Saad scores winner for Blues as Flames let one slip away
CALGARY — Brandon Saad scored two goals and he could have at least two more in leading St. Louis to a come-from-behind road win on Tuesday.
Saad's second goal of the night with 50 seconds left in the third period was the winner as the Blues rallied from a 3-1 deficit to win 4-3 over the Calgary Flames.
"I felt good,” said Saad, who led the visitors with five shots. “You want to see some more of those go in but any time you see them go in they feel good. Happy to contribute tonight."
Just over a minute into the game, Saad nearly put St. Louis in front when he got in alone on Jacob Markstrom, only to be denied by a great save.
But Saad made good on his chance to win it with just under a minute to go.
Picking up the puck inside his own blue line, he carried it through the neutral zone and into the Flames' end where he fired a 50-foot wrist shot that skipped off the ice and rattled in off the goalpost.
“I was just trying to move him side to side and shoot through a screen and it found a way in for me,” said Saad, who has 13 goals on the season.
Markstrom said he still should have had it, despite the puck taking a bad bounce.
“That's tough. Obviously with the clock and the time left and tie game, it's a crazy skip off the ice and post and in. I don't know. Obviously, I need to stop that one,” said Markstrom, who had 22 saves in his return from a three-game absence due to a lower-body injury.
“I thought it was fine, I thought it was just gonna hit the pad.”
Down 3-2 entering the third, Jordan Kyrou tied it at 6:56 when he skated uncontested into the slot off the side boards and fired his 13th goal just inside the goalpost.
"He was buzzing,” Kyrou said, when asked about Saad. “I don't even know how many chances he had. He must have had a ton of chances."
Brayden Schenn also scored for St. Louis (23-20-2), which leapfrogs Calgary in the race for a Western Conference wild-card spot.
The Blues are three points back of Nashville for the second wild-card berth with two games in hand.
“These are big wins, four-point games, teams you need to beat in order to climb the standings,” said Schenn. “Gutsy comeback win. It was nice that it was regulation as well."
It was a costly two points surrendered by the Flames (21-21-5), who have lost three in a row — all at home — and fall one point behind St. Louis.
“You want to stick around and be in the hunt and be in the mix,” said Markstrom. “Tonight was a tough one. We're up going into the third. I gotta come up with a few more saves tonight and we sit here with two points and a happy group.”
Down 3-1 late in the second, St. Louis started its comeback with a short-handed goal when Weegar mishandled the puck at the offensive blue line enabling Schenn to steal it and race away on a breakaway, burying his 11th goal.
The Blues' 11th short-handed goal moves them into a tie for the league lead with the Dallas Stars.
“As an older guy, as a leader or even a young guy, it's so unacceptable that I make a play like that on a power play with not a lot of time left on the clock. It would be a completely different game going into that third period," said Weegar.
Markstrom defended his teammate.
“Stuff like that is gonna happen. It happens every game and it doesn't matter who it is. I'm still back there and how many shots are these guys blocking for me? It's my job to bail them out when stuff like that happens and I didn't do that,” Markstrom said.
Jordan Binnington made 32 saves for the visitors.
It was tied 1-1 just past the halfway mark of the second period when two minutes after Markstrom thwarted Saad on a short-handed breakaway, Calgary got goals 64 seconds apart from Hanifin and Sharangovich to surge in front.
Weegar opened the scoring at 11:38 of the first when he ripped his 11th goal past Binnington from the top of the faceoff dot.
Saad tied it 1-1 at 8:27 of the second.
Twenty-two-year-old Cole Schwindt made his Flames debut, centring the fourth line with A.J. Greer and Adam Klapka. Schwindt was part of the package Calgary received when they traded Matthew Tkachuk to Florida forJonathan Huberdeau and Weegar.
On his first shift, he almost scored his first NHL goal, intercepting Matthew Kessel's pass, but alone in front he couldn't solve Binnington.
REVERSAL OF FORTUNES
While the Blues are 18-2-0 when scoring first, with their .900 winning percentage leading the NHL, it's the opposite when they don't score first. But Tuesday's win improves their record when trailing first to 5-18-2.
Blues: Visit Vancouver to take on the Canucks Wednesday.
Flames: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2024.