Monahan scores twice, lead Flames over Ducks 6-1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — The hats came flying from the stands when Sean Monahan scored his last goal of the game.
The only problem was that it was Monahan’s second goal after an earlier goal credited to him was changed — and the fans at the Saddledome didn’t realize it.
It was one of the few miscues of the game for the Flames as Monahan scored twice to set a single-season career high with 33 goals and also added two assists, leading Calgary to a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
“I’m getting some confidence back, putting the puck in the net. That’s huge,” said Monahan, who hadn’t scored since March 12.
Monahan entered the game with just two goals in his last 19 games, but he broke out with a big game, surpassing his previous best of 31 goals.
“Not playing well for a while, to break out and do that, obviously, it’s a good feeling,” Monahan said.
Mark Giordano, James Neal, Derek Ryan and Garnet Hathaway also scored for Calgary, which extended its lead atop the Pacific Division and Western Conference to eight points over San Jose. The Flames are looking for their first division title since the 2005-06 season and first conference title since 1989-90. The Sharks have five games remaining, including a home date with Calgary on Sunday.
Andy Welinski scored his first NHL goal for Anaheim.
Tied at 1 after the first period, Calgary took its first lead 3:37 into the second when Monahan knocked in Rasmus Andersson’s rebound.
“Mony’s been such a good player for us all year. It’s going to happen where you’re not at the top of your game every single moment,” goalie Mike Smith said. “He’s been a positive guy that’s worked real hard and he deserved everything he got tonight.”
Just over six minutes later, Monahan’s shot from the slot deflected off Neal and past Ryan Miller for a power-play goal, making it 3-1. The goal — originally credited to Monahan — snapped a 0-for-21 skid for the man advantage over the previous eight-plus games.
Mike Smith got the win with 21 saves to improve to 22-15-2. His biggest stop was a breakaway save off Max Jones in the first period, just seconds before Giordano tied it at 15:32.
At the other end, Miller finished with 31 saves.
“He kept us in it, but you’ve got to score more than one goal, usually, if you’re going to win,” Ducks forward Devin Shore said. “You feel for him. He’s battling and it’s unfortunate, we didn’t match his compete level.”
Calgary put the game away in the third period. Ryan neatly deflected in TJ Brodie’s shot at 8:07, Hathaway scored his 11th goal at 14:37 and Monahan capped the scoring at 19:14.
“We really stuck with them through the first,” Welinski said. “We played a good period on the road, but they were relentless. They didn’t slow down and I think that wore on us.”
NOTES: Monahan’s first goal ended a stretch of 156:12 without a goal from a forward. … Calgary departs on a three-game California road trip before finishing the season at home against Edmonton next Saturday. … Flames inserted Dalton Prout on defense for Oscar Fantenberg. … Anaheim has lost 407 man-games to injury. Calgary has lost 130.
Ducks: At Edmonton on Saturday night.
Flames: At San Jose on Sunday night.