Monahan scores winner in 3rd period, Flames edge Caps 2-1
Monahan scores winner in 3rd period, Flames edge Caps 2-1:- Sean Monahan scored the tiebreaking goal 9:09 into the third period and the Calgary Flames broke a four-game home losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.
The decisive goal was set up by Johnny Gaudreau, who carried the puck in on the rush. After not finding anyone open, he curled back at the faceoff dot and tried again, this time spotting Monahan alone at the far post. All the Flames’ leading goal scorer had to do was slide in his sixth of the season.
It was the 11th assist for Gaudreau, who leads the team with 14 points.
Micheal Ferland also scored for the Flames, who improved to 1-1-0 on a seven-game homestand that continues Thursday when the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins visit.
Jakub Vrana scored for the Capitals, who finished 1-2-0 on a road trip through Western Canada.
Calgary took a 1-0 lead into the third before Washington tied it at 4:19. TJ Brodie’s outlet pass to Matthew Tkachuk along the sideboards bounced off him and back toward the slot, where T.J. Oshie set up Vrana. The rookie fired a shot that slipped under the glove of Mike Smith.
But that was the only puck to elude Smith, who made his NHL-leading 11th start. Acquired in an offseason trade with Arizona, Smith has been the Flames’ best player all season and he was excellent again against the Capitals.
Smith stopped 30 shots and improved his season save percentage to .931.
Calgary opened the scoring 2:08 into the second. Flames defenseman Brett Kulak, who had just stepped onto the ice, kept the puck in at the blue line and fired a quick shot toward the net that Ferland neatly deflected past Philipp Grubauer.
With top goalie Braden Holtby getting the night off after beating Edmonton 5-2 on Saturday, Grubauer made his fourth start and finished with 36 saves.
Grubauer’s best save kept the score 1-all in the third. He jabbed out his glove to rob Mark Giordano after he was set up by Gaudreau on a rare 4-on-1 rush.
NOTES: Jaromir Jagr (lower body) is eligible to come off injured reserve and he’s back skating with the Flames, but he missed his fourth straight game. … Sam Bennett has yet to pick up a point in Calgary’s 12 games. … The Flames made two changes, putting Kulak and RW Curtis Lazar in the lineup. It was just the third game for Kulak. … Washington made one personnel change from Saturday, inserting Aaron Ness on defense in place of Taylor Chorney.
Capitals: Host the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Flames: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.