CALGARY, Alberta (AP) Matthew Tkachuk’s shootout arsenal has yet to fail him so far this season.
Tkachuk scored the shootout winner on Sunday night to lead the Calgary Flames over the New Jersey Devils 5-4.
Shooting third for Calgary with the shootout tied 1-1 and the Flames in a position to win it, Tkachuk moved in slowly and beat Keith Kinkaid with a quick shot over his glove.
”Honestly, I just have three moves that I’ve done since I’ve been however (old),” said Tkachuk, who’s 2-for-2 this season in shootouts. ”I look at the shooters before me and decide when I touch the puck.
”I’ve only used one out of my three moves so far. I’m probably going to have to switch it up here soon,” he added with a smile.
The Flames improved to 4-0 in games that go into overtime while New Jersey lost for the first time in four games not decided in regulation.
Micheal Ferland, Michael Frolik and Sean Monahan each contributed a goal and an assist for the Flames (8-6-0), who won their third straight. Michael Stone rounded out the attack and Mike Smith made 26 saves.
Johnny Gaudreau had two assists to give him 15 on the season, which is tied for second behind Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos (18).
Ferland broke a 3-3 tie in the third period when he took a slick little pass from Gaudreau and in alone, he zipped a shot past Kinkaid at 6:54. Ferland had been stopped on a first period penalty shot.
New Jersey tied it 4-4 at 11:11 when Andy Greene scored his first of the season, beating a partially-screened Smith on a long shot inside the post.
Smith surrendered four goals for only the second time on the year.
”We’re at game 14, it’s about time that we gave him some run support,” said Flames coach Glen Gulutzan. ”He’s been bailing us out for a long time.”
Calgary entered the night ranked 30th in goals per game.
”We weren’t just getting a lot of shots. We were getting quality chances. I thought tonight too we had some breakaways again and some real quality looks,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano. ”You can just feel when you’re getting those looks consistently game-in and game-out it’s going to go.”
Calgary had a 34-30 edge in shots, but Smith had perhaps the night’s most electric stop early in the third when he kicked out a pad to rob rookie Nico Hischier.
”It was a rebound and I had the empty net. For me, I’ve got to bury that,” said Hischier, the first overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft.
Taylor Hall, Ben Lovejoy, Brian Gibbons and Andy Greene scored for New Jersey (9-3-1), while Hischier had two assists. Kinkaid finished with 30 saves as the Devils lost consecutive games for the first time this year.
New Jersey finished its Western Canada road trip with a 1-1-1 record.
”We’re happy to come out with three points,” said Hall. ”There’s still a few areas that we can improve on and be harder in. You saw a lot of grade-A chances given up tonight and that’s on the D, that’s on the forwards, that’s on everyone.”
The Devils then got a penalty shot of their own with 6:06 remaining when Miles Wood was hauled down from behind by Matt Bartkowski. But Wood put a backhander high and wide.
Notes: Monahan has a team-leading eight goals. Gaudreau has assisted on all eight of Monahan’s goals… Calgary called up D Rasmus Andersson from Stockton of the AHL on Sunday and put Travis Hamonic (lower body) on injured reserve, but Andersson did not play. … Calgary RW Jaromir Jagr (lower body) missed his sixth game. He continues to practice with the team and is considered close to returning.
Devils: Host St. Louis on Tuesday night.
Flames: Host Vancouver on Tuesday night.
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