Shorthanded Senators attempt to douse skidding Flames

NHL Hockey

The Calgary Flames have opened their seven-game trip with two straight losses.

But at least they took a point away from Friday night’s 2-1 overtime defeat at Toronto.

“It wasn’t how we wanted it to end,” said defenseman Oliver Kylington, who scored the Flames’ lone goal. “But I thought we showed good work ethic. A lot of positives to take away from this game.”

The Flames will continue their trip Sunday afternoon when they meet the Ottawa Senators in Kanata, Ontario.

Calgary, which suffered a 4-1 home loss to visiting San Jose on Tuesday, opened the trip with a 4-2 defeat Thursday at Montreal.

Playing on back-to-back nights, they showed some mettle against the Maple Leafs, keeping it scoreless until the third period as Dan Vladar finished with 35 saves. But Toronto’s Auston Matthews netted the winner in OT.

“I thought we played a really good game. We’ve played really well (lately), just haven’t scored enough,” Flames coach Darryl Sutter said. “It’s tough to get points. We’re not at the top end of the spectrum here (in terms of talent), and you’ve got to battle and claw and fight.”

It was better than the game against struggling Montreal, when the Flames took a 2-1 lead after one period and never scored again.

“I just feel like, we’ve been on the road for two games and one point is just not enough,” Vladar said. “We’ve got to pick it up as a team right now and just improve and get back to the little things that we did really well at the start of the season. I don’t think anyone in the locker room is happy right now. We’re already focusing on our next game.”

That will be against a Senators team playing the back end of consecutive games after a 6-3 victory Saturday over visiting Pittsburgh.

Drake Batherson had two goals and two assists and Filip Gustavsson made 28 saves for the Senators, who won for the first time in seven games.

“It’s obviously been too long since the last win,” Batherson said. “I thought we did a good job there for most of the game. Obviously, they made a little push there at the end, but (Gustavsson) was awesome, and we’re fired up to get the win.”

The Senators have nine players in the league’s COVID-19 protocol, and even Batherson’s status was up in the air until a negative test came back a few hours before the start of the game. Forwards Austin Watson, Alex Formenton, Dylan Gambrell and Connor Brown, defensemen Nick Holden, Victor Mete, Nikita Zaitsev and Josh Brown and goalie Matt Murray remain out.

“I was super pumped to be back in the room with the guys,” Batherson said. “It was definitely not the same game day (routine) as usual, but maybe we’ll have to stick to it now.”

The Senators led 5-0 midway through the third period before Pittsburgh scored three goals in a span of 4:08. Batherson cliched the victory with a goal at 19:11.

“We started scoring goals and feeling good and we had it going real good in the third until they scored,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “I thought we made some immature plays in front of our net. When you haven’t won in a while it’s hard to close the game out.”

–Field Level Media

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