Calgary Flames jump out early to beat New York Islanders

March 6 -- CALGARY, Alberta -- The Calgary Flames are hitting their stride at the right time of the season. The Flames scored four goals on five shots in the first period on Sunday and skated away with their seventh consecutive win Thomas Greiss Jersey, 5-2 over the New York Islanders. Michael Frolik, TJ Brodie, Micheal Ferland and Sean Monahan scored in a 4:40 span in the first, and Kris Versteeg added a goal in the third for Calgary . John Tavares and Jason Chimera replied for the Islanders . "We have a really deep lineup, and a lot of different guys can contribute, and I think tonight was a good example of that," Calgary captain Mark Giordano said. "I thought we were clean with passing plays and execution and getting pucks to the net. We've got to continue with that and clean up a few areas obviously. But, overall, coming in against a desperate team that's trying to get into the playoffs, it's a big win." Calgary's Brian Elliott made 33 saves for his seventh win in his past eight starts. The Flames find themselves tied with the Ducks for third place in the Pacific Division, though Anaheim has two games in hand. Calgary technically occupies the first Western Conference wild-card spot. Islanders goalie Thomas Griess was pulled after surrendering four goals on 21 shots in the first period. Jean-Francois Berube came on in relief and made 15 saves but gave up Versteeg's goal on a tic-tac-toe three-on-one break at 6:58 of the third. Chimera scored on a wrist shot at 8:28 of the third to close out the scoring. "We had done an OK job up , but then we just really shot ourselves in the foot," Tavares said of the first period. "You give up four in six minutes, it's really going to hurt you. It really took us out of the game. I thought after that, we maybe didn't play great but we certainly played a lot better -- started to generate some chances, drew penalties." After Griess made several impressive saves among the first 16 shots he faced, the Flames scored on the 17th, 18th, 19th and 21st shots to break the game open. After some inconsistent play earlier this season, the Flames have sorted out their problems, bringing happiness to their dressing room and fan base. "It's fun," said Monahan, who also had an assist. "You come to the rink and you play any sport when you're winning, the atmosphere is great. Right now, we're confident but we're not overconfident. We know we've still got a lot of work to do, and we haven't proven anything." Frolik slid one in from a sharp angle at 14:56, Brodie followed with a bank shot off Griess' skate from behind the net at 16:28, and Ferland beat the goalie with a snap shot from the faceoff circle at 17:10. Monahan closed out Calgary's outburst by finishing off a two-on-one with Johnny Gaudreau with 24 seconds remaining in the period to make it 4-0. Shots were 21-8 in favor of Calgary in the period. "It's a five-minute span, really," Islanders interim head coach Doug Weight said. "The shots are 7-7 or 8-8 with six minutes left in the first period It's not pretty by any stretch. We were giving up some zone time and kind of flat-footed and then it's 4-0 at the end of the period and you're pretty much out of it." Tavares scored on a rebound during four-on-four play at 8:30 for the only goal of the second period. The Islanders hold the final Eastern Conference wild-card spot by just one point over the Toronto Maple Leafs. NOTES: The Islanders were without D Johnny Boychuk because of a sore foot he sustained blocking a shot Friday in a loss to Chicago. He was replaced by Calgary native Thomas Hickey. ... Another switch on the New York blue line saw Scott Mayfield suit up in place of a healthy Adam Pelech. ... The Islanders' other scratches were C Alan Quine and RW Stephen Gionta. ... C Curtis Lazar was a healthy scratch for the third straight game since being acquired by the Flames from Ottawa at the trade deadline on Wednesday. ... Calgary's other healthy scratches were D Dennis Wideman for seventh straight game and C Freddie Hamilton Josh Bailey Jersey.
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