Gaudreaus goal and three assists, complemented by Matthew Tkachuks two goals and two assists, helped the Flames take over top spot in the Pacific Division with a 7-2 rout of the Vegas Golden Knights.
“Hes a dynamic player and hes a very creative player and he sees it,” said Flames coach Bill Peters of Gaudreau. “Theres not a whole bunch of them that have the ability to slow the game down and buy time for guys to get open and hes got it.”
Calgary blew the game open early, jumping out to a 5-0 first period lead. Gaudreau became the 10th player in franchise history — and first since Olli Jokinen (Feb. 14, 2011) — to register four points in a period.
Gaudreaus handiwork began 2:36 into the game when he set up Tkachuk, who also tied a career best net. Tkachuk whipped a 20-foot wristshot past Malcolm Subban for a power-play goal.
Gaudreau made it 2-0 at 6:49 on the play of the night, ripping a shot over Subbans glove to complete a tic-tac-to passing sequence with linemates Elias Lindholm and Monahan.
“Smart play by a smart player,” said Gaudreau, describing Lindholms play that began the sequence. “Hes 20 to 30 feet ahead of us and he has a one-on-two, pulls up, finds (Monahan), next thing you know its a two-on-two then Im coming in the play and its a three-on-two. For him to have that awareness, hes pretty smart.”
Gaudreau pounced on a turnover in the Vegas slot and set up Monahans one-timer for a 3-0 lead at 10:59, then capped off his record-tying period by setting up Monahans second of the period and team-leading 12th goal.
“Hes a big-time threat to take the puck to the net and then when he pulls up and delays, youve got guys with good timing coming late, thats when you see all those seam passes and East-West passes,” Peters said. “All of a sudden the goaltender is out playing the shooter and its a long lateral pass and he cant get across.”
TJ Brodie and Sam Bennett rounded out the scoring for Calgary (12-8-1), which plays Vegas again on Friday at T-Mobile Arena.
Video: Calgary Flames Light Up Golden Knights For Five Goals In The First Period
Nick Holden and Max Pacioretty scored third-period goals for the Golden Knights (9-12-1), who won 6-3 in Edmonton on Sunday
“Its hard to believe that this happened tonight, the way we played last night but thats hockey,” said Vegas coach Gerard Gallant. “Its pretty disappointing and I hope theyre disappointed because they didnt show up.”
For the Flames, who lead the league with six third period comebacks, Monahan says it was nice to play from in front for a change.
“Its fun, obviously, when youre putting the puck in the net and youre winning like that. Thats the best part of hockey,” said Monahan. “This is a team, I think we needed a win like that.”
Second-year Czech goaltender David Rittich made 20 saves to improve to 7-1-0. It was the second start in a row for Rittich, 26, who is getting more playing time with veteran Mike Smith struggling.
Subban went the distance for Vegas, finishing with 25 stops. After going 13-4-2 as a rookie last season, Subban has lost all four starts this season.
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“I dont have any answers for you right now, but were supposed to be a fast team and its probably the slowest we played all year,” said Vegas winger Reilly Smith. “It put us behind the 8-ball and really lost that game for us early.”
Notes: Flames RW James Neal has gone pointless in his last seven games and is stuck at 499 career points. He has just four points (one goal, three assists) in 21 games since signing a five-year, $28.75 million contract in the summer.
CALGARY — Matthew Tkachuk had two goals and two assists, and Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and three assists to help the Calgary Flames to a 7-2 win against the Vegas Golden Knights at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.
Sean Monahan had two goals and one assist, and Sam Bennett and TJ Brodie scored for the Flames (12-8-1), who have won two in a row after losing three of four. David Rittich made 20 saves.
“We want to be a tough team to beat at home and we want this place to be a place where teams dont like coming into,” Tkachuk said. “We want it to be a big advantage for us and I think right now were playing well.”
Gaudreau tied a Flames record for points in a single period with four. The last Calgary player to do that was Olli Jokinen on Feb. 14, 2011, at the Colorado Avalanche.
“It was great to get off to a good start like that tonight and get off to an early lead,” Gaudreau said. “We kept finding the net, so it was crazy. Killer offense and it was a big win.”
Nick Holden and Max Pacioretty scored, and Malcolm Subban made 25 saves for the Golden Knights (9-12-1), who have lost two of the past three and four of the past six.
“Theres too many games this year where thats happened,” Vegas forward Reilly Smith said. “Were probably going to have to dissect this one.”
The Flames scored five first-period goals at home for the first time since March 11, 1993, against the Detroit Red Wings.
Tkachuk scored on the power play on Calgarys first shot of the game for a 1-0 lead at 2:36, and Gaudreau finished a three-way passing play with Elias Lindholm and Monahan to score his first goal in eight games and make it 2-0 at 6:49.
“The past few games I havent been finding the net. Been getting good looks — hitting posts, crossbars, getting some good chances,” Gaudreau said. “It was nice to capitalize tonight and get rewarded in that department.”
Monahan extended the lead to 3-0 when he one-timed a pass from Gaudreau at 10:59, and Brodie scored on a point shot through a screen at 13:52 to make it 4-0.
Tkachuk hit the post on a power play, and Monahan scored on the follow-up to push the lead to 5-0 at 16:57. Monahan has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past four games.
“Its fun, obviously, when youre putting the puck in the net and youre winning like that,” Monahan said. “Thats the best part of hockey.”
Tkachuk scored 24 seconds into the second period to make it 6-0, and a point shot deflected off Bennett on the power play at 4:22 to extend it to 7-0.
“They had pretty much as many goals as we had shots (six) in the first period,” Smith said. “There arent too many positives you can take from that. You try to build one shift at a time and they come out in the second period and start scoring again. Just a frustrating night for us.”
Holden scored 47 seconds into the third period to make it 7-1, and Pacioretty scored on the power play at 5:14 to cut the lead to 7-2.
“The third period, I mean, its kind of irrelevant at that point,” Holden said. “At least we put forth a little more effort. The first two periods, you just cant have that.”
“It was a lack of effort. They just picked us apart in our D zone, and it just looked like we were two steps behind. I dont know if its guys systematically or what it was, but it just cant happen again.” — Golden Knights defenseman Nick Holden
“I think we needed a win like that. Obviously weve been coming back from behind. We need to learn how to win and come out with a good start in our own building, night in and night out.” — Flames forward Sean Monahan
Tkachuk has 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in his past nine games. … Rittich is 7-1-0 in eight starts. … Lindholm has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in the past 11 games. … Flames forward James Neal, who was selected by the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft and helped Vegas reach the Stanley Cup Final last season, played his first game against his former team. … Vegas forward William Carrier played his 100th NHL game.
Golden Knights: At the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday (8:30 p.m. ET; TVAS, FS-A PLUS, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)