Hats raining down onto the ice, chants of “Johnny, Johnny” from the raucous house crowd, it was an evening of huge targets and funky moments for Johnny Gaudreau on Thursday.
Within the midst of a profession season, Gaudreau notched his sixth profession three-goal sport to guide the red-hot Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“It’s superior. It’s a very cool feeling,” mentioned Gaudreau, who in his eighth season in Calgary, can also be within the last yr of his contract. “It’s even cooler feeling while you’ve bought all of the followers chanting your title. It’s fairly particular. I don’t take these with no consideration, it was a reasonably cool second.”
The 28-year-old left-winger leads the staff with 26 targets and 77 factors. 13 of these factors (six targets, seven assists) have are available in these final seven video games, a torrid stretch that has him as much as fourth in league scoring behind Jonathan Huberdeau (18-64-82), Connor McDavid (30-51-81) and Leon Draisaitl (38-41-79).
He’s on a tempo for 111 factors, which might be a career-high. His finest season was 99 factors in 2018-19.
“These are momentum targets, all of them,” mentioned Flames coach Darryl Sutter, of Gaudreau’s first hat trick since March 12, 2019. “That’s what the highest guys do on this league.”
Mikael Backlund additionally scored for Calgary (35-15-7), which improves to 15-2-1 of their final 18. The Flames are 13-1-1 of their final 15 video games on the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Alex Killorn scored for Tampa Bay (37-14-6), which misplaced consecutive video games in regulation for the primary time this season.
“Groups undergo powerful stretches on a regular basis. We’re going by means of a bit of little bit of a bump proper now,” mentioned Lightning captain Steven Stamkos. “We’ll appropriate it. But it surely’s course of over end result at this level. In the present day was a begin. That’s staff over there they usually capitalized on their possibilities. Generally you’ve bought to offer the opposite staff credit score, too.”
Midway by means of their season-long six-game highway journey, the Lightning will attempt to flip issues round on Saturday after they tackle the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place.
“On the finish of the day it’s about us and dealing exhausting. I assumed tonight we did some actually good issues. They capitalized on our errors and that was it,” mentioned Tampa Bay winger Corey Perry.
Handing over a terrific efficiency in web for the Flames was Jacob Markstrom, who made 30 saves to enhance to 27-11-6.
“It’s at all times enjoyable to play the groups that within the high and Tampa is a staff that has been on the high for a very long time, however you recognize, it nonetheless is 2 factors. Nothing extra, nothing much less,” mentioned Markstrom.
Andrei Vasilevskiy had 28 stops for Tampa Bay. He falls to 30-11-4.
With the goaltenders taking turns making nice save after nice save, the sport was a 1-1 approaching the ultimate minute of the second when the Flames erupted for 2 targets.
At 19:00, and on a play harking back to his purpose within the first interval, Gaudreau corralled a free puck to the facet of the online and from under the purpose line, banked a shot off Vasilevskiy and in.
“On that first energy play purpose, [Vasilevskiy] was out of his web, he wasn’t on the submit and I attempted to financial institution it off his butt. The second was simply pure luck, I simply threw it proper again in entrance of the online and it went off his hip or one thing,” mentioned Gaudreau.
Calgary surged forward 3-1 with eight seconds left when Backlund steered in Erik Gudbranson’s exhausting low cross into the slot. Gudbranson’s help provides the 30-year-old defenceman a career-high 14 factors.
“We must always’ve been content material going to the room 1-1, after which making an attempt to impose our will in a 1-1 sport. As an alternative we go to the room down 3-1, and now you’re placing your self ready to have to attain your self out of a sport once more,” mentioned Tampa Bay coach, Jon Cooper. “That’s not our recipe. It’s not a profitable recipe. You need to defend your method to win hockey video games. They did, we didn’t tonight.”
Gaudreau capped off his large evening at 13:44 and this purpose extra typical, taking a cross from Elias Lindholm and one-timing a shot previous Vasilevskiy.
The one puck to elude Markstrom was Killorn’s deflection at 15:40 of the second that briefly tied it 1-1.
Linesman Jason Marquis needed to be helped off the ice and didn’t return after he was struck within the helmet by a shoot-in try by Calgary’s Trevor Lesis at 6:16 of the second. … Tampa Bay falls to 9-2-1 towards the Pacific. The Lightning are 22-1-4 after they rating first, however simply 15-13-2 after they enable the primary purpose. … The Flames final win at house towards the Lightning had been Jan. 5, 2016.