Andersson has goal, two assists to lead Flames to 6-3 victory over Lightning
Rasmus Andersson had a goal and two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday afternoon.
Nazem Kadri, Tyler Toffoli, Dillon Dube, Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman, the last two into an empty net, also had goals for Calgary (22-16-9).
Steven Stamkos, Vladislav Namestikov and Anthony Cirelli scored for Tampa Bay (29-15-1), which dropped both games in Alberta to finish 3-2-0 on its season-long road trip.
Dan Vladar got the start for Calgary, making 21 saves to improve to 8-0-3 in his last 11 appearances. His last regulation loss was Nov. 26 and Vladar is 9-4-4 on the season.
Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots to drop to 20-12-1 on the season.
Down 2-1 in the second period, Tampa Bay got goals 48 seconds apart from Stamkos and Namestikov for its first lead. But it was short-lived.
Just over a minute later, Calgary tied it when Toffoli’s wraparound went in off Lightning defenceman Victor Hedman’s skate.
The misfortune would continue for Tampa Bay’s all-star defenceman. Five minutes later Calgary went ahead 3-2 when Andersson’s slapshot from the point deflected off Hedman in front and past Vasilevskiy.
Calgary got some breathing room 7:40 into the third when Dube picked the top corner as he burst down the left wing, making it 4-2.
The Lightning cut the deficit to 4-3 on Cirelli’s goal with the goalie pulled at 15:58. But the Flames cemented the victory scoring twice into an empty net.
The Flames were full marks for a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes, outshooting the Lightning 15-4 in the opening period.
The only goal, Kadri’s team-leading 18th, came on a power play.
Less than a minute later, the Flames went back on the power play, this on a full two-minute, two-man advantage after Zach Bogosian took a roughing penalty in a post-whistle scrum after Nikita Kucherov had already been called for tripping.
Calgary had plenty of chances for a two-goal lead, peppering Vasilevskiy with four shots before the period ended. But the Flames failed to convert and the Lightning tied it at 10:20 of the second.
Noah Hanifin’s turnover went right to Stamkos at the faceoff circle and he leaned into a slapshot under the crossbar. That extended Stamkos’ point streak to eight games (six goals, six assists).
On an innocent-looking play, the Lightning surged ahead when Vladar tried to poke the puck away in front. Instead, it hit Namestnikov’s skate and into the net. It was reviewed for a distinct kicking motion, but the goal was allowed.
The Lightning lost Pat Maroon to an injury in the third when he was involved in a collision in front of the Flames net. He went off the ice appearing to be favouring his arm.
After sitting for six games as a healthy scratch since being called up two weeks ago from the AHL, Flames 2019 first-round pick Jakob Pelletier made his NHL debut playing left wing on a line with Trevor Lewis at centre and rookie Walker Duehr on right wing. He finished with one shot in his 6:35 of ice time. Adam Ruzicka came out of the lineup.
Tampa Bay entered action with the league’s No. 2 ranked power play. But after going 0-for-6 it has now been blanked in four straight games, going 0-for-11 over that span.
Lightning: Open up a three-game home stand Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.
Flames: Former Flame Johnny Gaudreau and the Columbus Blue Jackets visit the Saddledome on Monday.
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