Christopher Gibson made 50 saves to earn his first NHL victory, and Johnny Boychuk led the offensive attack with a goal and two assists as the visiting New York Islanders beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 on Sunday evening.
Anders Lee added two goals for the Islanders, who snapped an eight-game losing skid (0-4-4).
Gibson, starting just his third game this season and fifth of his career, was under siege the final two periods but held strong enough at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
With a pair of goals 28 seconds apart in the early going, the Islanders made it a horrible return for Flames goalie Mike Smith, who missed 13 games due to injury.
New York’s Nick Leddy opened the scoring just 2:14 into the game, wiring a long point shot off the crossbar and in after Casey Cizikis cleanly won a faceoff in the Calgary zone.
Boychuk doubled the lead at the 2:32 mark, giving the visitors two goals on three shots. Boychuk’s point shot went off the stick of Flames forward Troy Brouwer and beat Smith’s glove hand.
Johnny Gaudreau gave the Flames a jolt of life with his first goal in eight games at 7:23 of the opening period. He buried a short-side, top-corner shot from bottom of the left circle, but the Islanders bounced right back.
Jordan Eberle made it a 3-1 game at 10:25 of the first period by showing a goal-scorer’s touch. Smith stopped Eberle’s redirection of Boychuk’s slap-pass, but Eberle grabbed the rebound and hit the mark.
Lee then made it a 4-1 tilt 50 seconds into the second period. Smith kicked out a juicy rebound after stopping Boychuk’s point shot, and Lee immediately blasted his chance into the net.
Calgary captain Mark Giordano scored at 7:24 of third period to make it a 4-2 game. Giordano touched the puck last during a wild scramble that finally ended with the puck in the net, giving him three goals in the past four games.
Lee rounded out the scoring with an empty-netter, his team-high 33rd goal of the season, with 10.1 seconds remaining.
Gaudreau, who has six points in a four-game point streak, has 79 points on the season, a career high.
Smith stopped 22 shots for the Flames.
—Field Level Media