Lindholm tallies twice as Flames blank Wild
CALGARY, Alberta -- Elias Lindholm scored both goals, and goalie Mike Smith made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season as the host Calgary Flames claimed a 2-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night, Dec. 6.
The Flames have won four straight and are riding an 8-1-1 run that's put them atop the Pacific Division.
After a scoreless first period, Lindholm -- who thought he'd opened the scoring late in the first period only to see the goal disallowed by an offside earlier on the play -- broke the deadlock 50 seconds into the second period. Lindholm broke down the ice with Johnny Gaudreau on a two-on-one rush and buried the golden chance.
Lindholm netted his second of the night 73 seconds into the third period with the same formula as his first goal. Captain Mark Giordano started a rush up the ice, and Gaudreau showed great patience before feeding Lindholm as the trailer. Lindholm fired a five-hole shot for his 15th goal of the season -- two short of his previous career high through just 29 games.
Gaudreau is now riding a six-game point streak, with 11 points in that time. Lindholm is on a five-game streak, with nine points. Giordano also collected two helpers.
The Flames simply dominated the first 10 minutes of the affair and could have salted it away early if not for Alex Stalock in the Wild net -- and some bad luck. Stalock denied Gaudreau on an early breakaway, but also saw both Andrew Mangiapane and Giordano ring shots off the iron in the early going.
Through the end of the second period, though, the Wild controlled play, and Smith held the fort with a whack of big saves, notably against Mikael Granlund and a couple of highlight-reel saves on Matt Dumba. But the Wild managed barely anything in the third period, held to just six shots in the final frame.
Stalock -- who played his 100th game -- stopped 18 shots in the loss, Minnesota's first blanking of the season. The Wild have just one win in five games, riding a 1-4-0 skid.