NHL NEWS ARCHIVE
Versteeg, Flames pull away from Blues
CALGARY, Alberta -- Kris Versteeg even surprised himself a bit when he one-timed a pass from linemate Troy Brouwer past St. Louis goalie Jake Allen.
The 31-year-old veteran of 636 NHL games notched the game-winning goal with 5:31 left in the third period as the Calgary Flames skated to a wild 7-4 win over the Blues on Monday.
"I thought (Curtis Lazar) was going to touch it actually and then he kind of just let it go," said Versteeg, who put everything he had into the shot. "I just tried to shoot it. It used to be a shot I could do back in the day, but fortunately it worked out still today."
Versteeg's third marker of the season capped off a stretch of four goals -- two by each team -- in a span of 2:43.
"It's a big win for us," Versteeg said. "We knew how good they've been playing. You don't think you're going to score that many goals against that team."
Mark Jankowski scored twice and set up one for the Flames (10-7-0), who finished their seven-game homestand with a 5-2 record.
"We've got a few games under our belts with my two linemates now and we're really clicking," said the 23-year-old rookie, who centers a line with Jaromir Jagr on his right and Sam Bennett on his left. "It feels really good to help the team win. We knew we were getting our chances and the goals would come if we kept playing that way."
Bennett and Johnny Gaudreau had a goal and an assist each, Micheal Ferland and Michael Frolik also scored, while Matthew Tkachuk had two helpers.
Mike Smith made his seventh straight start in net for the Flames and stopped seven of nine shots he faced in the first period.
Smith, who was undergoing evaluation for an undisclosed injury, was replaced in between the pipes by Eddie Lack for the second and third periods.
"Smitty pretty much told me right away that I was going in," said Lack, who finished with 13 saves to pick up his first win for Calgary. "There wasn't much to think about. Just go out there and try to play my game."
Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice for the Blues (13-5-1) while Alexander Steen and Jaden Schwartz had a goal and an assist each.
"We got what we deserved tonight," said Blues coach Mike Yeo. "We just weren't ready to play and that was evident right from the drop of the puck. We were very fortunate to tie the game up in the third period on a couple occasions -- very, very fortunate."
Paul Stastny had two assists for the Blues, and Allen finished with 30 saves.
"It was the whole game where we had too many of those turnovers," Stastny said. "We didn't give any help to our goaltender. That one's on us."
Tarasenko opened the scoring at 3:32 of the first period when he took a pass from Colton Parayko and snapped a shot to the far side past Smith. Just 1:12 later, Jankowski one-timed a feed from Tkachuk past Allen.
Jankowski then took a pass from Jagr and made a nice move before sliding the puck around Allen and into the net at 13:15.
Schwartz snapped a shot to the top corner past Smith for a power-play goal at 16:21 of the first.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second as Allen stopped all eight shots he faced, while Lack was forced to turn aside just four pucks.
Bennett was rewarded for his hard work early in the third period when he battled hard to get to the front of the net to backhand a shot through Allen's legs.
After Steen scored for St. Louis at 11:46, Ferland replied with a power-play goal for the Flames 45 seconds later.
Tarasenko tallied his second of the game at 12:43 before Versteeg struck right back for the Flames.
"We let up a goal, but we came right back and scored a big goal," Stastny said. "Then, just made two careless turnovers. It was just what we did all night."
Gaudreau scored with two minutes left in the game before Frolik rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal.
NOTES: After missing the past three games with a lower-body injury, Flames D Travis Hamonic returned to the lineup against the Blues. Due to Hamonic's return, the Flames sent D Rasmus Andersson to the Stockton Heat of the AHL. ... Calgary scratched C Matt Stajan, C Freddie Hamilton and D Matt Barkowski. ... Although D Jay Bouwmeester (ankle) and C Patrik Berglund (shoulder) accompanied the Blues on their three-game road trip, neither played against Calgary, nor are they expected to play in Edmonton against the Oilers on Thursday or versus the Canucks in Vancouver two nights later. ... The Blues scratched D Nate Prosser and LW Magnus Paajarvi.