Monahan lifts Flames past Panthers in SO
Calgary, AB (SportsNetwork.com) - Sean Monahan scored the clincher during the sixth round of the shootout as the Calgary Flames put away a persistent Florida Panthers team with a 4-3 decision at Scotiabank Saddledome.
Joe Colborne had a goal and an assist for Calgary, with Sven Baertschi and Blair Jones also lighting the lamp to help the Flames to only their second victory in nine games.
It didn't come easy, as the Panthers rallied from a 3-1 deficit on third- period goals from Jimmy Hayes and Marcel Goc, then scored twice while facing elimination during the shootout to extend the matchup to a sixth round.
"We made it too interesting in the third period, but we found a way to win," Flames head coach Bob Hartley remarked.
Tim Thomas finished with 21 saves for Florida, which concluded a five-game western swing with a 2-2-1 record. Calgary's Reto Berra turned aside 23 shots in the triumph.
The teenaged Monahan ripped a shot past the stick side of the 39-year-old Thomas to give Calgary a 3-2 edge during the shootout phase, with Berra closing off Hayes on the ensuing attempt to give the Flames the two points they had appeared to have sewed up on several prior occasions.
Calgary owned a 3-1 advantage after the recently recalled Jones one-timed in a behind-the-net feed from Lance Bouma 5:40 into the third period. However, a misplay by Berra in the Flames' end enabled Florida to pull back within one just 82 seconds later, with Hayes flicking the puck into the net that the Flames' goaltender had vacated on an unsuccessful clearing attempt.
Another Calgary turnover allowed the Panthers to draw even, as Goc connected on a wrister from the right circle on the resulting odd-man rush with 5:59 remaining in regulation.
"It was a heck of an effort for these guys to come back in the situation," said Panthers interim coach Peter Horachek. "I don't think the second period was that great, but to come back in the third -- them scoring and still coming back -- I think it was a really strong effort."
The Flames' Jiri Hudler had the only goal over the initial 2 1/2 rounds of the shootout, but Brad Boyes kept Florida alive by placing a forehand through Berra's pads. Mike Cammalleri answered for Calgary to open the fourth round, but Tomas Fleischmann got Berra out of position and scored on the Panthers' turn to bring another round, during which both goaltenders came up with stops.
Tom Gilbert's long drive following a Panthers' faceoff win got through traffic for the only goal of a defensive-minded opening period, but Calgary scored twice in the second to move in front.
Bouma knocked Panthers defenseman Mike Mottau off the puck in the Florida zone to create a scoring chance that Colborne converted with a left-circle blast at the 9:00 mark the middle session. The Panthers' Shawn Matthias was sent off for hooking just over a minute later, and the Flames capitalized on the penalty when Baertschi knocked in a rebound of Colborne's initial try to give Calgary a 2-1 lead.
Calgary had gone 0-4-2 in its last six outings at the Saddledome since a 5-2 win over Washington on Oct. 26 ... Jones had just been called up from the minors on Thursday following Calgary's trade of forward Tim Jackman to Anaheim ... Hayes, acquired from Chicago as part of a trade that sent forward Kris Versteeg to the Blackhawks on Nov. 14, netted his first goal as a Panther ... The Flames improved to 6-2-1 when scoring at least once on the power play this season ... Florida had won two straight in the series, including a 3-0 decision in Calgary in October of 2010.
11/23 01:24:38 ET