Flames ignite with win over Wings
DETROIT (AP) — Johnny Gaudreau capped a memorable day with another splendid performance.
Gaudreau had a goal and three assists, and the Calgary Flames rallied for a 5-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night. Earlier in the day, Gaudreau was named the NHL’s second star for the month of December — and he was part of the Pacific Division All-Star roster, which was also released Wednesday.
“This was obviously a pretty wild day,” Gaudreau said. “Winning was the best part, though.”
Detroit led 2-0 after one period, but the Flames came back to hand the Red Wings their sixth straight loss. Sean Monahan, TJ Brodie, Elias Lindholm and Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary.
Darren Helm, Jacob de la Rose and Andreas Athanasiou scored for Detroit.
Gaudreau put the Flames ahead 4-3 midway through the third with a power-play goal after a slick play by Matthew Tkachuk, who stickhandled below the goal line and then slipped a pass between goalie Jimmy Howard and the side of the net. Gaudreau was in front to tap in the puck for his 22nd goal of the season.
“We knew we had to be a lot better in the second and third periods, but we have the confidence to know we could do that,” said Gaudreau, who kept right on rolling after finishing with 11 goals and 15 assists in December.
Frolik scored into an empty net with 17.7 seconds remaining.
“I thought we got better as it went,” Flames coach Bill Peters said. “It wasn’t a Picasso, but we’ll take the two points.”
The Flames have 54 points, most in the Western Conference.
Helm, who missed the previous 21 games with an upper-body injury, marked his return with a goal in the first period. He and Athanasiou came in on a 2-on-1 break. Rather than passing, Helm dragged the puck past a sliding defenseman, switched to his backhand and beat goalie Mike Smith.
The Red Wings made it 2-0 on a goalmouth scramble. Detroit’s Michael Rasmussen hacked at the puck, and it bounced off de la Rose and in.
Calgary rallied in the second. Monahan made it 2-1 with his 22nd goal of the season, and Brodie tied it when his routine shot from the point bounced off Howard’s glove and in with 2:01 left in the period.
“It should never go in, so it’s on me,” said Howard, who is among the Atlantic Division All-Stars.
Brodie’s goal started a wild stretch in which three goals were scored in just more than a minute. Athanasiou had a step on Oliver Kylington when the Calgary defenseman hooked him. Officials awarded a penalty shot that Athanasiou converted for his 14th goal of the season.
The Flames quickly tied it at 3 when Lindholm beat Howard with a wrist shot on the power play with just under a minute left in the period.
“You get to points where you’re fragile. We can pretend that’s not true but that’s not what happened,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We have control over that, have control of playing shift by shift, believing in ourselves, carrying ourselves with confidence, making the plays at the big moments instead of the other way.”
Detroit’s Dylan Larkin had his 14-game point streak snapped.
NOTES: The Red Wings put D Trevor Daley on injured reserve with a foot problem and recalled D Brian Lashoff from Grand Rapids of the AHL. Lashoff did not play. … Athanasiou’s goal was his 100th career point.
Flames: At Boston on Thursday night.
Red Wings: Host Nashville on Friday night.