CALGARY â€” The Calgary Flames are one of the hottest teams in the NHL right now but they know they’re still not perfect.
Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist as the Flames beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Sunday afternoon to earn their seventh straight win. Four of Calgary’s goals came in a span of less than five minutes.
“You have to pile on as many points as you can on these streaks, but keep trying to get better,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano. “The key now for us is to not let any parts of our games slip. Here and there you see a few mistakes that we shouldn’t be making, but we have to clean those up and keep going forward.”
Michael Frolik, TJ Brodie, Micheal Ferland and Kris Versteeg also scored for the Flames (36-26-4), who have also won three in a row on home ice at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“It was nice to get those goals and to get them in the first period,” said Monahan. “They didn’t let up though. They kept coming, the Islanders there. They’re a good team, so I think we might’ve taken our foot of the gas a little bit and we definitely shouldn’t have.”
Making his fourth straight start in net for the Flames, Brian Elliott made 33 saves to pick up his sixth straight win. Elliott has gone 7-0-1 since his last regulation loss on Feb. 5 when he made 28 saves during a 4-3 loss in New York to the Rangers.
“(Elliott) has been playing great and keeping us in games here,” said Monahan.
John Tavares and Jason Chimera scored for the Islanders (30-23-11), who are in the midst of a nine-game road trip on which they have gone 3-2-1 so far.
“Obviously they’re playing with a lot of confidence and they had some jump playing at home with the way they’ve been playing,” said Tavares, who thought the Islanders were playing well until Calgary’s surge late in the first. “We had done an okay job up until that point, but then we just really shot ourselves in the foot. When you give up four goals like that, it’s hard to win in this league.”
Thomas Greiss started in net for the Islanders and stopped 17-of-21 shots he faced in the first period before being replaced by Jean-Francois Berube, who finished with 15 saves.
Islanders coach Doug Weight said he’s definitely going to consider making some changes to his lineup heading into New York’s next game on Tuesday in Edmonton against the Oilers.
“Obviously I’m not going to, 20 minutes after the game, figure that out, but I have a full notecard of information that I took throughout the game,” said Weight. “I’m going to watch the game again tonight â€” that should be fun â€” in a dark room. For sure, I’ll figure it out.”
Greiss had a great start to the game as he stopped the first 16 shots he faced before the Flames erupted for four goals in a span of 4:40 late in the first period.
Frolik started things off when he shovelled a sharp-angle shot past Greiss at 14:56 before Brodie banked the puck off the New York goalie’s leg from behind the net at 16:28.
Ferland took a pass from Monahan 42 seconds later and fired a quick shot past Greiss before Monahan converted a feed from Johnny Gaudreau to finish off a three-on-one opportunity with 23.3 seconds left in the opening period.
The Islanders rebounded with a better effort in the second period, but were only to score one goal when Tavares swatted a rebound past Elliott, who made the first save to stop a long-range shot by Josh Bailey during a four-on-four situation.
Versteeg added an insurance goal for the Flames at 6:58 of the third before Chimera replied for the Islanders at 11:32 when he snapped a shot to the top corner over Elliott’s glove.
Notes: Islanders D Johnny Boychuk sat out Sunday’s game with a sore foot after blocking a shot during a 2-1 shootout loss in Chicago against the Blackhawks on Friday. â€¦ D Travis Hamonic suited up for his second straight game with the Islanders after missing the previous 24 outings with a lower-body injury. â€¦ D Matt Bartkowski had an assist on Versteeg’s goal for his first point in his eighth game with the Flames.
Laurence Heinen , The Canadian Press