Toffoli scores twice, leads Calgary to 3-1 win over Edmonton
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Tyler Toffoli had two goals to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday night.
Johnny Gaudreau added a goal and an assist for the Flames (34-14-7), who remained atop the Pacific Division with their 14th win in 16 games. Jacob Markstrom stopped 27 of 28 shots in front of a season-high 17,246 at the Saddledome.
The NHL’s coleaders in points — Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid — were held scoreless.
“You can’t expect Brad Malone to come in here and score three goals tonight, right?” Draisaitl said. “That’s our job. That’s on Connor, that’s on me, that’s on the top guys that are getting paid to create. Probably didn’t do enough of that tonight.”
Devin Shore scored for Edmonton, and Mikko Koskinen had 26 saves in the first instalment of the Battle of Alberta. The Oilers beat the visiting Flames 5-2 on Oct. 16 and 5-2 on Jan. 22. The regular-season series concludes March 26 in Calgary.
Edmonton (30-23-4) remained two points out of a wild-card spot in the Western Conference. The Oilers dropped to 7-5-1 since Jay Woodcroft took over as head coach for the fired Dave Tippett on Feb. 10.
Russians in Stanley Cup Final trying to focus on hockey amid country's war in Ukraine
TNT readies for first Stanley Cup Final; first one exclusively on cable since 1994
Column: Remember ABA and WHA during one of the greatest times of the sports year
Golden Knights host the Panthers to open the Stanley Cup Final
After a scoreless first period, Calgary took a 2-0 lead on two goals by Toffoli in the second period.
Toffoli scored his sixth and seventh goals for Calgary since becoming a member of the Flames.
“I was definitely excited, not only because of that, but the way the standings are,” he said. “It was just a just a really important game for us.
“I thought we did a good job of containing their top guys. Marky made some big saves at the right time. I thought we just did a really good job overall and not really letting them get to their game as much as they probably wanted to.”
Shore cut the deficit to a goal at 4:57 of the third period. Gaudreau scored on a partial breakaway with just under three minutes remaining to restore Calgary’s two-goal cushion.
Edmonton’s goal came after the puck deflected off referee Dan O’Rourke’s leg to Derek Ryan, whose pass then bounced off the leg of Flames’ defenseman Nikita Zadorov to Shore, who scored.
“We played a solid game I think, but you’re not going to win many games when you score one goal,” Draisaitl said. “I don’t think it’s ever a question of competing or battle level. We’re playing our hearts out.”
Toffoli collected his sixth and seventh goals for the Flames since he was acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in a Feb. 14 trade. He took a backhand feed from Adam Ruzicka and sent a wrist shot far side on Koskinen at 9:54 of the second period. He scored on a power play at 6:37.
“We didn’t have to block a lot of shots tonight,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “We put a lot of pressure on them in key areas. Entering the zone, they didn’t get much entry time or zone time, to be quite honest.”
NOTES: Calgary opera singer Stephania Romaniuk sang the Ukrainian anthem before George Canyon’s O Canada on Monday. It was the second straight home game that the Flames made a gesture of support to a country attempting to repel Russia’s invasion. ... Gaudreau’s assist on Toffoli’s first goal was his sixth in five games and 50th this season. ... Calgary held the fourth-best power play in the NHL to 0 for 4 in the game and went 1 for 4 with a man advantage.
Edmonton: Host Washington Capitals on Wednesday in the first of a five-game homestand.
Calgary: Host Washington Capitals on Tuesday in the second of a four-game homestand.
More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports