CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Matthew Tkachuk insists he’s not a center, despite the results.
Tkachuk’s faceoff win led to his game-tying goal, and the rookie later assisted on the winner to lead the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.
Down 1-0 early, Tkachuk took a faceoff in the Flyers’ end of the ice after Mikael Backlund got tossed out. Across from him was Claude Giroux, who at 55.7 percent, ranks 12th in the NHL on the draw. Tkachuk won it, just his seventh faceoff win of the season, and Backlund set up the 19-year-old rookie in front for an open net.
“I talked to (assistant coach Martin Gelinas) before the game, he said my percentage is actually going up, it’s up to 35 percent now,” Tkachuk said with a laugh. “So yeah, good win.”
Asked about his technique he quipped, “I just swing at the puck.”
TJ Brodie got the go-ahead goal and Mark Giordano added an empty-net goal with 39 seconds left for the Flames.
Nick Cousins scored for the Flyers, and Michal Neuvirth stopped 20 of 22 shots.
Tkachuk got his goal shortly after winning a faceoff in Philadelphia’s end. He got open in front of the net and stuffed in Backlund’s centering pass for his 11th goal.
Brodie got his fourth goal of the season with a wrist shot from the high slot. The puck slid just inside the post with Sam Bennett screening Neuvirth.
“I look at that goal and (Tkachuk) made a great play and (Brodie) made a great shot, but the thing that we’re going to value was Sam Bennett standing in front and fighting his way there so the goalie couldn’t see it,” Calgary coach Glen Gulutzan said.
BLUE JACKETS 5,
MAPLE LEAFS 2
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Backup Joonas Korpisalo made 31 saves, Nick Foligno and Boone Jenner had a goal each and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Josh Anderson, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Matt Calvert also scored, and Alexander Wennberg, Zach Werenski and Seth Jones had a pair of assists each for the Blue Jackets. Columbus moved into a tie with Pittsburgh for second place in the Metropolitan Division two days before the Penguins visit Nationwide Arena.
SHARKS 5, OT
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau scored 1:38 into overtime after San Jose’s Joe Pavelski scored twice late in the third period to tie it.
Nick Bjugstad and Aleksander Barkov each scored twice for the Panthers, who have won five of six games. Jussi Jokinen also scored.
BLUES 2, RED WINGS 0
DETROIT (AP) — Carter Hutton made 25 saves for his second straight shutout, Ivan Barbashev scored 2:06 into the game and Jaden Schwartz had an empty-net goal in the final seconds, helping St. Louis beat Detroit.
The Blues have won a season-high five straight games, and coach Mike Yeo has won six of seven since replacing the fired Ken Hitchcock.
Detroit has dropped five straight games for the second time in less than a month, matching its season-long losing streak. Detroit also lost five straight following a 6-2 start to what’s become a difficult season.
The Red Wings played their first home game since team owner Mike Ilitch died Friday.