Hamilton’s third-period goal lifts Flames over Blues
CALGARY, Alberta — Dougie Hamilton definitely wouldn’t call his game-winning goal on Wednesday a thing of beauty.
The Flames defenseman scored at 7:57 of the third period to lead Calgary to a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues.
Before Blues forward Ivan Barbashev could get his stick on the puck in the slot, Hamilton swatted it toward the net and past goalie Carter Hutton.
“I thought a shot was coming and went to the slot to see what would come from it, and it bounced out,” Hamilton said. “I just whacked at it. I didn’t even see it go in. I don’t know what the goalie was doing or what was going on there, but it was nice to have that go in and get the two points.”
Hutton admitted he didn’t think that Hamilton would be able to turn and fire a shot so quickly.
“I thought Barbie was clearing the puck,” said Hutton, who finished with 31 saves. “I thought I played pretty well. I thought I battled. Obviously the second one, I’d like to have that back. I think you look at all the quality chances they had, I thought I gave us a chance to win tonight.”
Michael Frolik also scored for the Flames (18-14-3), who have won two games in a row.
“I think we knew it was going to be tight out there,” Frolik said. “Always against them it’s pretty tight and they don’t give up much. We just stayed patient.
“We had a few chances and didn’t give them that much. We tried to stack it in the neutral zone, and I think we did a pretty good job there. Be patient and luckily we got the second one and came out with the win.”
Calgary goalie Mike Smith made 21 saves to improve his record to 14-11-3.
Brayden Schenn scored for the Blues (22-12-2), who have lost two in a row and four of their past five.
“It wasn’t a pretty game by any means,” Schenn said. “I think it just comes down to work ethic and wanting to win. You’re going to have those nights where it’s not going to be perfect and you’ve got to grind it out, and tonight we just didn’t have that effort to do it.”
The Blues carried the majority of the play early on and held a 5-0 advantage in shots over the Flames by the five-minute mark of the first period.
Hutton then turned aside back-to-back chances by linemates Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski to keep the game scoreless.
Frolik opened the scoring at 7:58 of the first period when his shot hit Hutton’s blocker before bouncing up and over the Blues goalie and just across the line. It wasn’t initially called a goal because St. Louis forward Tage Thompson cleared the puck away quickly, but officials determined the puck just crossed the line after video review.
“I’ve had a few where they have to challenge it, but never like that when you keep playing and then all of a sudden the buzzer goes on,” Frolik said. “Guys at the bench were yelling at me that it was in. It’s kind of a lucky bounce, but we’ll take it for sure.”
Frolik had a great chance to put the Flames up by two goals late in the opening frame when he was set up in front by Matthew Tkachuk, but Hutton made a nice pad save and then stopped the rebound attempt by Mikael Backlund.
Schenn scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season on a power play at 1:26 of the second period. Schenn took a pass from Colton Parayko and sped into the Calgary zone before cutting around Troy Brouwer and snapping a shot to the short side past Smith.
Johnny Gaudreau had a great chance to give Calgary back the lead a short time later, but Hutton made a stick save to stop his breakaway attempt.
The Flames continued to put on the pressure and were rewarded in the third period when Hamilton scored his fourth goal of the season.
NOTES: After suiting up for two straight games for the Flames, RW Jaromir Jagr sat out Wednesday with a nagging lower-body injury that has forced him to miss 12 games so far this season. ... Calgary’s other scratches were D Matt Bartkowski and C Freddie Hamilton. ... Flames D Travis Hamonic left the game late in the first period with a lower-body injury and didn’t return. ... After being recalled from the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage on Monday, RW Tage Thompson drew into the Blues’ lineup against the Flames and played on a line with C Alexander Steen and LW/C Paul Stastny. ... St. Louis scratched RW Chris Thorburn, C Oskar Sundqvist and D Jordan Schmaltz. ... The Blues will finish their four-game road trip with games against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday and versus the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. ... Calgary plays host to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.