Monahan lifts Flames past Capitals in OT
WASHINGTON (AP) — In his third NHL season, 21-year-old Sean Monahan is showing the Calgary Flames he’s on the verge of becoming a true star.
Monahan scored his second goal of the game 1:40 into overtime to give the Flames a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Friday night.
It was Monahan’s sixth goal of the season, including four in the last four games.
Last year, Monahan had 31 goals, and Calgary coach Bob Hartley has encouraged him to shoot more, and he’s getting terrific results.
“The way that he’s striding — like he’s a powerful skater. When his feet are moving like they’re moving now, he’s definitely going to be a threat,” Hartley said.
In overtime, Monahan took a pass from TJ Brodie and beat Phillipp Grubauer from right in front. Washington coach Barry Trotz challenged the goal, claiming that Monahan was offside, but the goal was quickly confirmed.
The Flames, who entered with the worst record in the Western Conference, have won just six games — four in overtime.
“It’s something we’re pretty good at. We’re confident out there and we know how to play smart and manage the puck well,” Monahan said.
Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary and Karri Ramo stopped 34 shots.
Michael Latta and Jay Beagle had the goals for Washington, and Grubauer finished with 26 saves.
Alex Ovechkin again failed in his attempt to pass Sergei Fedorov for most goals by a Russian-born NHL player. Since scoring his 483rd career goal on Nov. 7 to tie Fedorov, Ovechkin has gone scoreless in three straight games.
Trotz senses that Ovechkin is pressing.
“Today I did for the first time. I think he wants to get it. There’s no question,” Trotz said. “He’s scored a gazillion goals in the league, and to our team, (I tell them) don’t look for Ovi to score that goal. Don’t overpass. He’s scored a lot of goals. Play the way we play, and I guarantee you, he will score that goal, and he’ll score many after that.”
Monahan’s first goal came at 1:28 of the third period. His shot flew past Grubauer’s right shoulder, and gave the Flames a 2-0 lead.
On Thursday night, Calgary lost the second straight of a four-game road trip at Tampa Bay. They’ll play the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday night.
“We worked hard in Tampa. We had a lot of chances. It’s frustrating to lose games, and tonight we had a chance. It was a back-and-forth game, and it’s nice to come out with a win,” Monahan said.
Latta’s first goal of the season and just his second in 78 career goals got Washington on the scoreboard with 5:41 gone in the period. It was his first goal since Nov. 15, 2013.
Beagle tied it with just under five minutes to play when he tapped the puck past Ramo from in front.
Frolik’s shot from the slot on a spin move away from the Capitals’ Jason Chimera gave Calgary a 1-0 lead at 7:35 of the first period. It was his fourth goal of the season. The other three came on Oct. 31 at Edmonton.
The Capitals did nothing offensively for the first two periods and didn’t want to think about being tired.
“I know it’s three games in four nights,” center Brooks Laich said. “But, they traveled last night, too. They played last night, there’s no excuses.”
NOTES: Washington D Brooks Orpik missed his second straight game with a lower body injury. ... Flames LW Brandon Bollig and Capitals RW Tom Wilson were sent off for fighting early in the third period. ... Washington failed in an attempt to win its third consecutive set of back-to-back games.