Luongo returns, Matheson scores 2 as Panthers beat Flames
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Mike Matheson scored twice, Aleksander Barkov had a goal and two assists, and the Florida Panthers beat the Calgary Flames 6-3 Saturday night.
Roberto Luongo stopped 30 shots in his first appearance since a groin injury on Dec. 4, and picked up his first win since Nov. 27.
Evgenii Dadonov and Vincent Trocheck each had a goal and an assist, and Jared McCann also scored to help the Panthers get their fifth straight road win. Florida has won seven of its last eight overall to pull six points behind the New York Islanders for the second wild card in the Eastern Conference.
Dougie Hamilton scored three goals for his first career hat trick for the Flames, who are 0-3-3 in their last six at home. David Rittich started and gave up four goals on 15 shots before he was pulled early in the second period. Jon Gillies came on and stopped 13 of the 15 shots he faced.
Tied 1-1 after the first period, Florida blew the game open in the second with three goals in the opening 6:03.
Trocheck completed a nifty give-and-go with Barkov by slipping a shot past Rittich at 58 seconds to put Florida ahead. With Barkov providing the screen, Dadonov deflected Keith Yandle’s shot past Rittich at 3:09 to make it 3-1. Barkov then gave the Panthers a three-goal lead as he redirected Dadonov’ shot between Rittich’s shot. Gillies came on after that.
Calgary pulled to 4-2 with 7:45 left in the second on Hamilton’s second power-play goal of the night.
Matheson got his second of the game at 3:41 of the third, and McCann made it 6-2 just more than two minutes later.
Hamilton capped the scoring with 8:05 left when he banked in a shot from the corner off the leg of Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad.
NOTES: It was Rittich’s first start at home. His previous nine starts all came on the road. ... Injured starting goalie Mike Smith (lower body) skated before the Flames’ game-day skate Saturday morning, but didn’t face any shots. His status remains day-to-day. ... Hamilton played in his 400th NHL game. ... Flames F Johnny Gaudreau snapped an eight-game scoring streak (four goals, seven assists). ... Ekblad extended his point-streak to six games (three goals, five assists).
Panthers: At Winnipeg on Sunday night.
Flames: Host Boston on Monday.