Johnny Gaudreau became the first player in more than five years to record six points in a game, and the Calgary Flames scored six times in the third period to scorch the New Jersey Devils 9-4 on Tuesday night.
Gaudreau had a hat trick, including the go-ahead goal on a penalty shot in the third period, and added three assists for the Flames, who became the only team to score nine goals in a game twice this season.
Gaudreau’s six-point game is the first in the NHL since Dallas’ Jamie Benn on Nov. 14, 2013, at Calgary. He’s the first Flames player to accomplish the feat since Al MacInnis on March 20, 1994.
Derek Ryan scored 41 seconds into the third to tie it 4-4, and then Gaudreau was hooked from behind on a breakaway by Damon Severson, resulting in a penalty shot.
Gaudreau made no mistake, slowly winding his way in before ripping a shot past Mackenzie Blackwood.
Gaudreau capped off his big night at 12:01, converting a setup from Sean Monahan, and sending hundreds of hats pouring onto the ice.
Ryan finished with two goals. Sam Bennett, Elias Lindholm, Matthew Tkachuk and Monahan also scored for Calgary. Lindholm and Monahan both had four-point nights.
The Flames remained one point back of the Pacific Division and Western Conference-leading San Jose Sharks, who won 5-4 in Winnipeg.
Blake Coleman, Travis Zajac, Kyle Palmieri and Kenny Agostino scored for New Jersey, which is winless in its last seven (0-6-1).
Making it three goals in less than two minutes, Calgary went ahead 6-4 at 2:37 when Ryan was set up by Gaudreau on a 2-on-1. Holding onto the puck patiently, Gaudreau froze Blackwood before sending the puck across to Ryan, who had a wide-open net.
Gaudreau, who entered the night with just one goal in his previous 19 games, surpassed both of his previous highs of 30 goals and 84 points in a season. He’s now up to 33 goals and 90 points.
After falling behind 1-0 five minutes into the game, Coleman’s breakaway goal was the first of three straight goals for the Devils.
After coughing up a 3-1 lead earlier in the second, New Jersey regained the lead at 17:49 of the second on Zajac’s short-handed goal.
David Rittich had 22 stops for Calgary.
Blackwood made 30 saves, falling to 6-8-0.
Down 3-1, Calgary battled back to tie it on goals three minutes apart from Bennett and Lindholm.
At 7:17, defenseman Mark Giordano won a puck battle and centered a perfect pass that Bennett one-timed past Blackwood.
On another setup for Monahan, Lindholm jammed in his own rebound to make it 3-3.
Calgary struck first when its slumping top line connected. Sent in alone on a pass by Monahan, Gaudreau made a slick move and tucked the puck through Blackwood’s pads.
NOTES: Michael Stone (blood clot) rejoined the Flames after a conditioning stint in the American Hockey League. His last NHL game was Nov. 11. Along with Oliver Kylington and Dalton Prout, that makes three extra, healthy defensemen.
Devils: At Edmonton on Wednesday night.
Flames: Host the New York Rangers on Friday night.