Kadri’s 3-point game powers Flames to 4-1 win over Penguins
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Nazem Kadri had two goals and an assist to extend his points streak to six games as the Calgary Flames beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Jonathan Huberdeau had his first goal with Calgary and Michael Stone also scored as the Flames won for the fifth time in six games.
Since signing a seven-year, $49 million deal with Calgary as a free agent after helping Colorado win the Stanley Cup, Kadri jas been making a strong impact on his new team.
“It’s been good, for sure,” said Kadri, who leads the team with nine points (four goals, five assists). “Credit to the guys, they’ve made me feel pretty welcomed, and the staff, and everybody in the city of Calgary. It’s always nice getting wins.”
His points streak is the fourth-longest to begin a Flames career. Mel Bridgman (1980-81) holds the record at eight games, and Phil Housley (1994-95) and Sergei Makarov (1989-90) had seven-game runs.
“He’s been playing well,” Jonathan Huberdeau said about his fellow newcomer. “Such a good player, he works hard and it’s been working for him. He creates a lot of things on the ice defensively, offensively, and he’s gonna keep going, too.”
Evgeni Malkin had the lone goal for the Penguins (4-2-1), who lost consecutive games in regulation in Alberta — 6-3 to Edmonton on Monday — after starting the season with points in their first five games.
Sidney Crosby, who entered the night with 11 points in six games, was held pointless in his bid for his 900th career assist.
Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom, tested twice in the first 18 minutes of the game, finished with 32 stops and improved to 4-0-0.
Pittsburgh’s Casey DeSmith had 31 saves, falling to 0-1-1.
The Flames built a 2-0 lead and held a 20-2 edge in shots before the Penguins pushed back in the final two minutes of the opening period by generating four shots on goal, with Malkin sending a shot off the post.
“They obviously knew we played last night (in Edmonton),” Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin said. “They tried to establish that heavy forecheck that they have.”
With Tristan Jarry getting the night off after playing in Edmonton, Smith was spectacular in keeping the game scoreless until being beaten by Calgary’s 15th shot. Andrew Mangiapane’s centering pass was neatly redirected in by Kadri at 14:11.
Kadri added his second of the game less than four minutes later after a Penguins turnover at the Flames’ blue line. He scored into the top corner for an unassisted goal.
“A good start, that’s probably what did it for us,” Kadri said. “We came out hot. I’d like to see us have a better second period, but for the most part, we stayed with it, had a great start and that’s definitely a positive sign.”
Huberdeau made it 3-0 early in the second on the power play. Pittsburgh countered with a power-play goal by Malkin’s at 4:32.
The Penguins outshot Calgary 20-4 in the second period, but Stone scored on a slap shot at 11:20, making it 4-1.
“Big second period,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter about Markstrom. “We’d miss a scoring chance, they come down with a scoring chance. He probably kept it at a two-goal game.”
POULIN’S EVENTFUL DEBUT
With Jason Zucker shaken up against the Oilers and Jake Guentzel (upper body) not ready to return, 2019 first-round pick Sam Poulin, 21, made his NHL debut for the Penguins. Called up from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL on Sunday, Poulin centered a line with Brock McGinn and Kasperi Kapanen. He found himself on the scoresheet a couple times. He was in the penalty box for slashing when Huberdeau made it 3-0. Shortly after, he helped set up Malkin’s power-play goal for his first NHL point.
“I thought Sam played well. He brought us a lot of energy,” Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’re just really encouraged with how far he’s come and how his game is evolving and he’s earned the opportunity to play in this game tonight. I thought he had a strong game.”
The Flames have won five of their first six games for the first time in franchise history. The only other time the team has picked up 10 of 12 points to start the season was 1978-79, when the club was still based in Atlanta. They started that season 4-0-2.
Penguins: At Vancouver on Friday night.
Flames: Host Edmonton on Saturday night.
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