Gaudreau’s overtime goal rallies Flames past Flyers 6-5
Gaudreau scored 35 seconds into overtime, and the Flames rallied to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-5 on Wednesday night.
Calgary trailed 5-3 before Sean Monahan and Rasmus Andersson scored in the final 68 seconds of third period. Gaudreau then secured the Flames’ sixth win in seven games with his 13th goal of the season.
“Huge win,” Gaudreau said. “We stuck with and found a way to play a little bit harder in the third and get the two points.
“Ending up finding a couple of greasy goals there in the last two minutes and winning in overtime. The building was electric.”
Matthew Tkachuk had four assists for the Flames (20-10-2), who leapfrogged idle Nashville for the top spot in the Western Conference. Monahan had two goals and an assist, and Gaudreau and Mark Giordano each had a goal and two assists.
Philadelphia (12-13-4) lost for the third time in four games. Sean Couturier had two goals and an assist for the Flyers in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a lower-body injury. Travis Sanheim, James van Riemsdyk and Dale Weise also scored.
Gaudreau missed the final part of the first period after taking a knee to the head from Philadelphia’s Radko Gudas, but was back on the bench to start the second.
With the Flames driving to the net in overtime, he scored the winner on a second rebound.
“We had a lot of chances,” Calgary coach Bill Peters said. “We gave up more than we liked. We were fortunate to get enough action at the net late and were rewarded.”
David Rittich earned the win with four saves in relief of Mike Smith, who stopped 10 of 14 shots through two periods. Peters said he didn’t pull Smith out because of his performance.
“I got news he wasn’t right after 40 (minutes). It was real late. Just before we went on the ice, I was told Ritter was going in,” Peters said. “Smitty wasn’t quite feeling right. Tried to play through it and couldn’t.”
Anthony Stolarz made 35 saves in the loss.
The Flyers killed off four power plays in the third period, but couldn’t hold off the Flames at the end.
“The penalties set the table for the two tying goals,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. “That kills the bench, kills your energy.
“But even at 4-2 and a two-goal lead in the third period, we’re still trying to make fancy plays that end up in turnovers in the neutral zone, when we should be locking down a game.”
Couturier stripped Calgary defenseman Noah Hanafin at the point and went in alone for a short-handed goal that made it 5-3 Flyers 11:10 into the third.
Sam Bennett’s fifth goal of the season gave Calgary a 1-0 lead after one, but the teams combined for six goals in the second.
Philadelphia opened a 4-2 lead by scoring three times in 108 seconds.
Van Riemsdyk tied it at 2 when he pounced on a loose puck off a broken play and beat Smith stick side for a power-play goal at 5:55. Couturier got behind Monahan for a back-door pass from Jakub Voracek and his 11th of the season at 6:27. Weise fooled Smith with a soft shot from just inside the blue line at 7:43.
Monahan’s power-play goal at 10:13 of the second pulled Calgary within one. Tkachuk dished to Monahan in the slot for his team-leading 19th goal.
“You don’t want to have a game like that when you’re chasing, but you stick with it and obviously we got the two points,” Monahan said.
NOTES: Giordano returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for kneeing Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu on Dec. 6. … Philadelphia broke an eight-game power-play drought with its first goal since Nov. 17. … Calgary C Mikael Backlund sat out a third game after taking a hard hit from Wild defenseman Matt Dumba last week.
Flyers: Visit Edmonton on Friday night.
Flames: Visit Minnesota on Saturday.