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Coleman scores twice as Flames surprise Golden Knights

Blake Coleman Jonathan Huberdeau Calgary Flames Blake Coleman Jonathan Huberdeau - The Canadian Press

CALGARY — After being heavily outscored during a three-game losing skid, the Calgary Flames knew they had much to answer for.

"It was an embarrassing 72 hours for our team," forward Blake Coleman said of the losses to Florida (5-1), Carolina (7-2) and Colorado (6-2).

"Our response to losing some guys and some friends (at the trade deadline), maybe wasn't the best, and we got slapped pretty hard,” Coleman continued. “At the end of the day, if you've got pride and you get beat up like that, you better respond or you don't really belong in this league."

Led by two goals from Coleman, the Flames responded in a big way Thursday, scoring four times in the third period to complete a 4-1 comeback victory over the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Flames carried the play from start to finish and weren't fazed by a 1-0 deficit after 40 minutes.

“We've had some good look-in-the-mirror meetings here in the last 24 hours and I thought everybody to a man responded really well and all around it was a good team game,” Coleman said.

Yegor Sharangovich tied it four minutes into the third.

Then came a critical sequence in determining the outcome of the game.

Shea Theodore's long pass sprang Ivan Barbashev on a breakaway, but he was denied on a blocker save by rookie Flames goaltender Dustin Wolf. Calgary transitioned the puck up ice and 13 seconds later, Coleman banged in Nazem Kadri's centring pass for the go-ahead goal at 10:06.

“He probably made a little too many stick handles and I just tried to stay on my feet and stick with him,” said Wolf. “Pretty pivotal moment in the game where I was just trying to stay as dialed in as I could and things worked out.”

Coleman agreed on the significance of that sequence.

“The game maybe ends up completely different if Wolfie doesn't make that save,” he said.

Wolf finished with 28 stops in his first start since Feb. 15 when he was lit up for six goals in a loss to San Jose

“There's learning opportunities to come out of a loss, especially one where you get banged up pretty good,” said Wolf, who is now 2-3-1, with his other win coming back on Dec. 7. “We found a couple of things that I wanted to get better at and a couple of those things showed up pretty well tonight.”

Matt Coronato also scored for Calgary (32-29-5).

Anthony Mantha had the lone goal for Vegas (35-25-7), which has lost five of its last seven.

"I don't know if our guys just think they're better than they are right now and they can get away with playing mediocre-to-average hockey for long stretches at key times of the game,” said Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy.

It's only the second time in 29 games (25-2-2) that the Golden Knights have lost in regulation when leading after two periods.

“You look at all the goals (Calgary) scored. Line change coming out of the penalty box, just no awareness. Those are things that are just focus,” Cassidy said. “The next goal, we're standing right beside a guy in front. There's a line change on the third one. We give up a two-on-four and they get a one-timer, a great chance. They're head-scratchers, is what they are.”

The Golden Knights remain in the second wild card spot in the Western Conference, but just four points back are the Minnesota Wild.

"We were trying to make plays and turning the puck over all night,” said Mantha, whose goal was his first in four games since being acquired from Washington. “They were able to come back and score one, and then score two real quick. We were chasing them at that point, trying to open up the play for some offence and it just bit us."

Adin Hill had 33 stops and fell to 17-9-2.

The Flames got some insurance 14:45 into the third on Coronato's second of the season, snapping a 17-game drought dating back to Oct. 14.

Coleman capped off the barrage with an empty netter at 17:02.


Noah Hanifin returned to Calgary where he played for six seasons before being dealt to the Golden Knights ahead of last week's trade deadline. Playing his fourth game for Vegas, he got a warm applause from the crowd after a video tribute during the first TV timeout. Throughout the rest of the game, pockets of fans booed the defenceman.


It's the ninth time Calgary has won when trailing after two periods (9-23-2), which ties them with Detroit and Colorado for the most in the league.


Golden Knights: Open a four-game home stand on Sunday against New Jersey.

Flames: Montreal visits the Saddledome on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 14, 2024.