Gaudreau’s hat trick powers Flames past Lightning | CBC Sports

Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to seven games with his sixth career hat trick on Thursday in leading the red-hot Calgary Flames to a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Mikael Backlund also scored for Calgary (35-15-7), which improves to 15-2-1 in their last 18. The Flames are 13-1-1 in their last 15 games at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Alex Killorn scored for Tampa Bay (37-14-6), which loses consecutive games in regulation for the first time this season. Halfway through their season-long six-game road trip, the Lightning will try to turn things around on Saturday when they take on the Edmonton Oilers at Rogers Place.

Turning in a terrific performance in net for the Flames was Jacob Markstrom, who made 30 saves to improve to 27-11-6.

WATCH l Gaudreau’s big night sends Flames past Lightning:

Flames defeat Lightning as Gaudreau’s hat trick leads the way

Johnny Gaudreau records the sixth hat trick of his career in Calgary’s 4-1 victory over Tampa Bay. 1:42

Andrei Vasilevskiy had 28 stops for Tampa Bay. He falls to 30-11-4.

With the goaltenders taking turns making great save after great save, the game was a 1-1 approaching the final minute of the second when the Flames erupted for two goals to open up a 3-1 lead.

At 19:00, and on a play reminiscent of his goal in the first period, Gaudreau corralled a loose puck to the side of the net and from below the goal line, banked a shot off the back of Vasilevskiy and in.

Calgary surged ahead 3-1 with eight seconds left. Erik Gudbranson got the puck along the sideboards and snapped a hard low pass into the slot that Backlund neatly steered in. Gudbranson’s assist gives the 30-year-old defenceman a career-high 14 points.

Gaudreau then capped off his evening at 13:44 and this goal more conventional, taking a pass from Elias Lindholm and one-timing a shot past Vasilevskiy sending hats raining onto the ice from the raucous crowd, who shortly after broke into chants of “Johnny, Johnny.”

It was his first hat trick since March 12, 2019. Gaudreau has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) during his seven-game point streak.

The 28-year-old left-winger, who is in the final year of his contract, leads the team with 26 goals and 77 points. That puts him on a pace for 111 points, which would be a career-high. His best season was 99 points in 2018-19.

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The only puck to elude Markstrom was Killorn’s deflection at 15:40 of the second that briefly tied it 1-1.

Other than that, Markstrom was outstanding.

In the first period, when Ross Colton got the puck alone in front after a Blake Coleman turnover, he was thwarted on his quick move from backhand to forehand as Markstrom jabbed out his pad.

In the second, Markstrom threw out his catching mitt and stabbed a shot from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.

The only goal of the opening 40 minutes came on a power play 7:35 into the first period when Gaudreau collected a Tyler Toffoli rebound and banked it off Vasilevskiy and in.

Toffoli’s assist gives him 12 points in 12 games.

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