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Flames rally with four goals in third to beat Sens

Blake Coleman Calgary Flames Blake Coleman - The Canadian Press

CALGARY — A blend of skill and good fortune had Noah Hanifin in the middle of the Calgary Flames stirring third-period comeback on Tuesday.

Hanifin scored the tying goal, set up the go-ahead goal, then also set up the insurance goal as the Flames scored four times in the third period to beat the Ottawa Senators 6-3.

“We did a good job of handling our emotions,” said Hanifin, up to seven goals and 22 points on the season. He was plus-five against the Senators, which ties his career high.

“Sometimes coming off a road trip like that out east, coming off a couple of tough losses for us, these can be tough games coming back home and I thought we had a really mature game out there and a great third period, obviously.”

Down 3-2 entering the final period, it took just 47 seconds for Calgary to tie it with Hanifin swooping in front from off the point and sending a backhand inside the far post.

“It was pretty silky,” said Blake Coleman, who authored the game-winner. “I don't know if he surprised himself but the bench got pretty fired up about that.”

Hanifin was also involved in the go-ahead goal at 8:57, only in a much different way. When his stick blew up on a shot attempt, the puck still trickled right to Coleman, who corralled it and fired it past Joonas Korpisalo.

“Nice shot … pass … broken stick. We've been working on that one for a while,” said Coleman with a laugh.

Hanifin, also smiling, admitted it was a fortuitous bounce.

“I tried shooting it and the stick just exploded,” said Hanifin. “Luckily Colesy was there. He's hot right now so he's the guy to be in front of the net that time.”

After Yegor Sharangovich's second goal of the night at 15:45 made it a two-goal cushion, Coleman wrapped up the third-period barrage with his team-leading 17th goal into an empty net at 17:12.

The Flames came back to win when trailing after two periods for the sixth time, which is tied with Colorado for the league lead.

For Jacob Markstrom, who improved to 11-11-2, the biggest of his 30 saves came six minutes into the third when he denied Mathieu Joseph on a breakaway to keep the score 3-3 at the time.

“We probably don't win the game without a lot of his big saves tonight, but that one stands out obviously with the tie game and the circumstances we were in,” said Coleman. “He's just really calm and composed and it seems to just bleed through our locker room the way that he plays back there.”

Rookie Connor Zary also scored for Calgary (18-18-5). Nazem Kadri had two assists to give him 600 career NHL points.

Jacob Bernard-Docker, Dominik Kubalik and Brady Tkachuk provided the offence for Ottawa (14-22-0), which has dropped the first four games of its five-game road trip. The Senators have lost nine of their last 10 away from home.

"There's nobody else to look at and there's nobody else to blame. There's not one guy better than anybody else on this team. We're all in this situation,” said Senators defenceman Thomas Chabot.

“Losing sucks. There's nothing worse than that. The only way out is by sticking together and making it happen together."

Korpisalo had 30 saves. His record slipped to 7-14-0.

Ottawa sits 30th overall, ahead of only Chicago and San Jose.

“I think it can be really hard to stay positive at times, but we're really left with no other option,” said Ottawa blueliner Jeff Chychrun. “We just need to continue to put the work boots on and find a way out of this hole.”

The Senators had taken their third lead of the night at 12:39 of the second making it 3-2 on Tkachuk's team-leading 17th goal on the power play.

But like each of their two previous leads, the Senators couldn't hold it.

"We've got a choice. Either we sulk or you take it and be a man and want to get better,” said Ottawa interim coach Jacques Martin.

“There's no choice. We've got some good talent. We just have to learn to play without the puck, be more efficient without the puck. We make it too easy for the opposition."


Calgary captain Mikael Backlund, 34, played in his 949th career game, moving him into a tie with Mark Giordano for second on the Flames' all-time list behind Jarome Iginla (1,219 games). It comes 15 years and one day after the club's first-round pick in 2007 made his NHL debut.

“That's something very special,” said Zary. “I've played 30 games or something like that and his next game will be 950, so that's pretty incredible what he's done and to have him and his family, and his daughter in here reading out the starting lineup was pretty special.”


Ottawa welcomed back Mathieu Joseph after missing 10 game with a lower-body injury. He played on the Senators' top line with Tkachuk and Josh Norris. While he came in, exiting the lineup due to illness was D Artum Zub.


Flames forward Dillon Dube was a healthy scratch for the Flames for the first time since the spring of 2021. Coming off back-to-back 18-goal seasons, the 25-year-old has scored just three times in 20 games and has gone 20 games without a point.


Senators: Wrap up their five-game road trip in Buffalo on Thursday.

Flames: Begin a two-game road trip on Thursday in Arizona.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2024.