Flames 3 Stars 1
CALGARY — Mark Giordano had a goal and two assists and Brian Elliott won his 10th game in a row as the Calgary Flames got back in the win column with a 3-1 victory over the Dallas Stars on Friday.
Home with the flu on Wednesday when the Flames had their 10-game winning streak snapped by the Boston Bruins, Elliott was good to go once again and he was nearly perfect on 25 shots faced.
Elliott’s busiest period was the second when Dallas outshot Calgary 13-10 but got outscored 2-0.
Bidding for his third shutout in four games, Elliott was finally beaten at 13:19 of the third when TJ Brodie mishandled the puck in front of his net and Brett Ritchie whipped it past the surprised goaltender.
Matthew Tkachuk and Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary (40-27-4). The Flames, who are 12-1-1 in their last 14, jumped the Edmonton Oilers to move into third place in the Pacific Division.
In a disappointing season, Dallas (28-33-10) wrapped up its four-game road trip with just one win. Noticeably absent for the Stars was captain Jamie Benn (upper body), who was hurt Thursday in Vancouver. Benn has been lethal at the Saddledome with 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in his last seven games in Calgary.
Calgary made it 2-0 at 5:20 of the second. After a stretch of prolonged pressure in the Stars end, Tkachuk neatly steered Giordano’s pass behind Kari Lehtonen for his 13th goal.
Three minutes later, Calgary scored again on a heads-up play by Tkachuk. Having knocked the puck out of the air with a high stick seconds earlier, the Flames rookie followed the puck into the Stars zone but didn’t touch it as play would have been blown dead.
As soon as Dallas’ Adam Cracknell tried to play the puck, Tkachuk promptly stripped it from him, knocking it back to Giordano, who flung a harmless-looking shot from just inside the blue line that deflected in off the glove of Dallas defenceman Dan Hamhuis.
Tkachuk, 19, is tied for third on the team in scoring with 46 points.
It’s been a phenomenal run for Elliott for the last eight weeks. In 16 starts going back to Jan. 26, the 31-year-old is 14-1-1 with a 1.87 goals-against average and a .936 save percentage.
The Flames opened the scoring at 16:07 when Frolik took a pass from Mikael Backlund and whipped a shot over Lehtonen’s glove.
Notes: Flames D Michael Stone (shoulder) returned to the line-up after missing three games. Calgary has won all nine games he’s played in since being acquired from Arizona. That bumped veteran Dennis Wideman back to the press box… Backlund played his 451st game, passing Hakan Loob for the most by a European player in team history.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press