Tkachuk’s goal in 3rd gives Flames 2-1 win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Matthew Tkachuk scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period for Calgary, David Rittich made 34 saves, and the Flames beat the Minnesota Wild 2-1 on Saturday.

Mark Giordano scored short-handed in the first period for the Pacific Division-leading Flames, who are 11-2-1 in their last 14 games, with 10 wins in regulation. They lead the NHL with 50 third-period goals.

Jordan Greenway’s second-period goal was all the Wild were able to muster after winning their previous two games against Montreal and Florida by a combined 12-2 margin. They went on a power play with 2:36 left and pulled goalie Devan Dubnyk a few seconds later, but they failed to use the two-man advantage to forge a tie.

With 11:15 remaining, after James Neal’s pass hit Nick Seeler’s skate and slid backward, Tkachuk snapped the puck through traffic and past Dubnyk’s stick for the lead. Tkachuk is third on the Flames with 14 goals this season.

Nine days after the Flames beat the Wild 2-0 in a tension-filled game in Calgary, both sides brought their grudges to the ice along with their sticks and skates. Forty seconds after the opening faceoff, Tkachuk fought Wild defenceman Matt Dumba, who levelled Flames centre Mikael Backlund with an open-ice check in the final minute of the matchup on Dec. 6. Dumba was retaliating for a knee-on-knee hit Wild captain Mikko Koivu took from Giordano earlier in that game.

Koivu (lower body) and Backlund (upper body) each missed their fourth straight game. Dumba didn’t play in the last two periods. After his power-play shot was blocked, the Flames went the other way for a 2-on-1 rush. Mark Jankowski fed Giordano, whose top-shelf shot lodged itself in the net underneath Dubnyk’s water bottle.

Shortly before the first intermission, Wild forward J.T. Brown fought with Flames defenceman T.J. Brodie. A little later, Wild defenceman Ryan Suter even dropped his gloves for a scuffle with Flames forward Sam Bennett. That was Suter’s first fight, according to hockeyfights.com , since 2009.

The Wild have let their opponent score first in 22 of 32 games this season. They climbed right back in this one after killing a 5-on-3 power play, when Greenway pivoted from the top of the right circle and sniped the puck past Rittich 3:30 into the second period.

NOTES

Giordano became the first defenceman in Flames franchise history to score a short-handed goal in consecutive games. He has two goals and seven assists in his last four games. … In addition to Koivu, the Wild were missing another top-eight scorer, with LW Jason Zucker scratched because of an illness. This was Zucker’s first absence since April 4, 2017. … Dubnyk stopped 24 shots. … The Flames are 16-2 this season when scoring first.

UP NEXT

Flames: Play at St. Louis on Sunday, the second stop on a three-game trip.

Wild: Host San Jose on Tuesday night to wrap up a four-game homestand.

Just Posted

Gasoline Alley Harley Davidson hosts 7th annual Toy Run

Bikers jumped on their motorcycles this weekend to help make Christmas better… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP locate drugs during traffic stop

A Rocky Mountain House man is facing charges after Innisfail RCMP located… Continue reading

Expert says acquittal of Alberta parents in boy’s death unlikely to set precedent

CALGARY — A law professor says the acquittal of an Alberta couple… Continue reading

Take Back the Night rally marches through downtown Red Deer

Dozens marched through the city’s downtown chanting, “Red Deer unite, take back… Continue reading

Houston area sees relief, rescues after Imelda leaves 4 dead

HOUSTON — Emergency workers used boats Friday to rescue about 60 residents… Continue reading

Your community calendar

Tuesday Bower Place Community Association Seniors Card and Coffee party at 1:30… Continue reading

Missing hiker found safe after spending night on North Vancouver mountain

VANCOUVER — Rescue crews have found a missing female hiker safe after… Continue reading

Trudeau was only one in dark makeup at 2001 party but nobody took offence: attendee

VANCOUVER — A man who attended an “Arabian Nights” gala held by… Continue reading

McKenna defends Canada’s climate credibility amid Trudeau controversy

OTTAWA — Liberal cabinet minister Catherine McKenna says Canada still has credibility… Continue reading

Blue Jays rookie Bo Bichette trying to “be smart” with head injury

NEW YORK — Blue Jays rookie shortstop Bo Bichette says he’s feeling… Continue reading

Climate activists step up protests in Britain and France

PARIS — Environmental activists in Britain and France stepped up campaigns Saturday… Continue reading

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — A hiker has been found dead in Banff… Continue reading

Singh campaigns in Toronto, May in Winnipeg, as Liberal and Tory leaders pause

OTTAWA — Jagmeet Singh and Elizabeth May are continuing on the campaign… Continue reading

Most Read