The Calgary Flames finally brought an end to their losing streak after welcoming the Vegas Knights to the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday in a game that saw Matthew Tkachuk scoring a hat trick to lead the Flames to a 6-3 victory.
The win was one that was a much needed one for Calgary, and the contribution of Matthew Tkachuk, his first in the NHL, was one that he gave credit to the team as a whole and specifically, Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund, saying,
“They were awesome,” Tkachuk said in regards to playing alongside Gave me a couple tap-in birdies there, a couple open nets. They were awesome tonight to play with.”
On top of Tkachuk’s hat trick, Mikael Backlund scored two and was credited with an assist and Andrew Mangiapane also scored. Michael Frolik earned four assists last night and Rasmus Andersson, Mark Giordano, Travis Hamonic and Garnet Hathaway each earned one assist.
Calgary went into last night’s game on a four game losing streak and was able to regain first place in the Pacific Division standings dropping the San Jose Sharks into second. That is good news for Canadian sports betting punters who enjoy placing bets with leading sportsbooks such as Bet365. Commenting on the energy last night, Mikael Backlund said,
“Right off the hop we skated well, had some energy. I thought all night we had some good forechecks. We made some good plays, smart plays. Overall, both Fro and Chucky had a good night. We’re, of course, happy and satisfied with helping the team win.”
Michael Frolik was instrumental in last night’s success setting up multiple plays for Matthew Tkachuk and helping goaltender David Rittich earn his 23rd win of the season.
Scoring for the Golden Knights was Mark Stone, Reilly Smith and Brandon Pirri. The loss put a stop to their six game win streak, and for Max Pacioretty, the start wasn’t there last night. Pacioretty added,
” They’re a good team for a reason. They were hungry for that win tonight.”
Malcolm Subban had 29 saves, but it was the early goals Subban gave up that put the Knights behind said Gerard Gallant, coach of the Vegas Knights. Adding to that, Gallant said,
“He made some key saves at key times when it was 3-3. He kept us in that game. We just gave them too many good chances.”
Calgary’s Andrew Mangiapane was first to score for the Flame at 2:40 in the first after he slipped the puck past the pad of Subban after picking up a pass from Garnet Hathaway. Backlund made is 2-0 five minutes later with a blistering wrist shot. The Vegas Knights were able to drop the two goal deficit to one at 14:40 when Brandon Pirri was able to convert an Alex Tuch pass from behind the net. Calgary’s Tkachuk responded in the final minute of the first to make it 3-1 scoring the first of his three of the night.
Vegas was able to tie the game in the second period with goals from Mark Stone and Reilly Smith, but their efforts were in vain after Mikael Backlund scored his second and Matthew Tkachuk scored his second and third to make it 6-3 at the final buzzer. The loss was felt by Reilly Smith, who commented that the penalties are costing the Knights. Smith added that,
” “Our penalty kill, we have to be better right now. Too many times in games we’re losing because of costly goals like those, so we’ve just got to be a little bit sharper on the penalty kill because I think that was a big turning point in the game.”
The Calgary Flames will next face the New Jersey Devils on Monday and the New York Rangers on Friday. The Vegas Knights are off for an extended break until Friday when they visit the Dallas Stars.