CALGARY — Thanks to Elias Lindholm's last-minute dramatics on Monday, there are two new entries in the Calgary Flames record book.
Lindholm's game-winner with 46 seconds remaining extended his goal streak to eight games and the Flames' winning streak to 10 games as Calgary defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-1.
Twice before, the Flames have won 10 games in a row. The last time was in 2016-17 with the streak beginning five years ago as of Monday. The other time was in 1978-79 when the franchise was still in Atlanta.
“Ten in a row is nice,” said Lindholm. “We were struggling a little bit there before we started this streak. It's nice to see it go in. It was a tough game, it was tight. Not a lot of chances, but we stuck with it
Lindholm joins two others for the record of most consecutive games with a goal, equalling marks set by Gary Roberts (1992-93) and Kent Nilsson (1983-84) -- both coming before Lindholm was born.
“It's just a good feeling. You have confidence and you feel like you have a chance on every shot,” said Lindholm.
On the go-ahead goal, Kyle Connor mishandled the puck inside the Winnipeg blue line allowing the Flames to keep the puck in. Johnny Gaudreau hung on patiently before circling and sending a shot towards the front of the net that Lindholm deflected by Connor Hellebuyck.
“Quick transition, I just brought it back up the ice,” Gaudreau said. “I saw (Oliver Kylington) going back door and I saw (Lindholm) in front so I just chucked it there and great tip by Lindy.”
There will also be a fresh entry in the NHL record book after Calgary completed a perfect seven-game homestand. Never in league history has a team swept a homestand of seven or more games.
“It's a blast,” said Gaudreau, talking about the mood coming to the rink right now. “Obviously, we're winning games, we're playing well, we're doing better at practice. It's nice that we get to stay in Calgary. We've been in Calgary for a while now.”
For Lindholm, it's also three consecutive game-winning goals.
“Goal scoring is one thing, lots of guys are scoring goals, but don't score big goals or at playoff time, don't get scoring chances,” said Flames coach Darryl Sutter. “He scores big goals which usually translates into the next part.”
Lindholm thought he had scored halfway through the second, breaking a 1-1 tie. However, the Jets challenged for offside and, upon video review, the goal was overturned.
Little did Lindholm know at the time that he was the player in violation, crossing the blue line just before the puck.
“I didn't see the offside goal until between periods and then I realized that I went offside,” Lindholm said with a smile.
The 27-year-old Swede has been the hottest Flames player during the streak which coincides with his 10-game point streak (nine goals, seven assists).
Sean Monahan and Tyler Toffoli, into an empty net, also scored for Calgary (30-13-6), which opens up a four-point lead on Las Vegas atop the Pacific Division. The Flames, who also hold two games in hand, return to action Thursday in Vancouver.
Dominic Toninato scored for Winnipeg (22-20-8). The Jets were opening up a four-game road trip that continues in Dallas on Wednesday.
“I'm sure we can find some positives. I think at this point of the year it's about wins,” said Winnipeg centre Pierre-Luc Dubois. “Calgary's a good team. Nobody thought it was going to be an easy game, but it could've gone either way tonight. Unfortunately it went their way. It's a playoff race right now. Can't be losing too many games."
The Jets are seven points back of the Los Angeles Kings for the second wild card spot in the Western Conference.
"It's hard when you're 40 seconds away from at least getting a point but it's a hard fought game,” said Winnipeg defenceman Nate Schmidt. “It was a good hockey game. There were a lot of chances for both teams and both goalies played well.”
In net, Jacob Markstrom made 22 stops for Calgary to improve to 23-10-5.
Connor Hellebuyck had 28 saves for Winnipeg. His record falls to 17-18-7.
"I think as a group we're disappointed,” said Jets coach Dave Lowry. “We made a mistake and it ended up in the back of the net. We played a real solid, committed team game and there should be disappointment."
NOTES: Winnipeg C Andrew Copp (upper body) missed his third game. … Calgary tweaked its lines with Milan Lucic moving up to play with Monahan and Toffoli while Dillon Dube dropped down to the fourth line with Adam Ruzicka and Trevor Lewis. … Calgary's penalty kill is No. 1 at home, only allowing four power-play goals on 54 chances at the Saddledome.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2022.
Darren Haynes, The Canadian Press