Cam Talbot picked up his first shutout for the Calgary Flames Thursday and his team knocked off the Anaheim Ducks by a final score of 6-0.
It was a thrashing, bolstered by four goals in the first period that took the home team right out of it. And Talbot made a career-high 44 stops for his 21st career shutout.
Elias Lindholm, Oliver Kylington, Mikael Backlund, and Mark Jankowski had the first frame markers, with Lindholm netting his 25th of the season – extending his scoring streak to nine games, one away from his career-high.
Anaheim’s John Gibson made a dozen stops in the first period and obviously fell short, which put Ryan Miller in the line of fire for the second period and beyond. Sadly for the Ducks, they were cruising on a five-game point streak and took just their second regulation loss in eight games.
Backlund and Jankowski had two goals apiece for the Flames, though, and muscled their team through to an easy win made easier by the play of their netminder.
“I felt like I controlled the game the best I could,” Talbot said. “I didn’t leave too much laying around for them to bang in. A lot of their shots came from the outside, makes it easy for me to control it.”
A lot of Anaheim shots also came in the second period, with Talbot pressed to make 18 saves in the middle stanza alone. It was his first victory since January 11 and it was a decisive one. It also meant Calgary finished its four-game road swing with three Ws.
“We got some timely scoring early,” Flames head coach Geoff Ward said. “I liked the response of our guys. We talked about how important it was to come out and play a solid first period, get into the game early. I thought the guys did a good job of that.”
Calgary has faced its share of adversity this season, with Mark Giordano out week-to-week. But they’ve held on to a 30-23-6 record, good for the meaty part of a tie in the Pacific Division. The Oilers, Golden Knights, and Flames all have 66 points after Thursday’s action, putting them three back of the division-leading Vancouver Canucks.
Scoring has been an issue for Calgary thus far, so a 6-0 explosion could be just what the doctor ordered. There may be some momentum to gain from this, especially as they return home to face the struggling Chicago Blackhawks Saturday before a rematch against Anaheim Monday.
Photo credit: Stacy Bengs/The Associated Press