Markstrom stops 23 shots for Calgary Flames in 4-1 win over New York Islanders

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Jacob Markstrom made 23 saves to lead the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 home win over the New York Islanders 4-1 on Friday night.

Milan Lucic, Blake Coleman, Nikita Zadorov and Nazem Kadri scored for the Flames (19-14-7).

Zach Parise replied for the Islanders (22-17-2), who played their second game in as many nights and were minus points leader Mathew Barzal at the Saddledome.

Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 17 shots in his first start since Dec. 17 when he suffered a groin injury in a game against Vegas.

Barzal, who has 11 goals and a team-leading 30 assists, didn’t play Friday after scoring his fifth goal in as many games in the previous evening’s 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

READ MORE: Edmonton Oilers beat New York Islanders for long-awaited home-ice win

The Islanders tweeted just before puck drop that Barzal was day-to-day with a lower-body injury.

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Both clubs neared their halfway mark of the regular season in similar positions, which was jostling for wild-card berths in their respective conferences.

The Flames inched ahead of the Oilers by a point into the West’s first wild-card spot with their victory. The Islanders held down the East’s second wild-card berth two points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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The Flames led 3-1 after two periods, as they also did in a 4-3 overtime loss at UBS Arena on Nov. 7.

But Kadri, who will represent the Flames at the all-star game later this month in Sunrise, Fla., scored at 6:59 of the third period with a sharp-angled shot that sneaked both under the crossbar and past Varlamov’s head.

Tyler Toffoli assisted on Kadri’s goal to extend his point streak to four straight games (one goal, three assists).

Markstrom kicked out his right pad to stop Casey Czikas on a breakaway coming out of the penalty box. He then repelled Jean-Gabriel Pageau on a short-handed breakaway midway through the second period.

New York Islanders forward Casey Cizikas, right, tries to score on a breakaway as Calgary Flames goalie Jacob Markstrom blocks him during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

His team trailing 3-0, Parise got the Islanders on the scoreboard with a minute remaining in the opening period.

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He beat Zadorov to open up scoring lane and fired a wrist shot from the faceoff circle top corner for his 12th of the season.

Zadorov lofted a shot from the point over Varlamov’s left shoulder at 14:21 of the first period.

Calgary scored twice in under two minutes starting at 4:36 when the Islanders turned the puck over in their zone. Jonathan Huberdeau dished to Lucic for a one-timer from the faceoff circle on Varlamov’s right.

Varlamov made an initial stop on Coleman’s backhand off the rush, but the latter collected his own rebound and shovelled the puck past the Russian from a sharp angle at 6:05.

The Flames kick off a five-game road trip Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Calgary is 7-7-5 on the road this season.

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Hockey community gives British grandmother full Calgary Flames experience

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