Andersson’s 3-point game helps Flames past Lightning 6-3
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Rasmus Andersson had a goal and two assists to lead the Calgary Flames to a 6-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Nazem Kadri, Tyler Toffoli, Dillon Dube, Jonathan Huberdeau and Blake Coleman also scored for Calgary (22-16-9).
“We were ready to play,” said Andersson, who scored his seventh of the season. “I think our first period, we were really good and even when they got up 2-1, we bounced back pretty quick.”
Steven Stamkos, Vladislav Namestikov and Anthony Cirelli scored for Tampa Bay (29-15-1), which dropped both games in Alberta to finish 3-2-0 on longest trip of the season.
“It’s just frustrating. You go on a five-game trip out West, bunch of different times zone, and you start out 3-0 and to drop these games,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said. “Especially when we had a tie game going into the third against Edmonton, we had a 2-1 lead in this one even though we probably didn’t deserve it, and to drop them both without getting any points, that’s probably not our style.”
Dan Vladar got the start for Calgary and finished with 21 saves to improve to 8-0-3 in his last 11 appearances. His last regulation loss was Nov. 26, and he is 9-4-4 this season.
Tampa Bay’s Andrei Vasilevskiy stopped 35 shots and slipped to 20-12-1 on the season.
“I thought we battled. Too many penalties, including myself taking a bad one,” Cirelli said. “Too many turnovers fueling their rush, which ultimately led to the loss.”
Down 2-1 in the second period, Tampa Bay got goals 48 seconds apart from Stamkos and Namestikov to take a short-lived lead.
About a minute later, Calgary tied it when Toffoli’s wraparound went in off Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman’s skate.
Five minutes later Calgary, went ahead 3-2 when Andersson’s slap shot from the point deflected off Hedman in front and past Vasilevskiy.
“We responded really well after their second goal,” Andersson said. “I’m proud of the guys. We bounced back quick and then once we got the lead, we played really well.”
Calgary moved out to a 4-2 lead 7:40 into the third when Dube burst down the left wing and scored.
“It was a battle out there right from the puck drop and they don’t quit,” Dube said. “They try and push you out of the rink and play hard. It was a fun game, these feel like playoff games.”
The Lightning cut the deficit to 4-3 on Cirelli’s goal with the goalie pulled at 15:58. The Flames cemented the victory scoring twice into an empty net.
The Flames led 1-0 after 20 minutes when Kadri scored his team-leading 18th on a power play.
Less than a minute later, the Flames went back on the power play, a full two-minute, two-man advantage after Zach Bogosian took a roughing penalty in a post-whistle scrum after Nikita Kucherov had already been called for tripping.
Calgary had plenty of chances for a two-goal lead but the Flames failed to convert. The Lightning tied it at 10:20 of the second.
Noah Hanifin’s turnover went to Stamkos at the faceoff circle and he scored on a slap shot under the crossbar. That extended Stamkos’ point streak to eight games (six goals, six assists).
The Lightning surged ahead when Vladar tried to poke the puck away in front. Instead, it hit Namestnikov’s skate and went into the net. It stood up after being reviewed.
The Lightning lost Pat Maroon to an injury in the third. He was involved in a collision in front of the Flames net and went off appearing to be favor his arm.
After sitting for six games as a healthy scratch since being called up two weeks ago from the AHL, Flames 2019 first-round pick Jakob Pelletier made his NHL debut, playing left wing on a line with Trevor Lewis at center and rookie Walker Duehr on right wing. He finished with one shot in his 6:35 of ice time.
Lightning: Open up a three-game homestand Tuesday against the Minnesota Wild.
Flames: Host former Flame Johnny Gaudreau and the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday.
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