Tampa Bay Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, left, of Russia, looks on as Calgary Flames goalie David Rittich, of the Czech Republic, lets in a goal during third period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Thursday. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Lightning score five unanswered, hand Flames their sixth loss in a row

Lightning 7 Flames 4

CALGARY — Alex Killorn had two goals and two assists as the Tampa Bay Lightning erupted for five unanswered goals, including four in the third period, on Thursday night in a 7-4 win over the Calgary Flames.

Down 4-3 after two periods, Tampa Bay tied it 12 seconds into the third when Killorn pounced on a loose puck near the Flames face-off dot, spun, and sent a backhander on net that slipped past Mike Smith.

The rare off night for Smith continued when Cory Conacher scored on a sharp angle at 5:16 to give the Lightning the lead for good at 5-4.

Just over a minute later, Steven Stamkos buried his 19th of the season and that was it for Smith and his goal stick. As he got the hook from coach Glen Gulutzan for David Rittich, Smith smashed his stick across the goalpost.

Conacher’s second of the night at 8:26, on a shot from below the goal line, capped off the third-period barrage. Braydon Coburn and Matthew Peca also scored for Tampa Bay (35-13-3), which maintains its one-point lead over the Vegas Golden Knights atop the overall standings.

Micheal Ferland, Mikael Backlund, Sean Monahan and Matt Stajan scored for Calgary (25-18-8). On the heels of a seven-game winning streak, the Flames are winless in their last six (0-4-2).

The Lightning improved to 4-2-0 on this stretch of eight straight games on the road. They play in Vancouver on Saturday.

Tied 1-1, the Lightning took its first lead 2:04 into the second period when Killorn scored on the power play. The lead was short-lived with Calgary roaring back with three straight goals to open up a 4-2 advantage.

After being the culprit sitting in the penalty box on Killorn’s goal, Backlund made up for it on his next shift with a beautiful solo effort to tie it 2-2 at 3:38. After crossing the Lightning blue line, he deked around Mikhail Sergachev with a nifty toe-drag then promptly ripped a wrist shot into the top corner.

Less than two minutes later, Monahan gave Calgary the 3-2 lead and Stajan added his second of the season at 14:27.

Smith stopped just 21-of-27 shots to fall to 20-15-6. Rittich had three stops.

Andrei Vasilevskiy, who improved to 30-9-2, had 42 saves.

Notes: Calgary was 50-0-3 when leading after two dating back to last season, but has lost two games in a row in regulation in which it led after 40 minutes… Calgary has had the lead in each of its six straight losses… Ferland has scored the first goal in a game five times, which leads the team.

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