Flames race to seven-goal lead, defeat Golden Knights 7-2

Local Sports

Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau tied career-highs with four points each as the Calgary Flames defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 7-2 Monday night.

Tkachuk finished with two goals and two assists and Gaudreau added a goal and three assists. Sean Monahan also had a big night with two goals and an assist. TJ Brodie and Sam Bennett rounded out the scoring for Calgary, which plays Vegas again on Friday.

With the win, Calgary moved into a tie in points with the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division, but the Flames have one more regulation/overtime victory.

Nick Holden and Max Pacioretty scored third-period goals for Vegas.

The Flames blew the game open early, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after 20 minutes. Gaudreau, with a goal and three assists, became the 10th player in franchise history, and first since Olli Jokinen on Feb. 14, 2011, to register four points in a period.

Calgary added two more goals in the opening five minutes of the second, including the second of the game by Tkachuk, to make it 7-0.

Gaudreau got things started 2:36 into the game when he set up Tkachuk, who whipped a 20-foot wrist shot past Malcolm Subban for a power-play goal.

Gaudreau made it 2-0 at 6:49, ripping a shot over Subban’s glove to complete a tic-tac-toe passing sequence with linemates Elias Lindholm and Monahan.

Gaudreau pounced on a turnover in the Vegas slot and set up Monahan’s one-timer for a 3-0 lead at 10:59, then capped off his record-tying period by setting up Monahan’s second of the period and team-leading 12th goal.

Second-year Czech goaltender David Rittich made 20 saves to improve to 7-1-0. It was the second start in a row for the 26-year-old Rittich, who is getting more playing time with veteran Mike Smith struggling.

Subban went the distance for Vegas, finishing with 25 stops. After going 13-4-2 as a rookie last season, Subban has lost all four starts this season.

Holden broke Rittich’s shutout 47 seconds into the third period. Pacioretty added a power-play goal at 5:14.

NOTES: Flames RW James Neal has gone pointless in his last seven games and is stuck at 499 career points. He has just four points (one goal, three assists) in 21 games since signing a five-year, $28.75 million contact in the summer.

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