CALGARY -- Sean Monahan scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period on a setup by Johnny Gaudreau, and Mike Smith made 30 saves to help the Calgary Flames to a 2-1 victory against the Washington Capitals at Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday.
Gaudreau curled back off the rush before passing backdoor from the right face-off dot to Monahan for a tap-in at 9:09.
"That's Johnny," said Monahan, whose six goals lead Calgary. "We see it day in, day out. He's got great hands and he's got quick feet. He reads the game better than anyone I know. If you get open in a quiet area, you're usually going to find the puck. It showed again tonight."
WATCH: All Capitals vs. Flames highlights
Micheal Ferland scored, and Gaudreau had two assists for the Flames (6-6-0), who are 2-4-0 at home, including 1-1-0 to start a season-high seven-game homestand.
"Any win feels good, but especially right now at home, it was the one that we needed the most," Monahan said.
Gaudreau has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past seven games.
"We have a 2-on-1 at first and I think [Capitals defenseman John Carlson] slid at the right time, but I couldn't get the puck across to [Monahan], so I just pulled up," Gaudreau said of the rush that led to the game-winning goal. "I was looking for a [defenseman] at first and their guys flew into the crease area and didn't catch [Monahan] on the backside there. I just zipped it down to him. I think their guys were screening their goalie a little bit, and we had a nice little tap-in."
Jakub Vrana scored, and Philipp Grubauer made 36 saves for the Capitals (5-6-1), who went 1-2-0 on a three-game, Western Canada road trip. Washington is 2-5-0 in its past seven games after starting the season 3-1-1.
Video: WSH@CGY: Ferland opens the scoring with redirection
"That's a huge loss for us," center Evgeny Kuznetsov said. "At least we have to take one point today, but we didn't."
Ferland deflected Brett Kulak's wrist shot from the point past Grubauer 2:08 into the second period to put Calgary up 1-0.
Smith made a glove save on Tom Wilson's second-chance opportunity at 13:05 of the second, and Grubauer trapped Monahan's shot from the slot off Gaudreau's setup at 15:00.
Vrana tied the game 1-1 at 4:19 of the third period when he took a cross-ice pass from T.J. Oshie and snapped a shot past Smith.
"I thought we had a good forecheck there," Vrana said. "A little bit lucky bounce on the blue line, and then Oshie made a nice play. I just tried to shoot it on the net and thankfully it goes in."
Smith made 12 saves in the first period, and Grubauer had 14, including a pad save on Sam Bennett at 18:38 after Mark Jankowski negated an icing call and centered the puck to the top of the crease from below the goal line.
Video: WSH@CGY: Vrana wires shot through Smith from circle
Goal of the game
Monahan's goal at 9:09 of the third period.
Video: WSH@CGY: Monahan tucks home Gaudreau's gorgeous feed
Save of the game
Smith stopping Alex Ovechkin at 17:05 of the third period.
Video: WSH@CGY: Smith shuts down Ovechkin's late bid
Highlight of the game
Grubauer's save against Mark Giordano at 6:10 of the third period.
Video: WSH@CGY: Grubauer flashes the leather to rob Giordano
They said it
"I think it's a big win for us. We've struggled the past few games here. We've been playing well but haven't been finishing the games off. Tonight, they tied it up but we played well in the third, found a way to get the game-winner there. It's just a good effort from everyone." -- Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau
"We gave up a lot of chances but also we created a lot of chances. I think overall it's been a decent game for us. I think things are coming together and the groove is coming together a little bit closer and closer each game, and I think you see it on the ice." -- Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer, who is 0-3-1 in five games
Need to know
The Capitals have won the first game and lost the second in each of three back-to-back sets this season. ... Gaudreau's 15 points (three goals, 12 assists) lead the Flames. ... Smith has started 11 of 12 games for Calgary. ... Flames forward Jaromir Jagr missed his fourth straight game because of a lower-body injury.
Capitals: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, MSG+, NHL.TV)
Flames: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday (9 p.m. ET; SNW, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)
Video: Monahan, Gaudreau help Flames take down Caps, 2-1