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24.04.2019 04:47
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NEWARK Mattias Janmark Jersey , N.J. (AP) — The Western Conference-leading Calgary Flames are rolling after finishing off the Eastern portion of their NHL schedule.Johnny Gaudreau set up two second-period goals and the Flames extended their season-high winning streak to seven games with a 2-1 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday night.“I think we’ve come a long way in that sense and play well defensively,” Flames captain Mark Giordano said of winning on a night when the team struggled playing the second of a back-to-back. “We have the goaltending, we have the depth if we can get our minds in the right place. I think we’re a really good hockey team and we can do some damage.”Elias Lindholm also scored for the Flames, who have points in eight straight games. David Rittich made 19 saves in improving to 22-5-5.Kevin Rooney scored a short-handed goal for the Devils. Mackenzie Blackwood, who spent the last three weeks in the minor leagues, was outstanding in making 33 saves in his return to the NHL.The game was delayed about 10 minutes early in the third period after Devils defenseman Mirco Mueller crashed into the end boards on a rush and had to be taken on the ice on a stretcher. He moved his legs and gave a thumbs-up to fans.“He’s got full range of motion and he’s conscious and he’s just at the hospital now getting evaluated now, but thank God he’s OK,” Devils coach John Hynes said. “He’s fully conscious and all of his extremities are moving fine. … Mentally, he was fine and he sat up before he left the arena for the hospital Radek Faksa Jersey , and (had) full awareness of what was going on.”After outshooting the Devils 15-5 in a scoreless first period, Calgary took the lead at 1:07 of the second period on Lindholm’s 26th goal of the season. His intended pass from the left circle with the Devils playing two men down hit off the skate of defenseman Sami Vatanen and caromed past Blackwood.“A lucky one,” Lindholm said. “I was trying to go backdoor and hit the defensemen’s skate and it went in. It wasn’t pretty, but it went in and that’s all that matters.”The goal came a second after the first penalty expired and ended the power play.Gaudreau and Giordano combined on a great goal at 13:52. Gaudreau carried the puck into the Devils’ zone on a counterattack and made a nifty cross ice pass to the 35-year-old defenseman. He lifted his skate as if he was going to snap a shot. That froze Blackwood and he continued toward the net and slid a backhander into an open net for his 14th goal.Giordano laughed when asked if he was making a Mark Messier-type fake.“Honestly, I was thinking shot the whole way and he took everything away, so desperation at the end, you go by instincts and took it to my backhand and it worked out for sure,” he said.The point was Giordano’s 60th of the season, making the Flames captain the fourth defenseman in NHL history 35 or older to score 60 points in a season. Nicklas Lidstrom Authentic Stephen Johns Jersey , Al MacInnis and Sergei Zubov are the others.Rooney got the Devils back in the game with 3:13 left in the second period. He stole the puck from Gaudreau in the Calgary end and circle before releasing a shot from the left circle that beat Rittich.“I saw him coming around the net there and wanted to get up ice and didn’t want to give him time and space with the puck,” Rooney said. “Just had a good angle on him and was lucky enough to strip him and put it in.”Rittich protected the lead in the third, stopping Travis Zajac in close and Will Butcher from the point on power play.“We didn’t give up huge shots, but they had a couple of good looks, a couple of two on ones,” Rittich said. “We did a great job in our zone. That’s important if you want to make the playoffs.”NOTES: Flames and Devils will play in Calgary on March 12. … After missing 14 games, the Devils activated Vatanen (concussion) from injured reserve. … The Flames have killed off 13 straight power plays over the last five games. … Devils leading goal scorer Kyle Palmieri (26 goals) was out with a lower-body injury. Calgary is 9-2 against New Jersey in their last 11 games.UP NEXT:Flames: Return home to face Minnesota on Saturday.Devils: Finish three-game homestand Friday against Philadelphia. The bad news for the Nashville Predators: They have lost 10 straight games on the road, eight of them in regulation.The good news: Their first two games after the Christmas break are at Bridgestone Arena, including Thursday night’s visit from the Dallas Stars.The better news: Some desperately needed help might be on the way sooner instead of later.Article continues below ...It appears that All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban and right winger Viktor Arvidsson could be back after extended absences. Subban has missed the last 19 games with an upper-body injury and Arvidsson has been sidelined since a slash broke his thumb Nov. 10 in a 5-4 overtime win at Dallas.“We’re not in the position to rest guys Youth Tyler Pitlick Jersey ,” Nashville coach Peter Laviolette said to the Tennessean last week when asked if the team would wait to bring injured players back until after Christmas. “Guys will play when they are ready. We can’t afford the luxury of resting guys.”With their depth stretched beyond its considerable max by a series of injuries that have also claimed Filip Forsberg and Colton Sissons, the Predators are 9-10-2 over their last 21 games. They went 0-3-1 on last week’s road trip, losing to three of the NHL’s worst teams in Ottawa, Chicago and Philadelphia along the way.Yet Nashville is still 22-13-2, good for second place in the Central Division and third in the Western Conference. It is only four points behind Winnipeg in the Central and only three points off the pace of last season, when it won the Presidents’ Trophy for the first time with 117 points.To a man, the Predators are hopeful the break results in a return to the win column.“Hopefully, we come back hungrier and rested, maybe a bit healthier than we are now and go from there Tyler Seguin Jersey ,” defenseman Ryan Ellis said.The Stars (18-16-3) were in position to go into the holiday break with momentum, but couldn’t build on a 1-0 second period lead Sunday night and fell 3-1 to the New York Islanders at American Airlines Arena.Aiming to win consecutive games for the first time since early December, Dallas instead lost for the sixth time in eight games, all in regulation. First-year coach Jim Montgomery wasn’t quite willing to use playing on back-to-back nights as an excuse.“Guys were tired tonight, but a lot of other teams have similar schedules and they find ways to win hockey games,” he said. “It’s a mindset of pushing the envelope and wanting to make plays, wanting to be a difference-maker.”Their recent skid aside, the Stars remain in fourth place in the Central, tied for the Western’s last playoff spot with Edmonton. The problem lately has been an offense that was once explosive Anthony Duclair Jersey Womens , but has slid to 24th in the league with 99 goals in 37 matches.Slow starts have also plagued Dallas. Its 18 goals in first periods rank last in the league.“As a group, we don’t prepare well enough,” Montgomery said. “I don’t have, obviously, my finger on it. I hope it would be better.”

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