The same day the Flames traded away a defenceman, three others scored in Calgary’s 4-3 overtime win over the visiting Dallas Stars on Thursday.
Noah Hanifin, Chris Tanev and MacKenzie Weegar scored in regulation and centre Nazem Kadri produced the OT winner for Calgary (10-10-3), which improved to 6-3-1 in its last 10 games and went 8-4-2 in November.
“The team’s bonding, we’re coming together, we’re playing really good hockey right now, we’re not quitting and we’re playing against really good teams while we’re doing it,” Hanifin said. “It’s great to see and just got to keep this rolling into December.”
Calgary’s Jonathan Huberdeau assisted on a pair of goals in front of an announced 16,941 at the Saddledome. Goaltender Jacob Markstrom assisted on Kadri’s winner and made 13 saves for the win.
Mason Marchment scored a pair of goals, including one on a penalty shot, for the Stars (13-5-3). Thomas Harley also scored for Dallas. Stars starter Scott Wedgewood stopped 32 shots in the loss.
Just three hours before Thursday’s puck drop, the Flames announced the trade of defenceman Nikita Zadorov to the Vancouver Canucks for a 2026 third-round draft choice and a fifth-round pick in 2024.
The six-foot-six Russian confirmed Nov. 11 he wanted a trade after his agent, in a social-media post, cast doubt on Zadorov’s long-term future in Calgary, and expressed concern about his client’s ice time.
Calgary’s players were greeted with the trade news upon arrival Thursday.
“It could have been easily a huge distraction, but we were able to focus on what we needed to do tonight,” Tanev said.
After losing their first three games of the season that went to a shootout, the Flames prevailed in their first three in overtime, including a pair of wins this week.
Weegar scored the winner in Monday’s 2-1 decision over the Vegas Golden Knights. The defender was clutch again Thursday by generating the equalizer with 2:41 remaining in regulation.
What would have been Mikael Backlund’s tying goal was challenged by Dallas and overturned for a hand pass with 5:01 remaining.
Dallas led 3-2 at 1:49 of the third period on Marchment’s penalty shot. Tanev hauled the forward down on a breakaway up the middle.
“I just felt tonight like our bench felt ‘we’re coming back to win tonight,”’ Flames head coach Ryan Huska said. “It had that feeling all night. It really did. When the penalty-shot goal went in, there was no sag.
“They felt tonight that they’re going to win the game and you could see it after situations where they gave something up. They came back with a good shift.”
Huberdeau’s pass deflected off Kadri driving the net at 1:01 of OT. The players headed to the dressing room while the goal was reviewed for goaltender interference and confirmed.
Tanev, who blocked a shot with his face and finished the game Monday, sprawled in front of a Sam Steel shot from close range in the second period in addition to scoring his first goal of the season.
“He’s one of the best teammates, if not the best teammate, I’ve ever played with in my career,” Hanifin said. “Just an absolute warrior.”
The Stars took three of four points home from a two-game road swing.
“Three of four on this trip you’ll take all day long,” Stars head coach Pete DeBoer said.
“Those momentum shifts, I would have liked to have us play with a little more pressure when we had the lead. We’re at the end of a road trip here and we sat back a little too much and gave them a little bit too much room. Still thought we could have closed it out.”
BACK END BONANZA
With 40 points between them, Calgary defencemen Weegar, Hanifin, Tanev and Rasmus Andersson have become significant contributors to Calgary’s attack with no one forward lighting up the scoresheet so far this season.
“Huge, huge,” Kadri said. “We like to get our D involved. That’s part of the offence we have. We know we can score, we know we can get on the board, including those guys and they’ve got good skill. That’s what happens when you shoot the puck.”
On Saturday,Zadorov is expected to make his Canucks debut at the Saddledome when the Flames host Vancouver, while Dallas is at home to Tampa Bay.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 30, 2023.
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