Flames bench top two scorers, win 4-3 over Toronto
CALGARY – Markus Granlund scored shorthanded for his first goal in 21 games and added an assist to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.
It was the first multi-point game of the season for Granlund, who had been a healthy scratch the past three games. The Finnish centre was back into the line-up due to three benchings at forward by Flames coach Bob Hartley.
All-star Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan — the Flames top two scorers — along with veteran Lance Bouma were healthy scratches for disciplinary reasons after reportedly arriving to the arena late for practice on Monday.
Mikael Backlund, Michael Ferland and Dougie Hamilton also scored for Calgary (24-25-3), which wins consecutive games for the first time in a month.
The Flames are seven points out of a wild card spot in the Western Conference. They are eight points back of Anaheim, which occupies third place in the Pacific Division.
Peter Holland and Josh Leivo, with his first of the season, scored for Toronto (19-24-9). The Leafs have dropped the first two of a five-game road trip, which continues Thursday in Edmonton.
The Leafs were also without several key players, the most notable being captain Dion Phaneuf, who was involved in a nine-player trade with the Ottawa Senators earlier in the day.
Toronton was also missing recently injured Joffrey Lupul, Tyler Bozak and Shawn Matthias. James van Riemsdyk (foot) was already out.
Ahead 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes, Calgary surged in front by three with the first two goals of the second.
At 4:06, Ferland steered Joe Colborne’s centring pass behind James Reimer for his second goal in the last 25 games.
Ten minutes later, Hamilton got the puck from Granlund and wristed a 55-footer into the top corner.
Leivo picked the top corner at 17:17 of the second to get the Leafs back to within two and Toronto made things real interesting when Gardiner beat Jonas Hiller in the same spot 8:37 into the third.
However, despite the encouragement of the many pockets of boisterous Toronto supporters in the sell-out crowd of 19,289, the Leafs could not complete the comeback even with late pressure.
Hiller had 32 stops while Reimer finished with 18 saves.
Notes: Inserted into the Leafs line-up were a trio of forwards recalled Monday from the AHL in Rich Clune, Leivo and Mark Arcobello… Calgary D Jakub Nakladal made his NHL debut but only played two shifts for a total ice time of 1:45… With seven defencemen dressed, Deryk Engelland started the game on right wing before returning to the blue line.
© 2016 The Canadian Press