Markstrom gets eighth shutout, Flames defeat Golden Knights

CALGARY — Jacob Markstrom made 28 saves for his NHL-leading eighth shutout of the season, and the Calgary Flames defeated the Vegas Golden Knights 6-0 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Mikael Backlund had an NHL career-high four points (one goal, three assists), Matthew Tkachuk had a goal and two assists, and Andrew Mangiapane scored twice for the Flames (24-13-6), who have won four straight and six of seven.

“Jacob Markstrom statement game,” Calgary coach Darryl Sutter said. “It’s really about a 6-5 game.”

Robin Lehner made 27 saves for the Golden Knights (28-17-3), who were coming off a 4-0 win at the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday and had a three-game winning streak end.

“We knew they were going to come,” Vegas defenseman Brayden McNabb said. “They’re a good team. They start fast. They dominated us from start to finish. They embarrassed us. They deserved to win that one like they did.”

Video: VGK@CGY: Backlund fires wrist shot by Lehner far side

Johnny Gaudreau put Calgary up 1-0 at 5:03 of the first period when he took a return pass from Tkachuk in the slot and shot high over Lehner’s blocker. Gaudreau has scored four points (three goals, one assist) in a four-game point streak and 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in his past 16 games.

Backlund made it 2-0 at 12:24 with a shot from the slot over the glove of a screened Lehner. His goal came four seconds after McNabb’s holding minor expired.

“Tonight, our first period really set up our game,” Tkachuk said. “When you’re up 3-0 after one like that, that’s really hard to come back from. We want to make this place a tough place to play. We want to be known as a great first-period team here because when you dominate like we did in the first period, that doesn’t give the other team a ton of confidence.”

Video: VGK@CGY: Tkachuk scores slick between-the-legs goal

Golden Knights defenseman Shea Theodore hit the post at 14:46 before Elias Lindholm extended the lead to 3-0 at 15:06 with a shot from the high slot off the rush.

“No excuse,” Golden Knights coach Pete DeBoer said. “We know they’re a quick-starting team. We knew they’d be hungry and ready to play and treating this as a really important game. We were prepared for all that. No excuse for how we started the game. The game was essentially over 20 minutes in, unfortunately.”

Mangiapane scored on a one-timer set up by Backlund to push the lead to 4-0 at 6:57 of the second period.

Markstrom made a glove save on McNabb’s shot from the slot at 17:12, and a blocker save on Nolan Patrick‘s backhand on a breakaway at 19:41.

“‘Marky’ kept us in the game, and really kept us in the game in the second period,” Tkachuk said. “We were giving up a lot. Even though it may not looked like it, but ‘Marky’ made some insane saves there. I think at that point it was a little too much run and gun.”

Video: VGK@CGY: Markstrom makes save on Patrick

Tkachuk extended the lead to 5-0 at 3:09 of the third period when he pulled the puck on the goal line between his legs before lifting a shot over Lehner. He has scored 26 points (10 goals, 16 assists) in his past 16 games.

“We knew they were waiting for us,” Vegas forward Jonathan Marchessault said. “They’ve been waiting for that game for a while and we came off just flat. There’s no excuse for our group. We’re a veteran group and we know how to handle those situations, and we definitely didn’t do it tonight.”

Mangiapane made it 6-0 with his team-leading 22nd goal on another setup by Backlund on the power play at 15:44.

“That was a big win for us,” Backlund said. “It’s important for us to have a good start and we got what we wanted. A little sloppy second period, ‘Marky’ was playing real well for us in the second and held us up 4-0, so that was huge for us going into the third, and I thought we had better jump in the third.”

NOTES: Miikka Kiprusoff holds the Flames record for shutouts in a season with 10, set in 74 games in 2005-06. … The Flames are the fastest team to 10 shutouts in a season since the New Jersey Devils in 2003-04, according to Sportsnet. … Mangiapane has scored 19 of his 22 goals this season on the road. … Golden Knights forward Mark Stone did not play because of an upper-body injury. He will be evaluated in Vegas, according to DeBoer. … Vegas forward Brett Howden had a personal four-game goal streak end. … Vegas was 0-for-2 on the power play and is 1-for-18 (5.6 percent) in the past seven games.

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