Toffoli, Coleman each score twice, Flames win 7-2 in Vegas
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Tyler Toffoli and Blake Coleman each scored twice as the Calgary Flames defeated Vegas 7-2 on Thursday night for their first road victory over the Golden Knights.
The Flames, who lost 13 of their previous 20 games, scored seven goals for the third time this season. Four came in the third period to ice the game.
“It’s a huge win,” Coleman said. “Obviously, we’ve had trouble in third periods putting teams away. From start to finish, we did a pretty great job tonight making sure we didn’t take our foot off the gas.”
It marked the first time in nine tries that the Flames won at Vegas since the Golden Knights joined the NHL in 2017. Before this one, the Knights had outscored Calgary 34-11 in Las Vegas.
MacKenzie Weegar, Mikael Backlund and Dillon Dube also scored for the Flames. Jacob Markstrom stopped 17 shots to win for the fourth time in his last six starts.
“They’re coming back from a long trip, a lot of time-zone changes coming in there, and our only focus (was) trying to have a good first period,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. “It doesn’t matter if (the final was) 10-2 or 3-2, we need points.”
Jonathan Quick, who made 23 saves, lost for the first time since being acquired by Vegas.
Zach Whitecloud and Reilly Smith scored for the Golden Knights, who came in boasting a league-best 13-2-2 mark since the All-Star break after a 4-1-0 road trip.
Vegas, which has struggled with the league’s second-worst power play (12.5%) since Dec. 28, went 0 for 4 with the man advantage.
“Our power play had an opportunity to get us back into the game and we failed in that area,” Vegas coach Bruce Cassidy said.
Calgary opened the scoring late in the first period when Rasmus Andersson gathered the puck from a faceoff in the right circle and fed Weegar, whose drive from the blue line lasered into the net.
Toffoli, who also assisted on Weegar’s goal, added to his stat sheet early in the second when he skated across the crease and around Quick to bury the puck and give the Flames a 2-0 lead.
Whitecloud put Vegas on the board later in the second when he skated around the rim of the right circle and rifled a wrist shot past Markstrom, cutting Calgary’s lead in half with 7:27 left in the period.
After missing an opportunity to tie the game earlier on a shift with a backhand that soared over the net, Smith made amends when he took William Karlsson’s feed at the doorstep and slammed it home, evening the game 2-all.
Calgary regained the lead quickly when Coleman tipped home Elias Lindholm’s shot from the right side of the goal line a little more than a minute after Smith’s goal.
“You've got to have pushback on this team,” Coleman said. “They’re a good team. They’re going to have their pushes. Obviously, you don’t want to blow a two-goal lead. We were able to respond tonight.”
The Flames began opening some breathing room midway through the third when Backlund scored after trying to feed Toffoli from below the goal line. Instead, the puck caromed off Alex Pietrangelo’s stick and Quick's head before going in.
Toffoli and Coleman then added their second goals of the night before Dube closed out the scoring.
NOTES: Backlund is five games short of 900 in his career. ... Smith has three goals and six assists in his last seven games for Vegas.
Flames: Host the Dallas Stars on Saturday.
Golden Knights: Host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday.
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W.g. Ramirez, The Associated Press