CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Johnny Gaudreau scored twice 10 seconds apart in the first period, then set up Mikael Backlund’s winner in overtime to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-2 win over the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.
Joni Ortio finished with 24 saves for the Flames, who improved to 1-0-1 on a six-game homestand.
Anthony Bitetto got his first career goal and Mike Fisher also scored for Nashville, which is 2-0-1 with two games remaining on a five-game road trip. Carter Hutton stopped 31 shots.
Gaudreau, the Flames’ leading scorer, entered the night with no points in his last four games. He snapped out of that drought in a big way and the second-year left wing now has a career-high 66 points, including 23 goals and 25 assists coming at home.
The winning goal came when he patiently hung onto the puck as Backlund broke for the net then set him up perfectly for the finish.
The Predators, who fell to 1-12 in overtime, extended their franchise record point streak to 14 games (9-0-5). They’ve also gone nearly two months since their last regulation loss on the road, going 11-0-3 in that stretch.
Gaudreau’s opening score at 9:34 was not initially called a goal. Looking like his shot hit the goal post, play continued for a couple minutes with Calgary continuing to pour on the pressure when play was halted and the referees got confirmation the shot hit the back bar instead.
Off the ensuing faceoff and with the building still buzzing, Gaudreau took a pass from Sean Monahan, darted past Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis as he fell down at the blue line and fired a shot through Hutton’s pads for his 26th goal.
Nashville broke Ortio’s shutout at 7:44 of the third period on Bitetto’s goal. Then, with Hutton on the bench for an extra skater, Fisher banged in a shot from a scramble to tie it with 1:18 remaining.
NOTES: Ortio has given up two goals or fewer in six of his last seven starts. … The Flames lost D TJ Brodie and C Sam Bennett to upper-body injuries in the second period. … Calgary D Mark Giordano played in his 577th career game, tying him with Joe Nieuwendyk for the most in franchise history. … The Flames’ record for fastest goals by one player is held by Lanny McDonald, who scored 6 seconds apart on March 22, 1984. … Flames D Dennis Wideman served the 19th game of his 20-game suspension.