Markstrom makes 37 saves as Flames down Devils 5-3 for their third straight victory
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Jacob Markstrom made 37 saves, Connor Zary and Andrew Mangiapane each had a goal and an assist and the Calgary Flames defeated the New Jersey Devils 5-3 on Thursday night for their third straight win.
Mikael Backlund, Kevin Rooney and Andrei Kuzmenko also scored for Calgary, which was coming off a 4-1 win at Boston on Tuesday to start a four-game trip that includes facing the three New York/New Jersey-area teams.
Defenseman Noah Hanifan had two assists for the Flames, whose winning streak comes after a four-game skid. Markstrom improved to 16-13-2.
“This is the best since I’ve been around him that I’ve seen him play,” Flames first-year coach Ryan Huska said of his veteran goaltender. ”He’s been giving us a chance to win every night.”
Ondrej Palat scored twice, Nico Hischier also had a goal and Jesper Bratt had three assists for New Jersey, which was coming off a 5-3 win at home over Colorado on Tuesday.
“We had a good first, the second period was bad and in the third, we were chasing. It’s frustrating,” Palat said. “We’re looking for consistency.”
Palat opened the scoring at 15:39 of the first, completing a 2-on-1 break with Bratt. Hischier also assisted.
Backlund, the Flames’ captain, then tied it with his 11th goal at 18:10 of the first.
Rookie forward Zary put Calgary ahead at 3:53 of the second, nudging a loose puck in the crease past Vitek Vanecek. The goal was the 12th in 41 games for the 22-year-old Zary, a first-round pick by the Flames in 2020.
“It was nice to get on the scoreboard and help out,” Zary said. ”It’s been awesome so far to be able to come in here and play in the NHL and try and be an everyday player and establish myself.”
Rooney made it 3-1 at 2:55 of the third with his first of the season.
Hischier narrowed the deficit to one goal with a short-handed breakaway score at 4:02 of the third, his 14th goal of the season.
“We had our chances, but we didn’t bear down,” Hischier said. ”These things happen. There’s still a lot of hockey left.”
Kuzmenko restored the Flames’ two-goal lead at 9:56 of the third with his 10th goal, and second in two games since joining Calgary in a trade from Vancouver.
Palat scored his second of the game and eighth of the season at 13:48 of the third, and Mangiapane added an empty-net goal to cap the scoring at 18:26.
”In the second period, we just came out like a pack of hyenas,” Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau said. “That’s the kind of game we have to play, and I think that’s when we are tough to play against.”
The Devils fell to 25-21-3, five points out of a wild-card playoff spot.
“When tough goals go in, you get a little deflated,” Devils coach Lindy Ruff said. “You have to pick yourself back up. You’re either going to get your bounces or be responsible for giving up bounces.”
JACK IS BACK
Devils center Jack Hughes returned to the lineup after missing 11 games with an upper-body injury sustained Jan. 5 in a home win over Chicago. He had four shots on goal.
NOTES: Huberdeau played his 800th career game. The 30-year-old Huberbeau was the third overall pick in 2011 by Florida. He was acquired in a trade with the Panthers in July 2022. … Former Devil Yegor Sharangovich played as a visitor in New Jersey for the first time. The 25-year-old forward skated three seasons with the Devils before his trade to Calgary last June in a deal that sent Tyler Toffoli to New Jersey. Sharangovich acknowledged the home crowd after a tribute moment during the first period. … New Jersey won this season’s first meeting 4-2 in Calgary on Dec. 9.
Devils: Visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
Flames: At the New York Islanders on Saturday.
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