Flames second period scoring burst leads to 8-3 win over Ducks
Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist in his return from a broken finger, and the Calgary Flames scored five times in a 6:04 span of the second period to rout the Anaheim Ducks 8-3 on Sunday night.
It was a surprise when it was revealed in the morning that Gaudreau would be back in the lineup less than three weeks after surgery that was expected to keep him out four to six weeks.
On the first shot of his first shift, he took a drop pass from Sam Bennett and whipped a shot past Jonathan Bernier at 2:09 to make it 1-0.
Sixth in the NHL in scoring last season, Gaudreau started off slowly this season with two goals in 14 games. But he was just beginning to heat up with three goals in three games when a slash from Eric Staal against Minnesota on Nov. 15 sidelined him for 10 games.
Bennett and Alex Chiasson also had big nights offensively with a goal and two assists apiece. Also scoring for Calgary (13-13-2) were Troy Brouwer, Matt Stajan, Dougie Hamilton, Sean Monahan and Mark Giordano. The Flames finished a 3-0 homestand.
Ryan Kesler had two goals and Logan Shaw also scored for Anaheim (12-9-5), which trailed 8-1 late in the third. Next, the Ducks return home after a 1-1-1 trip through Western Canada.
It was 1-all when Calgary scored a rare power-play goal at home at 11:28 of the second, touching off a stretch of five goals on six shots against Bernier.
Calgary was 2 for 45 on the power play at the Saddledome when Brouwer tipped in Monahan’s shot.
Chiasson shoveled in Bennett’s rebound less than a minute later and 35 seconds after that, with the crowd still buzzing, Stajan deflected in Dennis Wideman’s slap shot.
Back on the man advantage, the Flames made it two straight conversions when Bennett redirected in Mikael Backlund’s pass at 16:37. Hamilton completed the second-period barrage 55 seconds later by ripping a slap shot into the top corner.
Monahan and Giordano made it 8-1 with third-period goals before Kesler and Shaw scored late goals for the Ducks.
Starting for the 10th time in the last 12 games, Chad Johnson made 30 stops to improve to 8-2-0 during that span. He is 10-4-1 this season.
Bernier, who went the distance, finished with 17 saves. His record fell to 4-2-1.
NOTES: It was the most goals Calgary has scored since winning 8-1 over Edmonton on March 22, 2014. Bennett was back at center after playing left wing during Gaudreau’s absence. Micheal Ferland (upper body) did not return after leaving in the first period. He took only one more shift after an earlier fight with Kevin Bieksa. Lance Bouma (upper body) skated without a non-contact jersey Sunday and is nearing a return. He has missed 15 games.
Ducks: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night. Flames: Play at the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night.
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