Flames snap four-game skid by beating Bolts
CALGARY — Yegor Sharangovich continued his hot streak on Saturday.
“When I get the chance to take a shot, I try to shoot and try to score, and if you shoot it three, four times in a game, maybe one shot will go for a goal,” said the quiet-spoken Belarusian.
With six goals during his career-best streak, Sharangovich is up to 11 on the season, which leads the team. The right-winger was acquired from New Jersey during the summer in a trade that sent Tyler Toffoli to the Devils.
“The city, we really love it,” said Sharangovich, who signed a two-year contract extension after he arrived in Calgary. “Our family, it's a really good city for us. And the team, too. Good teammates, good staff, everything is good."
After a scoreless first period, Calgary took the lead for good when they erupted for three goals in the opening seven minutes of the second.
“The second period, I think, was maybe our best period of the year,” said Flames coach Ryan Huska. “We controlled the play, we were smart with the puck, and we had a lot of zone time in that period.”
Greer got the barrage started at 2:30 picking the top corner on Andrei Vasilevskiy's glove side from just inside the top of the faceoff circle.
At 6:17, MacKenzie Weegar made it 2-0 ripping a slap shot through a crowd that clattered just inside the far goalpost.
“Probably our best period of the year,” Weegar agreed. “We were moving the puck quick, we were grinding the D down, the D were jumping up, we were breaking the puck out well, I thought we checked hard, we were on the good side of the puck.”
“I'm honestly just happy I'm contributing,” Weegar added. “It's coming. Every game right now, I gotta let it ride a little bit. I'm just trying to be a threat out there.”
Just 43 seconds after that and with the crowd at the Scotiabank Saddledome still buzzing, Sharangovich scored the eventual game-winner off a lethal one-timer blasting Jordan Oesterle's centring pass past the besieged Lightning goaltender.
Tampa Bay finally solved Dan Vladar at 4:10 of the third period when Kucherov was first to a puck along the end boards and zipped a pass to an uncovered Brayden Point in front, who scored his 14th goal.
Ninety seconds later, Stamkos ripped his 15th goal past Vladar to draw the visitors to within one.
But quashing the comeback bid at 11:42 was Connor Zary on a brilliant individual effort. Picking up the puck inside his own blue line, the rookie skated down the left wing and despite having Brandon Hagel draped all over him, squeezed a shot past Vasilevskiy from a sharp angle.
“(Nazem Kadri), a couple of shifts before that, was telling me 'take the puck north, take the puck north' so that was in the back of my head,” said Zary, who has points in four consecutive games.
Calgary (12-14-5) was back home after a disappointing 0-1-2 road trip through Colorado, Vegas and Minnesota in which they blew third-period leads in all three games.
Tampa Bay (14-13-5) went 2-3-0 on their five-game road trip.
"I'm disappointed in the road trip. You come out here, it's a long way to go and a lot of days to come out with four points. I think we left points on the table,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper.
Tampa Bay was outscored 12-0 in the second period on the road trip.
"Bottom line is we've got to be better as a whole,” said defenceman Victor Hedman, who returned after missing two games with an upper body injury. “It starts with the leaders in this room. It took us two periods to wake up. It's not good enough in this league."
Vladar had 31 stops to get the win and improve to 5-4-2. The Czech was making his second straight start with Jacob Markstrom (fractured finger) still sidelined.
Vasilevskiy had 22 saves to fall to 5-5-0.
“We're not a bad team when we're executing but when we get sloppy in our own end, it's tough. Teams take over,” said Point. “There's skilled guys on the other team. You give them time and space and you give them turnovers and they make you pay and again tonight that's what happened."
NEARING A RETURN
Calgary is on the brink of getting two key veterans back. Both G Jacob Markstrom (fractured finger), sidelined for the past six games, and D Chris Tanev (upper body), who missed his third game, skated on Saturday and coach Ryan Huska says they could return to action on Monday.
Two Flames equalled personal bests for goals and both did it in less than half the number of games. Weegar's eighth goal equals his output with the Florida Panthers in 80 games last season. Greer's fifth goal in his 30th game tied his output with the Boston Bruins in 61 games last season.
Lightning: Open a brief two-game homestand on Tuesday against the St. Louis Blue.
Flames: Host the Florida Panthers on Monday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 16, 2023.