Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Monahan Scores Team-Leading 26th Goal as Flames Double Up Avalanche

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Monahan Scores Team-Leading 26th Goal as Flames Double Up Avalanche

Article excerpt

Monahan leads Flames over Avalanche

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CALGARY - Another big night for Sean Monahan's line has the red-hot Flames one win away from clinching a playoff spot.

Monahan scored his team-leading 26th goal and added three assists Monday as Calgary won 4-2 over the floundering Colorado Avalanche.

"Confidence is big for our club. When we start going and everyone's playing their role we're a hard team to beat," said Monahan, whose four-point night ties a career-high.

With six games remaining, Calgary can secure a post-season berth for just the second time in the last eight seasons with a regulation win over Los Angeles on Wednesday.

"I'm proud of the guys and the spot they've put themselves in," said coach Glen Gulutzan. "A lot of hard work went into that and now we need to finish it off."

It's been quite a turnaround for a hockey club that in mid-November, was 5-10-1 and had the worst winning percentage in the NHL.

"There were a few dark days in this locker room, but what we've been able to do from December on, has been great for this room and great for this city," said Troy Brouwer, who scored his third goal in the last four games. "To play a big game against a division rival on Wednesday and be able to clinch playoffs and get this hockey club back in the playoffs, it means a lot to everybody in here."

Since Gulutzan put Micheal Ferland on Calgary's top line with Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau on Feb. 21, Calgary has gone 14-3-0 and that unit has been among the most productive in the NHL. Ferland and Gaudreau each had a goal and an assist on Monday.

Gaudreau's 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) over that 17-game stretch ranks second in the NHL behind Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov. Monahan is right behind with 21 points (seven goals, 14 assists). Ferland leads the three of them with seven goals to give him 15 on the season.

"It looks like a good mixture of everything," said goaltender Brian Elliott. …

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