Philadelphia Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz, centre, grabs for the puck as Calgary Flames’ Matthew Tkachuk, right, and Sam Bennett surround him during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Johnny Gaudreau scores OT winner for Flames in victory over Flyers

Flames 6 Flyers 5 (OT)

CALGARY — Johnny Gaudreau scored in overtime for the Calgary Flames in a 6-5 win over the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

Gaudreau scored 35 seconds into extra time. The Flames (20-10-2) regained first place in the NHL’s Western Conference vaulting over the Nashville Predators, which are at home Thursday to the Vancouver Canucks.

The Flames topped the conference Saturday when they downed the Preds 5-2, but Nashville had pulled ahead with a win over the Ottawa Senators.

Philadelphia (12-13-4) continues to toil in the Eastern Conference’s bottom tier. The Flyers are 2-2-1 since the Nov. 30 firing of general manager Ron Hextall. Chuck Fletcher replaced him four days later.

Trailing 5-3, Calgary’s Sean Monahan and defenceman Rasmus Andersson scored in the final 68 seconds to force overtime.

Monahan had a pair of goals in the game with Mark Giordano and Sam Bennett also scoring for the hosts. Matthew Tkachuk had four assists.

Giordano returned to the lineup after serving a two-game suspension for kneeing Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu on Dec. 6.

David Rittich earned the win with four saves in relief of Mike Smith, who stopped 10 of 14 shots through two periods before he was replaced to start the third.

After sitting out two previous games with a lower-body injury, Sean Couturier had two goals and an assist for the Flyers.

Philadelphia also got goals from Travis Sanheim, James van Riemsdyk and Dale Weise.

Captain Claude Giroux collected two assists. Goalie Anthony Stolarz made 35 saves in the loss.

Couturier stripped Calgary defenceman Noah Hanafin of the puck at the point and went in alone to score on Rittich at 11:30 for a 5-3 Flyers lead.

Monahan’s power-play goal at 10:13 of the second pulled Calgary within one. Tkachuk dished to Monahan in the slot for the latter’s team-leading 19th goal.

The Flyers scored a trio of goals in a 48-second span starting at 5:55 of the second period for a 4-2 lead.

Weise fooled Smith with a soft shot from just inside the blueline at 7:43. Couturier got behind Monahan for a back-door pass from Voracek to score at 6:27.

Van Riemsdyk pounced on a loose puck off a broken play in front of Smith, beating the Calgary goaltender stick side for a power-play goal to kick off Philadelphia’s outburst.

Giordano beat Stolarz stick side for a short-handed goal at 5:32 for a brief 2-1 Calgary lead.

Sanheim pulled the visitors even 52 seconds into the second taking a cross-ice pass from Giroux and going forehand to backhand on Smith.

Bennett banged in a rebound on Stolarz stick side at 9:13 of the first period after Tkachuk attempted a wrap-around goal.

Notes: Philadelphia broke an eight-game power-play drought with its first goal since Nov. 17 … Calgary centre Mikael Backlund sat out a third game after taking a hard hit from Wild defenceman Matt Dumba last week … Flames forward Michael Frolik (lower body) and defenceman Michael Stone (blood clot) and Juuso Valimaki (lower body) have been out of the lineup for 10 straight games.

Just Posted

Maskwacis RCMP arrest, charge wanted man

A Maskwacis man is facing weapons-related charges after allegedly resisting arrest. Two… Continue reading

The shelter is full: Many abused women and children in central Alberta will face a tough holiday

Alberta has one of highest domestic violence rates in the country, says a report

Man accused of murder is back behind bars

Quentin Lee Strawberry charged with second-degree murder in April now charged with attempted murder

Updated: Red Deer assault victim confronts his attacker outside court after sentencing

Linden Buffalo was convicted of aggravated assault in May and sentenced to 60 days on Thursday

Your community calendar

Tuesday The Central Alberta Council on Aging will hold its Christmas General… Continue reading

Tufts University severs ties with family behind OxyContin

BOSTON — Tufts University is cutting ties with the billionaire family that… Continue reading

Bank of Canada deputy governor Timothy Lane says Canadian economy resilient

OTTAWA — The Canadian economy remains resilient despite the global uncertainty caused… Continue reading

Federal regulator approves expanded Kitimat LNG gas export licence

CALGARY — An application from Chevron Canada for a 40-year licence to… Continue reading

CIBC, TD close bleak Q4 earning season with lower profit, higher loss provisions

TORONTO — Canada’s banking sector closed out its fourth-quarter earnings season Thursday… Continue reading

Hagel flourishing in early days of pro hockey

Former Rebel has 11 points in 20 games with the AHL’s Rockford IceHogs

Vaping backlash: Nova Scotia bans flavoured e-cigarettes, Ontario mulls the same

HALIFAX — A nationwide clamp down on vaping continued Thursday as Nova… Continue reading

More than 200 patients died waiting for organ transplants in 2018: report

Wait times for organ transplants continue to cost patients their lives across… Continue reading

Most Read