It's a shame it's got to end in a shootout. It was two pretty good teams going at it." -- Penguins coach Mike Sullivan

 

Need to know

Elliott is 13-1-1 with a 1.93 goals-against average and .934 save percentage since Jan. 26. Gaudreau has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his past 10 games. … Malkin has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in his past six games. Hainsey played his 900th NHL game. Penguins defenseman Mark Streit left the game after the first period because of a lower-body injury and did not return.

 

What's next

Penguins: At the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Flames: Host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; SN, NESN, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Versteeg, Elliott lead Flames to 10th straight win

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