Toronto Maple Leafs winning streak snapped at six games
By Neil Becker
Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom once again showed why his name belongs in the Vezina Trophy conversation.
Making a first-period statement by stopping 17 of 18 shots, Markstrom continuously frustrated shooters as he made 46 saves total in leading the Calgary Flames to a Thursday night 5-2 win at Scotiabank Saddledome against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Flames, who have now won five straight, and seven of eight, managed to accomplish what many recent opponents couldn’t which was keeping Leafs forwards Mitch Marner and Austin Matthews off the board. Marner came into action having scored in eight straight games while Matthews sits third in league scoring with 31.
Toronto got a big boost on the backend as veteran defenceman Jake Muzzin was back after sitting out seven games due to a concussion. Muzzin played his usual physical style while registering five shots on goal. In the first period, the Leafs suffered some bad news as forward Ondrej Kase, who has a history of concussion issues didn’t come back after leaving the ice following a giant hit from Flames defenceman Nikita Zadorov.
The Leafs, who came into action on a six- game winning streak got off to a strong start as defenceman Rasmus Sandin opened the scoring with his second of year which came 3:49 into the second.
Rasmus goal didn’t stand up for long as Flames forward Andrew Mangiapane replied 24 seconds later with his 23rd to make it a brand- new game at 1-1.
Just past the game’s halfway mark, the Flames took control and never looked back as they scored three straight goals in under a three-minute span from defenceman Noah Hanifin with his fifth, Oliver Kylington which came on the power play, and forward Elias Lindholm who with under minutes remaining in the second scored his 17th to give the Flames a 4-1 lead. A little over a minute into the third, Calgary once again got on the board as Rasmus Andersson got the crowd roaring after he scored his second of the year. The Leafs would get one more as forward Michael Bunting, just past the period’s five-minute mark took a nice drop pass from Matthews and blasted home his 14th of the year.
Calgary would go on and cruise to their second straight big win. The night before defeating Toronto the Flames shut out the Vegas Golden Knights by a 6-0 score at Scotiabank Saddledome. The Leafs on Saturday night will look to start a new streak in Vancouver’ Rogers Arena where they will be facing off at 7 p.m. against the Canucks.
1st. Period TOR-CGY
2nd Period TOR- CGY
3:49 Rasmus Sandin (2) 1 – 0
Wiliam Nylander (25), John Tavares (26)
4:13 Andrew Mangiapane (23) 1 – 1
Mikael Backlund (13), Blake Coleman (10)
13:03 Noah Hanifin (5) 1 – 2
Rasmus Andersson (21), Matthew Tkachuk (28)
13:35 PPG-Oliver Kylington (6) 1 – 3
Noah Hanifin (17), Mikael Backlund (14)
15:54 Elias Lindholm (17) 1 – 4
Johnny Gaudreau (37), Chris Tanev (13)
1:16 Rasmus Andersson (2) 1 – 5
5:06 Michael Bunting (14) 2 – 5
Austin Matthews (23), Timothy Liljegren (7)