CALGARY — Kris Versteeg scored the shootout winner Monday night as the Calgary Flames beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 to equal a franchise record with their 10th straight victory.
Calgary’s first shooter, Versteeg moved in slowly and made a nifty deke before zipping a shot upstairs on Marc-Andre Fleury. Brian Elliott stopped Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Phil Kessel to clinch the win.
The Atlanta Flames had won 10 games in a row Oct. 14 to Nov. 3, 1978.
Pittsburgh had a chance to win it in overtime when Mark Giordano was sent off for a slash on Nick Bonino, but the Flames killed off the four-on-three.
Johnny Gaudreau, Deryk Engelland and Dennis Wideman scored in regulation for Calgary (39-26-4), which moved back into second place in the Pacific Division. The Flames are even in points with Anaheim but have more regulation/overtime wins.
Malkin, Crosby and Conor Sheary replied for Pittsburgh (43-17-8). The Penguins had their five-game winning snapped but still moved into a tie in points with the Washington Capitals atop the Metropolitan division. The Capitals are ahead on the tie-breaker.
Pittsburgh tied the game at 16:29 of the third. Crosby scored his league-leading 35th goal when he went to the net and got on his stick on Sheary’s rising shot, deflecting it out of mid-air as Elliott tried to catch it.
Calgary had taken its first lead of the night on Gaudreau’s goal 5:22 into the third period on a power play.
Gaudreau picked up the puck inside his own blue line and picked up speed as he darted over the Penguins blue line. He side stepped defenceman Ron Hainsey, swung wide to elude a diving poke check attempt by Nick Bonino then went around the net and neatly tucked the puck inside the near post before Fleury could slide across.
Gaudreau has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his last 10 games.
Down 2-1 after 20 minutes, Calgary tied it 1:34 into the second period on a some bad luck by Bonino. In attempting to catch a harmless-looking wrist shot flung towards the net from the blue line, he knocked it down and it bounced past Fleury.
Elliott, who had 32 saves, improved to 13-1-1 in his last 15 stats. He’s 21-13-3 on the season.
Fleury had 27 stops to fall to 17-8-6.
Pittsburgh opened the scoring at 2:54 when Jake Guentzel neatly set up Sheary in front.
Calgary tied it at 13:48 when Engelland’s centring pass intended for Matt Stajan deflected in off the stick of Penguins defenceman Mark Streit.
Pittsburgh regained the lead at 15:51. A failed attempt to clear the puck came back to haunt Calgary when Malkin was set up by Chris Kunitz shortly after.
Notes: Crosby picked up his 639th assist, moving him to within one of Jaromir Jagr for second on the Penguins all-time list. Mario Lemieux (1,033) is No. 1… Flames D Michael Stone (upper body) missed his second game. But he did skate on his own prior to Calgary’s morning skate. There was no update on his condition… Pittsburgh D Ron Hainsey played in career game No. 900.