March 1st, 2024

Saad makes Blues happy with late goal in 4-3 win over Flames

By Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press on January 23, 2024.

St. Louis Blues defenceman Justin Faulk (72) checks Calgary Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau (10) during second period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

CALGARY – Brandon Saad’s second goal of the night with 50 seconds left in the third period was the winner as the St. Louis Blues rallied from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Calgary Flames 4-3 on Tuesday night.

Brayden Schenn and Jordan Kyrou also scored for St. Louis (23-20-2).

MacKenzie Weegar, Noah Hanifin and Yegor Sharangovich, with his 20th goal, provided the offence for Calgary (21-21-5), which has lost three in a row.

Jordan Binnington made 32 saves for the visitors to improve to 16-12-2.

Jacob Markstrom (lower body) returned from a three-game absence to make the start for Calgary. He made 22 saves in falling to 13-12-2.

Down 3-1 late in the second, St. Louis started its comeback with a short-handed goal.

When Weegar mishandled the puck at the St. Louis blue line, Schenn pounced on it and raced away on a breakaway, burying his 11th goal of the season past Markstrom.

The Blues’ 11th short-handed goal moves them into a tie for the league lead with the Dallas Stars.

Kyrou tied it 3-3 at 6:56 of the third when he skated uncontested into the slot off the side boards and fired his 13th goal just inside the goalpost.

On the winning goal, Saad got the puck inside his own blue line, carried it through the neutral zone and sent a 50-foot wrist shot that rattled in off the goalpost on Markstrom’s glove side.

It was tied 1-1 just past the halfway mark of the second period when two minutes after Markstrom thwarted Saad on a short-handed breakaway, Calgary sniped a pair of goals 64 seconds apart to surge in front.

At 11:13, Hanifin pinched down from the point and after Sharangovich’s cross-ice pass caromed off the side boards and back to him, he leaned into a rising slap shot that beat Binnington on his blocker side for his eighth goal.

Flames made it 3-1 when Sharangovich took a pass from Jonathan Huberdeau in the neutral zone and crossed the blue line where using Justin Faulk as a partial screen, he wristed a shot from 40 feet out that beat Binnington on that same blocker side.

Down 1-0 after 20 minutes, the visitors tied it at 8:27 of the second when Saad’s shot deflected off Nazem Kadri and eluded Markstrom.

A sloppy opening period for the Blues fuelled a 17-10 edge in shots for the home team and it was multiple own zone giveaways that ultimately culminated in the only goal of the first period.

After taking a cross-ice pass from defence partner Rasmus Andersson near the blue line, Weegar moved in and from the near the faceoff circle ripped his 11th goal just inside the goalpost. Like the two goals in the second, that one also beat Binnington on his blocker side.

Having already eclipsed his career high of eight, Weegar’s 11 goals is tied for third for defencemen in the league behind Rasmus Dahlin (13) and Quinn Hughes (12).

ROOKIE DEBUT

Cole Schwindt, 22, made his Flames debut, centring the fourth line with A.J. Greer and Adam Klapka. Schwindt was part of the package Calgary received when they traded Matthew Tkachuk to Florida for Huberdeau and Weegar. On his first shift, he almost scored his first NHL, intercepting Matthew Kessel’s pass but alone in front, he couldn’t solve Binnington.

REVERSAL OF FORTUNES

While the Blues are 18-2-0 when scoring first, their .900 winning percentage leading the NHL, it’s the opposite when they don’t score first. But Tuesday’s win does improve their record when trailing first to 5-18-2.

UP NEXT

Blues: Visit Vancouver to take on the Canucks Wednesday.

Flames: Host to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 23, 2024.

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