Sean Monahan scored twice and added two assists, and the host Calgary Flames scored six unanswered goals en route to a 6-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night.
Goalie Mike Smith made 21 saves, none bigger than a breakaway stop on Max Jones when his team trailed 1-0, for the Western Conference-leading Flames (48-23-7, 103 points).
Calgary snapped a two-game losing skid and now sits eight points ahead of the San Jose Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division with four games remaining in the regular season. With one win in their remaining games, the Flames would win a conference title for the first time since the 1989-90 campaign.
With the Flames trailing 1-0 and 4:28 left in the first period, Mark Giordano gave Calgary a much-needed jolt. Monahan’s cross-ice pass bounced off the side boards before Giordano unloaded a short-side slapper for his third goal in five games and 17th of the season.
Monahan’s first of the night 3:37 into the second period ended up as the game-winner. Ducks goalie Ryan Miller couldn’t handle Rasmus Andersson’s point shot, and Monahan buried the rebound.
James Neal’s marker — his sixth of the season — at the 10:07 of the middle frame made it a 3-1 affair. Monahan actually took a shot that ticked off Neal’s stick and made it into the cage.
The hosts poured it on. Derek Ryan notched his 10th goal of the season eight minutes into the third period when he deflected TJ Brodie’s point shot, and then Garnet Hathaway notched his 11th goal of the year by deflecting Travis Hamonic’s point shot.
Monahan rounded out the scoring with 46 seconds remaining, which gives him career highs of 33 goals and 80 points. He had two previous 31-goal seasons.
Ryan, whose goal gave Calgary 11 players with at least 10 goals, also netted one assist.
Anaheim’s Andy Welinski, a 25-year-old rookie who was drafted in the third round in 2011, opened the scoring with his first NHL goal just past the midway point of the first period.
Miller made 31 saves for Anaheim (32-37-10, 74 points).
—Field Level Media