Sean Monahan scored twice to set a single-season career high with 33 goals and also added two assists, leading the Calgary Flames to a 6-1 win over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
Monahan entered the game with just two goals in his last 19 games, but he broke out with a big game, surpassing his previous best of 31 goals.
Mark Giordano, James Neal, Derek Ryan and Garnet Hathaway also scored for Calgary, which extended its lead atop the Pacific Division and Western Conference to eight points over San Jose. The Flames are looking for their first division title since the 2005-06 season and first conference title since 1989-90. The Sharks have five games remaining, including a home date with Calgary on Sunday.
Andy Welinski scored his first NHL goal for Anaheim.
Tied at 1 after the first period, Calgary took its first lead 3:37 into the second when Monahan knocked in Rasmus Andersson’s rebound. A two-time 31-goal scorer, Monahan had been stuck on 31 goals since March 12.
Just over six minutes later, Monahan’s shot from the slot deflected off Neal and past Ryan Miller for a power-play goal, making it 3-1. The goal snapped a 0-for-21 skid for the man advantage over the previous eight-plus games.
Mike Smith got the win with 21 saves to improve to 22-15-2. His biggest stop was a breakaway save off Max Jones in the first period, just seconds before Giordano tied it at 15:32.
At the other end, Miller finished with 31 saves.
Calgary put the game away in the third period. Ryan neatly deflected in TJ Brodie’s shot at 8:07, Hathaway scored his 11th goal at 14:37 and Monahan capped the scoring at 19:14.
Not realizing that a goal earlier in the game, credited to Monahan, had been changed to Neal, a number of hats were thrown onto the ice after what the crowd thought was his hat-trick goal.
NOTES: Monahan’s first goal ended a stretch of 156:12 without a goal from a forward. … Calgary departs on a three-game California road trip before finishing the season at home against Edmonton next Saturday. … Flames inserted Dalton Prout on defense for Oscar Fantenberg. … Anaheim has lost 407 man-games to injury. Calgary has lost 130.
Ducks: At Edmonton on Saturday night.
Flames: At San Jose on Sunday night.