CALGARY, AB – Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves for his league-leading ninth shutout and Elias Lindholm scored his career-high 30th goal to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Tyler Toffoli and Blake Coleman also scored for Calgary (36-15-7), which entered the game in first place in the Pacific Division, five points up on the Los Angeles Kings with two games in hand.
Markstrom made 14 saves in the third period as the Flames improved to 16-2-1 in their last 19 games. He acknowledged that the long periods of inactivity at times made it difficult.
“Definitely more mentally draining than physically, obviously,” said Markstrom, whose nine shutouts are one shy of the franchise record of 10 held by Miikka Kiprusoff.
“If you look at the games, most games may not look like this, but similar, so it’s definitely a team stat,” said Markstrom, who is 28-11-6. “Just try to tell the guys to keep going and keep playing this way. It’s fun to be goalie for this team.”
Detroit (24-28-7) is winless in its last five (0-4-1).
“I think we had too many guys that had no jump at all,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “We had guys that didn’t probably battle hard enough at times, so we just defended and played in our end and they got chances and shots and just couldn’t get any jump going at all.”
Thomas Greiss, who was under siege most of the night, finished with 40 stops. He is 8-10-1.
The Flames opened the scoring at 9:22 on the power play when Lindholm wove through the neutral zone and into the Red Wings end before cutting to the middle of the ice and ripping a wrist shot into the top corner.
Lindholm, who is having a career season offensively with 62 points in 58 games, is on an eight-game point streak with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) over that span.
“It’s always nice to get to 30," Lindholm said. “I’ve been close a couple of times, but haven’t been able to get there. So it’s always nice to finally break it.”
Thanks to outstanding goaltending from Greiss, the game remained 1-0 into the third period when Calgary made it 2-for-2 on the man advantage at 8:25 with Matthew Tkachuk setting up Toffoli at the side of the net with a cross-crease pass.
Toffoli has eight goals and 13 points in 13 games since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens on Valentine's Day.
Calgary put the game away at 15:38 when Coleman buried a cross-ice set-up from Chris Tanev.
Missing forwards Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi, the Red Wings were down two of their top-four goal scorers. The 41 combined goals from Bertuzzi (24) and Fabbri (17) account for nearly a quarter of the team’s 167 goals. Fabbri suffered a season-ending knee injury on Thursday night against Minnesota. Bertuzzi, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, is unable to cross the border into Canada, so did not accompany the team for this three-game road trip that also includes stops in Edmonton and Vancouver.
That missing offensive punch was evident throughout the first 40 minutes as Detroit struggled to generate any offensive pressure at all. It took until 16:51 of the second period on the Red Wings’ fifth shot — a chance for Givani Smith at the side of the net — to finally register a shot inside 40 feet.
NOTES: Detroit defenseman Marc Staal played in his 1,000th career game. Marc, Eric (1,293) and Jordan (1,070) became the first trio of brothers to all play 1,000 games. ... Referee Dean Morton worked his final game before retiring. It comes in the building in which, as a Red Wings defenseman, he played his only NHL game and scored a goal on Oct. 5, 1989. ... With Oliver Kylington (lower body) a scratch, Michael Stone played his first game in over three months and just his third of the season.
Red Wings: At Edmonton on Tuesday night.
Flames: At Colorado on Sunday night.
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