Coleman scores 2 goals as Flames beat Golden Knights 4-1

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CALGARY, Alberta — Blake Coleman scored twice in Calgary’s four-goal third period, and the Flames beat the Vegas Golden Knights 4-1 on Thursday night.

Yegor Sharangovich had a goal and an assist, and Matt Coronato also scored for as Calgary snapped a three-game skid. Dryden Hunt added two assists and Dustin Wolf stopped 28 shots to improve to 2-3-1 on the season.

The Flames had been outscored 18-5 during their losing streak in losses to Florida (5-1), Carolina (7-2) and Colorado (6-2).

“It was an embarrassing 72 hours for our team,” Coleman said. “Our response to losing some guys and some friends (at the trade deadline), maybe wasn’t the best, and we got slapped pretty hard. At the end of the day, if you’ve got pride and you get beat up like that, you better respond or you don’t really belong in this league.”

Anthony Mantha scored for Vegas, which has lost five of its last seven. Adin Hill finished with 33 saves. The Golden Knights remain in the second wild card in the Western Conference with a four-point lead over Minnesota.

“I don’t know if our guys just think they’re better than they are right now, and they can get away with playing mediocre to average hockey for long stretches at key times in the game,” Golden Knights coach Bruce Cassidy said. “I don’t believe it’s a lack of confidence. … What I sense is a complete lack of urgency in those key moments, and games get away from us.”

Down 1-0 after 40 minutes, Calgary tied it 4 minutes into the third period — just 12 seconds after failing to capitalize on a power play. Hunt knocked the puck across to Sharangovich, whose shot went off the blade of Hill’s stick and tumbled over his pad.

Shea Theodore’s long pass sprang Ivan Barbashev on a breakaway, but he was denied on a blocker save by Wolf. Calgary then transitioned the puck up ice and scored the go-ahead goal seconds later.

“He probably made a little too many stick handles and I just tried to stay on my feet and stick with him,” Wolf said. “Pretty pivotal moment in the game where I was just trying to stay as dialed in as I could and things worked out.”

Coleman agreed on the significance of that sequence.

“The game maybe ends up completely different if Wolfie doesn’t make that save,” he said.

Nazem Kadri outmuscled a Vegas defenseman to retrieve his own rebound off the end boards and center the puck to Coleman, who fended off Nicolas Hague in front to put the Flames ahead with 9:54 left.

Hunt set up Coronato for a one-timer and the rookie blasted his second goal of the season over Hill’s shoulder with 5:15 to go to give Calgary a two-goal lead. The 20-year-old has spent a majority of the season in the AHL and the goal was his first in his last 18 NHL games dating back to Oct. 14.

Coleman than capped off the barrage with an empty netter with 2:58 left for his 28th, tying him with Sharangovich for the team lead.

“We’ve had some good look-in-the-mirror meetings here in the last 24 hours and I thought everybody to a man responded really well and all around it was a good team game,” Coleman said.

Calgary defenseman Brayden Pachal, who was claimed off waivers from Vegas on Feb. 4, had his backhanded outlet pass intercepted in the slot by Theodore. The Vegas defenseman then fired the pass across the slot to Mantha, who buried the one-timer with 2:04 remaining in the second before Wolf could slide across.

Noah Hanifin returned to Calgary where he played for six seasons before being dealt to the Golden Knights ahead of last week’s trade deadline. Playing his fourth game for Vegas, he got a warm applause from the crowd after a video tribute during the first TV timeout. Throughout the rest of the game, pockets of fans that booed the defenseman.

It’s the ninth time Calgary has won when trailing after two periods (9-23-2), which ties it with Detroit and Colorado for the most in the league.

UP NEXT

Golden Knights: Host New Jersey on Sunday to open a four-game homestand.

Flames: Host Montreal on Saturday.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL

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