March 10, 2018 / 3:41 AM / 6 months ago

Hot rookie goalie Rittich helps Flames top Senators

Sam Bennett and Matt Stajan gave their team much-needed secondary scoring and rookie goalie David Rittich again surrendered only one goal as the Calgary Flames claimed a 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night in Ottawa.

Rittich made 29 saves at Canadian Tire Centre to claim his second consecutive win with a strong outing. He stopped 25 of 26 shots in a 5-1 win at Buffalo on Wednesday.

His team provided just enough offense and then hung on for the victory, which pulled the Flames within one point of a playoff spot in the Western Conference standings.

Bennett put the Flames on the board 4:25 into the affair with his second goal in as many outings. Ottawa goalie Mike Condon stopped a long shot from Micheal Ferland, but Bennett pounced on the rebound and fought off a couple of defenders to get a pair of chances before he slipped the puck past the sprawling netminder for his 11th of the season.

What had been a dull, uninspiring game through the first 50 minutes picked up over the final half of the third period.

Stajan finally gave the Flames what became the game-winning goal at 11:42 of the final frame. Curtis Lazar, who the Flames acquired via trade from the Senators at last season’s trade deadline, led a rush down the ice before firing a perfect cross-crease pass for Stajan to redirect for a tally that broke a 16-game goal drought.

But Jean-Gabriel Pageau put the Senators on the board with a penalty shot at the 12:55 mark of the period to set up a frantic finish. Pageau was hooked by Dougie Hamilton on a breakaway and converted his one-on-one showdown with a five-hole shot that beat Rittich.

While Rittich was strong in net, he certainly had good fortune on his side. Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan rang a shot off the post early in the third period, after which Rittich gave the iron a kiss through his mask, and then Zach Smith also hit a post late in the third period.

Condon stopped 29 shots in an excellent but unrewarded performance. Also, Senators forward Mark Stone saw his 10-game point-scoring streak snapped.

—Field Level Media

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