Elias Lindholm’s 30th goal was the game-winner and Jacob Markstrom made 19 saves for his league-leading ninth shutout to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday.
Tyler Toffoli and Blake Coleman also scored for Calgary (36-15-7), which entered the night in first place in the Pacific Division, five points up on the Los Angeles Kings with two games in hand. The Flames are 16-2-1 in their last 19.
The Flames were flying to Denver immediately after the game as they play their fifth game in seven days on Sunday night when they take on the Colorado Avalanche.
Detroit (24-28-7) is winless in its last five (0-4-1).
Barely tested through 40 minutes, 14 of Markstrom’s stops came in the third period as Detroit mounted a late push. Markstrom is 28-11-6 on the season.
Thomas Greiss, who was under siege most of the night, finished with 40 stops. He is 8-10-1.
The Flames opened the scoring at 9:22 on the power play when Lindholm wove through the neutral zone and into the Red Wings end before cutting to the middle of the ice and ripping a wrist shot into the top corner.
Thirty is a career high in goals for Lindholm, who is having a career season offensively with 62 points in 58 games. He’s on an eight-game point streak with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) over that span.
Thanks to outstanding goaltending from Greiss, the game remained 1-0 into the third period when Calgary made it 2-for-2 on the man advantage at 8:25 with Matthew Tkachuk setting up Toffoli at the side of the net with a cross-crease pass.
Toffoli has eight goals and 13 points in 13 games since being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens in a trade on Feb. 14.
Calgary put the game away at 15:38 when Coleman buried a cross-ice set-up from Chris Tanev.
Missing forwards Robby Fabbri and Tyler Bertuzzi, the Red Wings were down two of their top-four goal scorers. The 41 combined goals from Bertuzzi (24) and Fabbri (17) account for nearly a quarter of the team’s 167 goals.
Fabbri suffered a season-ending knee injury on Thursday night against Minnesota. Bertuzzi, who is not vaccinated against COVID-19, is unable to cross the border into Canada so did not accompany the team for this three-game road trip that also includes stops in Edmonton and Vancouver.
That missing offensive punch was evident throughout the first 40 minutes as Detroit struggled to generate any offensive pressure at all. It took until 16:51 of the second period on the Red Wings’ fifth shot – a chance for Givani Smith at the side of the net – to finally register a shot inside 40 feet.