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Sens doubled up by Flames

by Matt Tidcombe @matttidcombe

The Calgary Flames got off to a quick start and never looked back.

The Flames used three first period goals to kickstart a 6-3 win over the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre Saturday afternoon.

"We didn't really answer in the first," Thomas Chabot said. "It's one of those nights and it didn't go our way. Those are the nights you want to forget about and just move on and get back to practice tomorrow.

"We've had success playing the way we want to play the game but tonight wasn't one of them so we have to get back to that."

Drake Batherson, Colin White and Brady Tkachuk scored for the Senators (7-15-1) while Matt Murray stopped 27 shots through two periods before Joey Daccord saved five shots in the third.

Calgary (10-10-2) had goals from Juuso Valimaki, Mikael Backlund, Elias Lindholm, Sean Monahan, Andrew Mangiapane and Matthew Tkachuk as David Rittich made 31 saves.

"Today was a good opportunity to get some reps," Daccord said. "I just wanted to go in there and be sharp. Even playing those 20 minutes, I know I didn't get a lot of shots, but just getting those mental game reps is different. To go out there and have a good 20 felt good."

It was a far from an ideal start for the Senators who quickly fell behind 2-0.

Valimaki's first of the year off a bouncing puck at 4:00 opened the scoring before Backlund doubled the lead 37 seconds later on a quick snipe from the slot.

The Flames made it 3-0 at 11:05 as Lindholm took advantage of a Sens turnover but the hosts got on the board two minutes later through Batherson as he wired one home from the right faceoff circle on the power play to score in his fifth straight game.

"I had a chance to come downhill there and just seen a lane and I shot it and it went in over the glove," Batherson said. "It was a good play on the power play and it was nice to see it go in."  

Calgary restored its three-goal lead with a power play marker of its own at 4:02 of the second as Monahan buried a one-timer in the slot after Johnny Gaudreau had forced a turnover in the corner.

A short-handed goal from Mangiapane at 9:36 made it 5-1 before White got his third goal in two games as he walked into the slot and fired a wrister past Rittich at 10:16 on the power play.

Tkachuk pushed the Calgary lead to 6-2 at 16:19 with a tip out front as the Flames again took advantage of a Sens turnover.

It was Matthew's brother who got into the scoring in the third as Brady spun and scored down-low on the power play at the 10-minute mark for his ninth goal of the season as the Senators went 3-for-6 with the extra man.

"Our power play has been good the last little bit here," head coach D.J. Smith said. "It's been dangerous every time we've been out there. We weren't dangerous enough 5-on-5 tonight but our power play looked like they could score every time they were out there."

By scoring for the fifth straight game, Batherson tied Jason Spezza's 16-year record for most consecutive goals by a Sens player aged 22 or younger.

Thomas Chabot recorded his 100th career NHL assist on Batherson's goal. This afternoon was Daccord's second career NHL appearance; he made his debut on April 4, 2019.

"We lost today but I think we're doing a lot of good things right now and we'll bounce back," Batherson said.  

The two teams conclude its three-game series Monday night.

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