Monahan gets 100th goal, Flames beat Lightning 3-2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Calgary Flames have put together a nice run as the regular season starts winding down.
Sean Monahan scored his 100th NHL goal, Brian Elliott made 23 saves, and the Flames beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 3-2 on Thursday night.
Dougie Hamilton had a goal and two assists, and Mikael Backlund also scored to help the Flames improve to 7-2-1 over their last 10 games.
“Sometimes it comes together and guys are clicking a little bit,” Elliott said. “It’s really how everybody is playing together. That’s the momentum you’re building, that chemistry.”
Tampa Bay, which entered with a seven-game points streak (5-0-2), got goals from Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Kucherov. Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 22 shots.
“You give them credit for the way they played, and they kind of clogged things up for a little bit, but I’m pinning that game on us,” Tampa Bay coach Jon Cooper said. “We couldn’t get our way through the neutral zone because we weren’t executing. It was a collective group, we just didn’t have it.”
After Backlund scored 5:04 into the second, Monahan put the Flames up 2-1 just 1:21 later on his 20th goal this season.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Monahan — at 22 years and 134 days — became the sixth-youngest active NHL player to reach 100 goals. The five to do it quicker are Steven Stamkos, Sidney Crosby, Jaromir Jagr, Alex Ovechkin and Patrick Kane.
“That’s impressive,” Elliott said, “It’s a big one for him. It’s just a cool accomplishment. He’s just got that quick release. He can put it where he wants to.”
Elliott, 7-2-1 against Tampa Bay, made an extended pad save on Brayden Point midway through the second.
Hamilton and Kucherov both had power-play goals late in third.
Namestnikov had the lone first-period goal. He has a goal in three straight games.
Braydon Coburn got his first assist in 41 games on Namestnikov’s goal.
NOTES: Flames LW Johnny Gaudreau had an assist and has five over the last two games. ... Tampa Bay RW Ryan Callahan is expected to miss the rest of the season after having surgery Tuesday on his right hip for the second time in less than a year. ... Flames C Sam Bennett played after receiving 10 stitches and having a root canal stemming from a high stick to the mouth during Tuesday’s game against Nashville. ... Lightning LW Jonathan Drouin didn’t play due to the flu. ... Tampa Bay D Anton Stralman played in his 600th NHL game.
Flames: At Florida on Friday night for the fourth of a five-game trip.
Lightning: Host Ottawa on Monday night in the third of four straight home games.