Five things we learned in the NHL: Flames can’t be stopped

Storhamar Dragons forward Joey Tenute joins Jeff Marek on Hockey Central to talk about how his team was keeping their calories up during the 8.5 hour marathon game against the Sparta Warriors.

• How hot can Flames get?
• Hurricanes blow Islanders away
• Point has big night on 21st birthday

There are only so many ways to say a team named the Flames is hot, but we’ll keep trying.

Here are five things we learned in the NHL on Monday.

Double-digit wins for Flames

The Calgary Flames have been the talk of the NHL lately and for good reason. Their winning streak is now at 10 after a 4-3 shootout victory over Sidney Crosby and the defending champions from Pittsburgh.

The Flames have now moved into second in the Pacific Division, tied with the Anaheim Ducks at 82 points. The 10 wins tie a franchise record that’s stood for 38 years, when the team was still based in Atlanta.

As has been the case for Calgary for much of the season, the role players got the ball rolling and the stars sealed the deal.

In this case, Deryk Engelland and Dennis Wideman each picked up their fourth goals of the season to send the game to the third period tied 2-2. Then Johnny Gaudreau happened.

The goal gave Gaudreau 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in his last 10 games.

Brian Elliott also continued his stellar play, making 32 saves and then three more in the shootout to get the win. Even before the game, Elliott’s numbers were hot. That didn’t change on Monday.

The Flames are now the fourth team this season to have a 10-game winning streak. The Flyers had a 10-gamer split between November and December. The Minnesota Wild won 12 in a row in December. And the Columbus Blue Jackets had 16 in a row from Nov. 29 to Jan. 3.

The Flames will look to set a new franchise record with their 11th win when they host the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. At this point, is there any reason to think they won’t do it?


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Hurricanes love playing spoiler

With 67 points, the Carolina Hurricanes aren’t completely out of the playoff race. But with nine points between them and the second wild card spot, their odds don’t seem very good.

That doesn’t mean fans of the Hurricanes can’t have any fun. They get to watch their team play spoiler, which is exactly what they did on Monday.

Their 8-4 smackdown of the Islanders on Monday prevented New York from jumping into the second wild card spot. [sidebar] With the Tampa Bay beating the New York Rangers on Monday, the Islanders and Lightning are now tied with 75 points, one less than the idle Toronto Maple Leafs.

What’s even more exciting is the two teams play each other again Tuesday, giving the Hurricanes another shot at crushing the Islanders’ playoff dreams.

Because if you’re going to go down, you might as well bring some other teams with you.

Bryaden Point scores twice on 21st birthday

Tampa Bay Lightning rookie Brayden Point got one of the nicest birthday presents of all Monday night.

Playing at historic Madision Square Garden, the now 21-year-old scored two goals including the game winner.

The goals give him 11 of the season. It was the first multi-goal game of his career, snapping a seven-game scoreless streak.

Originally a third-round pick by the Lightning in 2014, Point has found a consistent spot in the lineup this year, filling in for injured forwards. The Lightning have been without Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson and, of course, Steven Stamkos for significant portions of the season and Point has helped them scrape by.

With the win the Lightning, as mentioned above, are only one point out of the final wild card spot.

Travis Konecny finding ways to score for Flyers

It’s been a year of learning on the fly for 20-year-old Travis Konecny with the Philadelphia Flyers.

And on Monday he sure was flying.

After scoring 101 points in his final OHL season, Konecny made the jump to the NHL and has had to fight through some much larger opponents. At 5-foot-10, he’s never been called the biggest guy on the ice, but as he showed Monday he may be one of the fastest.

Konecny’s two goals against the Blue Jackets gave him 10 on the season. Unfortunately for the Flyers, they still lost the game 5-3 to the Columbus.

The win improved the Blue Jackets’ record to 44-18-6 and their 94 points makes this the best season in team history. The Flyers dropped to 31-29-8 with their 70 points keeping them six out of a playoff spot.

Blues get massive win over Kings

It’s hard to describe just how important the St. Louis Blues’ 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Kings was.

Los Angeles is seemingly the only team outside of the playoffs in the West with a shot at getting in. With Monday’s loss to the Blues, the Kings are now three points behind St. Louis for the final wild card spot.

Both teams have 15 more games to go, meaning the Kings are going to have to really start to roll if they want to get to the dance. Blues fans can’t sleep easy yet, but gaining some separation from the Kings was huge.


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