Tkachuk, Dube lead Flames past Devils 6-3
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists, leading the Calgary Flames to a 6-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.
Dillon Dube had the go-ahead goal and an assist, and Brett Ritchie, Andrew Mangiapane, Milan Lucic and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for the Flames, who have won three of four. Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves.
Calgary acquired Calle Jarnkrok from Seattle earlier in the day, intensifying the competition for playing time. And the Flames’ depth players stepped up with a big night — led by Dube — as each member of the fourth line scored.
“It’s competition, very clearly. He’s a player who can play anywhere in your top nine,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said of Jarnkrok. “Other than one line, we’ve moved guys around all year because nobody’s grabbed onto it enough. It’s more competition. It’s not, ‘I’m up and jump over the boards.’ It’s about performance.”
Dube, who snapped a nine-game skid without a goal, likes the potential payoff getting a player such as Jarnkrok.
“It makes our our lineup a lot deeper, so it only helps us,” Dube said. “The investment shows us what we put in is paying off, so it’s nice to add a really good player.”
Dawson Mercer, P.K. Subban and Yegor Sharangovich scored for the Devils, who have lost three of four.
Nico Daws allowed four goals on 19 shots before being replaced midway through the second period by Jon Gillies, who made 19 saves.
“I know a lot of those players over there and they’re top players in the NHL,” said Gillies, a 2012 Flames draft pick. “The unfortunate part of that is you can do a lot of good things, but when breakdowns happen they’re usually going to put it in the back of the net and that’s what happened.”
With the game tied at 2, the Flames scored three goals in a span of 3:29 in the second period.
Dube put the Flames up 3-2 at 7:04 on pass from Tkachuk. Then, Tkachuk got a goal of his own, chasing Daws.
Lucic made it 5-2 at 10:33 when he deflected Rasmus Andersson’s centering pass for his first goal in 24 games.
Sharangovich cut the Devils’ deficit at 3:51 of the third when his shot went past Markstrom’s glove.
Gaudreau scored into an empty net with 2:30 left to seal it for the Flames.
Ritchie gave Calgary a 1-0 lead midway through the first period. It was his first goal of the season — and first point. It also came on a night when he was originally supposed to be a scratch for the fifth time in the last six games. But he was re-inserted into the lineup when rookie Adam Ruzicka was sent down to Stockton of the AHL.
Mercer tied it for New Jersey at 16:21, but Mangiapane put the Flames ahead again just over two minutes later with his 30th goal of the season.
Subban tied it for New Jersey 5:01 into the second period — before Calgary’s scoring outburst.
Devils: At Edmonton on Saturday.
Flames: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Friday night.
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