Flames, Backlund Propel in NJ

by | Feb 4, 2017

Flames, Backlund Propel in NJ

by | Feb 4, 2017

NEWARK—T.J. Brodie tallied helpers on each of the Flame’s four goals in a 4-3 overtime victory versus the Devils.

Mikael Backlund scored 1:13 into overtime to give Calgary the come-from-behind win, after trailing by a goal to start the third period. Flames goaltender Brian Elliott made 26 saves for his 11th win of the season.

After both teams traded low-opportunity chances in the opening minutes of the first, they’d both get some good looks on back-to-back power plays. New Jersey fired four shots on goal on a Matt Stajan tripping-induced power play at 12:17, but could not convert. A Ben Lovejoy penalty minutes later put Calgary on the power play at 15:12 and after failing to score on their man-advantage quickly scored even strength, pinning the Devils in their zone. Monahan’s 19th of the season and fourth in his last three games. Johnny Gaudreau tallied an assist on the opening goal, part of a two-assist game for the Salem, N.J. product.

Gifted with another power play opportunity to start the second, the Flames scored 22 seconds into the second to double their lead.

The Devils though would answer with a three-goal second period onslaught. First, a wrap-around goal by Adam Henrique at 8:36. Then, New Jersey made good on back-to-back power play’s with goals by Pavel Zacha at 11:39 (challenged for offsides, but upheld) and Kyle Palmieri from ex-Flame Mike Cammalleri at 19:36.

Leading halfway through the third, the Devils bid to preserve their lead and capture their first home win in over a month was spoiled by a Matt Stajan tally at 7:22 to even the score and set up the extra-time win to start off a three-game road trip for the Flames.

 

Calgary head coach Glen Gulutzen joked that he should be given some credit for Brodie’s four-point game, the first by a Flames’ defensemen since Dion Phaneuf did in 2008.

“I told him that I wanted him to shoot more and not pass so much” Gulutzen said following the win. “Obviously he didn’t listen to me at all.”

An overzealous T.J. Brodie following his performance though–not exactly.

“It’s over now, it’s just time to prepare for the next one,” he said.

Backlund, whose game-winner went along with three shots on goal said the team didn’t get deflated after the Devils took the lead late in the second.

“We just told each other to keep it going,” he said. “It was a big team effort, everybody stepped up and played well.”

 

Monahan’s first period tally puts him at 99 for his career, one goal shy of a milestone, though that wasn’t really on his mind before or after.

“I don’t think about it really, I just play the game,” he said. “I got to put the puck in the net to get ice time here. That’s my job and I play with good player, so it’s going to happen sooner or later.”

Devils head coach John Hynes liked the way his team played in the contest but the two Flames goals after the second were a result of costly mistakes.

“In the second period our competitive level was high,” Hynes said. “We didn’t execute with the puck real well. That was the real reason we spent so much time in our zone and didn’t have a lot of momentum in the third period. That’s something we have to do a better job of.”

Captain Andy Greene made his return to the lineup for New Jersey on Friday, logging a team-leading 25:11 of ice time. The former iron man for the Devils had missed the last 12 games with an upper body injury.

Joseph Blandisi was credited with a goal and three hits in his season debut after being recalled yesterday from Albany, where he scored 23 points in 28 games.

Cory Schneider stopped 34 of 38 shots faced in his second-straight start. While the team is on a back-to-back, Hynes would not commit to the idea of backup Keith Kinkaid starting in Columbus on Saturday.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Devils who will travel to Columbus tomorrow for their first meeting of the season with the Blue Jackets–a pesky divisional opponent last season winning four of five meetings. They’ll return to the Rock on Monday against the Sabres, looking to gain two points for the first time in over a month before going on their league-mandated bye week.

 

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